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7 Classroom Organization Ideas To Make Your Days Better

Before you start on classroom decor and bulletin boards, think about how you want your space to function. Classroom organization can save you valuable time and headaches. So if you are preparing for a new school year or have the itch to clean, purge, and reorganize your workspaces, here are some of my favorite tips.

Identify Shared Spaces

An elementary classroom is more than a bunch of desks. Things to consider include do you want a place for everyone to gather for a story or morning meeting? Will students be going to learning centers? Will you have a classroom library? Will you need a place to have small group instruction?

Each of these types of spaces take up a lot of square footage. In a smaller classroom, some might need to be multipurpose. Here is a classroom organization idea that combines classroom library book storage with a flexible seating option!

CLASSROOM ORGANIZATION OF YOUR LIBRARY

This clever classroom library idea comes from Kristin at A Teeny Tiny Teacher. She used IKEA bookshelves (sold here)  and turned them sideways. She made bench pads using foam and outdoor fabric for extra durability. She placed a table with a lamp to fill the gap in the corner.

Now, I probably wouldn’t choose white pillows, but otherwise, I think this is an attractive and practical library solution.

TURN SHOE SHELVES INTO STORAGE

classroom organization ideas

There is NEVER enough counter space in any classroom I’ve taught in. So I LOVE this idea! Utilize the space above counters and tables by adding low shelving designed for shoe storage. You can make this an even better classroom organization idea by adding labels to show where the supplies belong.

MAXIMIZE FILE CABINET SPACE

file cabinet

The sides of your file cabinet are prime real estate when it comes to organizing your classroom. The magnetic surface is ideal for use as a bulletin board. To make it fancier, simply add some colored paper and a border. Another use is for a narrow pocket chart.

 A PLACE FOR UNFINISHED WORK

One of the most difficult daily tasks for me to keep up with was tracking students who needed more time to complete an assignment. With this simple addition to my classroom, the students and I easily saw who had incomplete work to do. This 30 pocket chart is available through Amazon. At a glance I could monitor who was falling behind. Also I used these to place work for absent students.

END CORD CONFUSION with BREAD TAGS


Sometimes the power strips in my room look like twisted licorice. This is a simple way to identify your cords. Save the plastic tabs from bread bags. Use a permanent marker to label the cords for easy identification.

MARKER STORAGE

marker storage

Who knew wine could be part of your classroom organization plan? Combine a wine rack with some plastic tumblers to create the perfect markers or colored pencils storage rack. Students can easily find the color they are looking for which saves time and increases productivity! Plus it looks adorable too!

CRAYON STORAGE SOLUTION

crayon organization

Line plastic bins from The Dollar Store with construction paper for kid-friendly sorting and organization or crayons! Having the colors sorted is a huge time saver when doing projects.

BOOK BINS for INDEPENDENT READING

book drawers

I use these drawers for my students’ independent reading books. I label each drawer with their name. Inside their drawer, they keep their independent reading books, a pencil, and their reading log. When it’s time to read, they pull out the drawer and take it to their reading spot. Best of all, the top of the unit doubles as extra counter space! I got mine at Michael’s craft store with 40% off coupon.

 

COLORED PAPER STORAGE

This idea comes from my love for scrapbooking and cardmaking. Use hanging file folders to sort and organize smaller pieces of construction paper. They are less likely to get bent or torn, and much easier to locate and use. This tip saves time, money, and frustration.

paper storage

Want more classroom organization tips? You’ll find my favorite one at this post about handling no name papers!

  • Thank you for all you do!

  • Alison Monk

    When I started teaching, I quickly realized that student teaching didn't prepare me for the real challenges of being alone in a classroom full of young children. The learning curve was steep and time was limited. That is why I created the Literacy Garden. My hope is this will be a place for inspiration, mentoring, and connecting.

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  • […] organized classroom is a productive classroom. Teach students how to properly store and care for their materials by […]

  • Laura June 23, 2015 at 10:01 PM

    I love the idea for using the side of the file cabinet. I will be trying this in my office! Thanks so much for sharing!!

    Laura
    https://discoveringhiddenpotential.wordpress.com

  • Leave a Reply

    Hi! I'm Alison

    My #1 passion is all things literacy! I'm a curriculum creator and literacy specialist with over 30 years teaching in elementary classrooms. My goal is to share creative and engaging ways to grow your students and are easy to implement and academically sound. You can expect to find teaching tips to boost your confidence and grow your learners. You don't have to do this alone! I'm the support you've been looking for. I'm so glad you are here!

    About the Literacy Garden

    When I started teaching, I quickly realized that student teaching didn't prepare me for the real challenges of being alone in a classroom full of young children. The learning curve was steep and time was limited. That is why I created the Literacy Garden. My hope is this will be a place for inspiration, mentoring, and connecting.

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