Hey y’all! I’ve shared a graphic recently on social media about my top five most-used organization products for my resource classroom. I wanted to take the opportunity to further explain how I use each item.
1. 30 Pocket Hanging File Organizer
I don’t know about you, but I am responsible for a lot of kids. These hanging organizers are available on Amazon for around $25 and they are so large and SO FUNCTIONAL. I currently have my giant paper organizer hanging behind/beside my desk for holding student’s tests. Teachers send me tests to give students throughout the week, and I like having them displayed right in front of me for easy access whenever I have time to get them done. The organizer could also be used for holding progress monitoring materials and IEP paperwork.
2. Plastic Containers
The first plastic container I have to recommend is, of course, the coveted photo keeper. They are available on Amazon, but I’ve found that waiting to buy them during sales and with your teacher discount (side note: just in case you didn’t know, you can get a 15% discount on every purchase – even sale items or items you’ve used a coupon for – by just asking and presenting an educator ID) at Michaels is usually the way to go. I’ve gotten them as cheap as $15 before. The best sales that I’ve noticed are usually right after Christmas and at the end of the summer. Anyway, I have multiple photo keepers in my classroom. A few of them are holding task cards and directions for my students to use during free time or progress monitoring. I also have one that holds the pieces for my Weekly Goal board. They really are a great size for holding small-ish bulletin board parts of any kind.
The other type of plastic container I have all over my classroom are these simple $1 plastic shoe boxes from Target. I have them in my supply closet to hold pens, highlighters, pencils, etc. I also keep them on student-accessible shelves to hold all kinds of random things from alphabet sorting pictures, whisper phones, blocks, game pieces, and more.
3. 10 Drawer Rolling Organizer
Speaking of coveted items, I know we are all familiar with this little contraption. I actually purchased mine at Sam’s Club where they are consistently around $25, but they are also available at Michael’s which could be a good option during sales + teacher discount. I only have one of these for now and I’ve always kept it behind my desk – right beside my giant file organizer actually! They are a little flimsy to be honest and I’m very attached to it because it was one of my first classroom purchases, so I do keep the kiddos away from it. With that being said, each drawer holds MY things: stickers/stamps, pencils, pens, highlighters, scissors, tape, staples, etc. These drawers would also be great for student work, keeping weekly activities and worksheets separated, and holding small group reading and math materials. I’m considering buying a couple more for the latter two reasons!
4. Stackable Letter Tray
These letter trays are great for lots of reasons! This is the specific one that I have from Amazon, but you can get these pretty much anywhere. I have two sets in my classroom. One of them sits on top of a counter away from students and holds activities and worksheets I print ahead of time to complete with them throughout the week. I try to separate them by groups, and if I have to double up in one tray I’ll just paperclip each group’s papers together so they don’t get mixed up. The other set of trays sits on my “Tech Table” and holds iPads! I can’t take credit for that idea, but it is genius. I have little cord clips stuck inside each other to hold the charging cables for each iPad. It’s like a little tablet parking lot, and I’m obsessed with it. My students are not interested at all, but that’s okay.
5. Colorful Binders and Folders
This one is probably pretty self-explanatory. I’m also not including a link because I feel confident you all know where to buy your favorite brands of binders, folders, and files and there are tons to choose from. I use folders to hold student work, files to hold random house-keeping type papers I use daily, and binders for printed state standards and master copies of assessments and activities. I try to color-code them by grade-level and/or topic. I feel like that is something that is very specific to your needs and you would be your own best judge as to which items to use and how to code them, but I’m here to help if you need me!
So, that’s it! There are other items I use in my classroom, but these are by far my favorites and give you the most bang for your buck! Now I want to hear from you…what items do you use for organization in your classroom? How would you use the items I’ve listed above? Let me know in the comments, or connect with me on Instagram!