Organized... ME??

I'm just going to give you a fair warning here... if you want to learn about being organized or conquering all that classroom mess: I'm not your girl, ha!  Look away, far far away!  But, if you want to APPEAR to be tidy and look good on the outside... stay a while, let's chat!

When I posted my Reading Overview for the year, a few people asked where I store our grade level books.  Here's the answer!  We have a cart (that used to roll but is so loaded down that it does not anymore!).  I keep it in my classroom and everyone gets what they need from there :)  This year I put it behind my teacher table so that I could easily access it while planning! So...

Tip #1:  Keep what you need close by!
Tip #2:  Keep materials that your students need regularly out, organized, and labeled!
 Tip #3:  Buy lots of pretty containers (you'll even find ones like below at Wal-Mart!)
I don't have a teacher desk and I can't handle even a pen laying out on my teacher table.  Visible clutter drives me bananas (hidden clutter... notsomuch).  So, I house all of my teacher materials in this cubby storage system.
Tip #4:  Label every little thing you may ever possibly need :)
 Tip #5:  Keep your weekly materials out and visible so that if you happen to be absent your sub can quickly grab what they need to get started!  (and obviously use an upside down M for your Wednesday bin... because who has time to look for a W?!)

Sidenote:  I stay planned a week in advance at all times.  I have my plans written by Tuesday, gather materials needed by Wednesday, and my copies are made by Thursday.  This helps me savor my weekends with my family rather than spend my Sunday night fretting over plans!

Sidenote #2:  My daily buckets aren't quite ready for next week yet!  I just started gathering some things I may need and will finish that up tomorrow :)
 Tip #6:  Help keep your students organized.  I'm a stickler on keeping a clean classroom.  Yes I want them to create, live in it, play, and use OUR classroom, BUT I also spent a lot of my personal money on it, so I can be a clean freak if I want to ;)  And, I walk around organizing these buckets at least 10 times!

We share pretty much all of our supplies with the exception of folders and spirals.  So, our community supplies are housed in the middle of our tables for accessibility.  Last year I decided that I wanted two buckets at each table so that the bucket hoarders wouldn't get the best of my classroom :)
 TIp #7:  Listen to and learn from Erica Bohrer.  When she says it because she is the queen of organization, labeling, and practicality.  Keeping even the most simple of routines organized helps relieve those pesky questions such as "Mrs. Lemons' can I go to the bathroom??"  Our labeled GermX will answer that question for you now!  If I'm not teaching, grab the sanitizer, sit it on your desk, and use the restroom!  Come back and soap up, my friends!  This way I know where you are and we didn't have to interrupt the flow of learning to meet the needs of potty breaks :)  And, if ya gotta go... go!
For more ideas head on over to Blog Hoppin'!
OH, and for a little FLASH B2S sale, head on over to TpT and fill those carts up with last minute activities you need!


Pixie Anne said...

I definitely need to try and have my weekly resources out and organised like that each week - I will try my best this year but struggle to be organised enough for the day I am on! Love the bright colours of those tubs!
Growing Little Learners

Erica Bohrer said...

Haha! Love you Amy Lemons! You are so organized. I too TRY to plan two weeks in advance and use plastic draws to store my materials. This year my goal is to get ahead regularly with my planning.

Courtney B said...

You sound like me! My teammate says that it's a good thing that I'm creative. I can't open some of my storage lockers because everything comes flying out. I'm trying to be organized myself this year but it drives me crazy when the kiddos can't find something or have a messy desk. Thanks for sharing your ideas and not making me feel bad because I'm not organized at all!

Sarah said...

I am just like you! Everyone comments on what an organized room I have, and for the most part, it is...but I do tend to have messy file cabinets and the like hidden away! lol. I like your planning routine. My goal is to do the same and be done by Thursdays as well so I can enjoy my weekends (even if it's just being a couch potato!)


Carlie Rzepa said...

I swear I had read about your first week and meet the teacher day on August 14th but can't find it now. :( Am I losing it or did you take that post down?

Jessica said...

Hi! I like what you said about having your lesson plans done a week in advance and would love to be organized enough to do that! When do you work on writing the plans? Monday night and Tuesday night at home? Or during prep, etc.? Thanks!

Stephanie Rossi said...


Where did you get your individual alphabet labels- the ones you used for M - F and the sanitizer?

Thanks and I enjoyed your tips!