Saturday, May 31, 2014

Classroom Organization

Hey bloggy friends!! I hope you all survived or are surviving your last few days of school! I still have 3 1/2 days left!!

I have teamed up with Laura over at The Top Notch Teacher to bring you a summer long event of blogging for next year!

The good, the bad, the ugly of organization in my classroom! :)

Most of you know by now if you follow me regularly that I am moving from Kindergarten to 3rd grade!!! Huge jump, but I am so honored and excited to make the move. This also has been my first year teaching, so I went in not knowing anything on the importance of organization, so I wanted to share with you too a little on what I tried and what worked, and what I tried and completely failed, or was just the wrong time to try and implement. 

The very first thing I am going to bring up that failed, but I turned around and made something to fix this problem was printable organization! 

When I moved into the classroom there was a lonely old file cabinet in my classroom bathroom where the previous teacher had kept all of her reproduceables in nice and neat files all alphabetically organized. I thought coming in -  WOW this should save me a ton of time, but boy was I wrong. I am a busy, busy teacher and I am very hands on with the kiddos constantly and I also commute an hour and half to work every day. So I get to work at 7 and leave around 430 and that's not a lot of time for me to throw in filing papers. 

So I did what any normal teacher would do, I pinterest-ed, I blog hopped, I did a little facebook stalking to see how others organized their printables and I found a lot of different ways that others used 3 ring binders to organize their materials. I knew I needed to do this!  So I went to the secretary at school the next day and begged for some binders, and sure enough she had a ton 2inch binders. So I created some awesome covers and spine editable covers to put in these binders so I could sort them by what I use the most and could also trash what I didn't use! 

Here is a preview of what they look like

I love them and can't wait to use them next year in 3rd grade and coordinate with my superhero theme!! :) 

So, here were some pictures of my classroom at the beginning of the year, I am going to tell how much it has changed to keep me better organized for the whole year. 
Okay, so you see how I have a teacher desk here? Let me tell you how long that lasted... I got rid of it around Christmas time I think. I couldn't do it. I needed to be real close to some kiddos and it wasn't helping keeping me organized AT all. I just had piles and piles of stuff on the desk and in the end I got further behind. 

The yellow, red, and blue little shelves I used for extra crayons, glue, and scissors. Smartest idea. Kids definitely could go and gather themselves as opposed to me having to get in the cabinets for them to have extra materials when something breaks or runs out. 

Eventually this kidney table became my table as well. I used that shelf with the blue and red to organize my centers, it had its pros and cons. The size of the shelves were very awkward and only certain buckets could fit in. 

I will tell you right now I wish I had prepared and been better organized for the next day that afternoon, there were times I was frantic in the AM not really knowing what I was doing (bad teacher moment I know, but hey it was my first year, I had duty Monday mornings and usually on Fridays I was beyond exhausted and ready to get home) 
I also want to have my books organized better so that I can pull as I need. This year I had some great labels for my book bins, but I had the WORST book bins. They didn't fit well at all. So I have researched and found that Big Lots has ones I think would be perfect for myself, as well as the container store, so I am heading to those places this next week to get started early! 

Next year being in third grade my whole life is going to be different, check back later for more idea to implement next year and how they have helped, as well as give me some feedback for organization in 3rd grade :) 

Thanks for visiting!! Check back in a week for the next blog! Here is our June calendar! 


  1. Good for you getting rid of your teacher desk...hope you can keep it up! Tuff for me...I have way too many knick-nacky stuff inside my desks (all the markers, clips, etc.). You've done so much in your first year Cassie!! Your future third graders will love ya!!
    Elyse :)
    Proud to be Primary

    1. Thank you so much, Elyse! I actually just put all that stuff in built in drawers in the back of my classroom. I also had a collection of those mini caddies from Target for $1 I hoarded stuff in! :) I am so excited and nervous for 3rd! I appreciate all of your support this year, it's been so much fun getting to know my blogging community friends! Here's to many more!!!!!

    2. It's been awesome connecting with you too! I can imagine this continuing and maybe one year we'll all meet up for some fun times in VEGAS!!!

  2. I predict you will love 3rd grade. If you can handle kindergarten, you can handle anything!
    Not very fancy

  3. I am envious of the fact that you were able to get rid of your teacher desk! Mine, on the other hand, is built-in! I am so excited for you to be teaching 3rd grade this coming year, I think you will absolutely LOVE it! I just read your comment about the crates and teacher toolkit on my blog. Here is the link to my blog where I posted about my teacher toolkit: As for the crates, I just used a 1/2" piece of plywood (cut to fit). Some lumberyards will even cut that for you if you have dimensions ready for them. Then I used a 1" roll of foam (cut to fit). Then I wrapped the 2 stacked pieces and then used my hubby's staple gum to adhere the fabric to the plywood. It really was pretty easy! Good luck to you!
    Mrs. Olson’s Lucky Little Learners

  4. Congratulations on surviving your first year teaching! Such an exciting moment in the life of a teacher! I think you're going to love 3rd grade, and your students will love you for sure! It sounds like you're ready, and of course have new and improved ideas you want to put into practice, which is such an important part of teaching! Good luck next year!!!

    Theresa @ True Life I'm a Teacher!