Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Optimum Organization~Come Join the Party!

I’m so excited to be partnering up with my bloggy friend, Kristen, for this Optimum Organization linky!

Add this button when you link up below!!

As the year winds down to a close (only 11 days left…wow!), I find myself looking around my room thinking about what worked and what didn’t.  This year, I’m happy to say that all of the organizing I did last year paid off!  There are only a few maintenance-type things that I want to take care of this summer!
Here are a few organizational things that did work this year.
I pulled out all of the pieces and parts of several kits I had in my room and organized the tubs by item.  Now, I don’t have to go scrambling through several kits to find enough dice for all of my students. 
The only thing I have to do in this cabinet is straighten them up a bit (ok, a lot).  Otherwise, the bins themselves stayed pretty organized all year. 

To go with all of my math cubbies, I have organized my station materials by skill.  This has been very helpful when I need to pull a station for a group needing to work on a specific skill.  I bought the magazine holders as Ikea.  Who doesn’t love Ikea?  Holla :)

One of the first projects I worked on last summer was the Teacher Toolbox.  You can read about it {here}. 

I still love it!  It is on my back counter next to my small group table and comes in handy.  I’m happy to say that it stayed super organized all year long…I wonder if that has anything to do with the fact that the kids don’t have access to it? J!
I also love my paper and pencil holder that my students use to get more supplies when needed.  There wasn’t much to destroy here, though. 

One of my favorite “organizational” items this year was my Student Information Binder.  (This was a freebie from someone last year but I don’t remember who…if it is you, please comment below so that I can give you credit!)

This is the first year I have used a binder to keep track of grades, IEPs, contact information, and student information.  I used the snazzy little tip from Kristen about adding tabs and I love it. (See the bottom right corner of the photo.)  Cut circles and tape with mailing tape to the edges.  Instant cute page tabs! One of the things I did this year (because I used a binder and had a place for them) was to keep all of my graded answer keys in one spot.  (See the top right corner of the photo.)
Why has it taken me almost 20 years to figure this out?  Seriously.  Don’t you just hate it when someone was absent and they took their test at a later time and you grade their paper later?  Now, I know exactly where to go to get the answer key.  I know, I know…lame.  But, this is the first year I didn't shove it in a pile on my desk or in a file somewhere never to be found again.  That pocket is pretty full.  It has all of the answer keys for every assessment I gave this year.  I might use a plastic sleeve next year. Maybe not.  Otherwise, I’m happy, happy, happy with my lame “ah-ha” moment.

What are your favorite organizational tips from this year?  What are you going to revamp?  Kristen and I would love to have you link up with us and share your “ah-ha” moments, too.  I love reading how other teachers organize so that I am able to find even better ways to do things.  Because, there usually is a much better way…

Grab the button at the top of this post and then link up below!  


22 comments :

  1. Can you believe I bought the 3 drawer thingy last year and it has been sitting ever since then?!?! I bought it for something I saw on Pinterest....glad I didn't make it. Like yours better:) I'm attempting to get organized in the next 3 days!!! I'll take pics and link up soon:)

    4th Grade Frolics

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  2. Love, Love, Love this linky! I'll be adding it to my linky calender that went live on my blog yesterday and linking up with you later this week! Come check out my linky party about must have school supplies for next year! I'd love to have you link up! :)
    Theresa
    Pinkadots Elementary

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  3. I'm in desparate need of some great organization ideas, so I'll be watching this linky all week! Sadly, I can't access link #1 - any idea where it's from so I can go hunt it down?

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  4. I love this linky party!! If I can get myself together I'll join ;) So many great ideas thanks!
    Also, what app do you use for your pictures with those cute designs all over!? Love it!

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  5. What a great linky party! I can't wait to come back later today to see what everyone else has shared :) Thanks, I just found you through another blog!

    Have a good day!
    Annie
    Three Cheers for First Grade!

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  6. This is GREAT!! I love seeing these organizational ideas. I might be on overload soon!!

    Laurie
    First Grade Lyons' Den

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  7. I love it all, but of course!! I especially the organization by skill...this is something I really need to evolve to next. I have zillions of labels, but they need to be reigned in a bit.

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  8. I love all of these ideas!!! I cannot wait to make the toolkit-- first thing on my To Do list this summer (as you can see in my blog post!) I also love the three bin organizer for kids supplies, is that a drawer organizer or three bins stacked, and how did you make it? :)

    THANKS for sharing so many amazing ideas!

    Amelia
    wherethewildthingslearn

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    1. It's one unit. I spray painted it pink and taped the paper on the inside.

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  9. Oy--the answer key problem! Great solution. I have so much filing and binder-filling and organizing to do when it comes to this type of thing once school gets out...

    I'm also glad to see someone else using the teacher toolbox with positive reviews. I bought one, but never had time to fancy it up with labels and put it to use. Another summer project :)

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  10. I like how you organize your math activities in magazine holders. Thank you for hosting this great linky. I am learning so much from everyone's post.

    Foreman Teaches

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  11. Oh, all of the ideas are fabulous! So ready to get organized. Will be using lots and lots of these ideas. Thanks for sharing!

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  12. These are great ideas, and I'm sure your blog will help me when teaching 2nd grade next year!

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  13. I A.D.O.R.E! your toolbox, but what is it, originally, and where does it come from? I have to have it. HAVE to!
    Brooke at Whooo's in Second

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    1. Click the link above and it takes you to my post from last summer. The toolbox is really a real toolbox from Lowes. Then, I spray painted it.

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  14. I linked up! Yay!

    I have those same magazine holders from IKEA! They have great, cheap, ways to organize, don't they!

    Thanks for hosting!
    Amanda
    Collaboration Cuties

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  16. Hi Elizabeth!

    What a fabulous linky party! I'm loving all of the organizational ideas I have been reading about!! I really love the idea of organizing your math activities by skill using the magazine holders. I've been searching for a way to keep items for my math stations organized. This would work perfectly! Enjoy your weekend!

    Krista
    Stellar-Students

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  17. What a fantastic linky party!! I am really getting the organization fever for summer. I can't wait to get more organized and go into my classroom in shorts and a t-shirt:) I LOVE your station binders organized by skill and NEED to do that ASAP!
    ~Holly
    Fourth Grade Flipper

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  18. Hi Elizabeth! I absolutely love your "Station Organization" idea. That is my summer project to re-organize all of my math centers/stations by skills and chapter so that when we come to that skill, I can quickly grab the new centers so they are ready to go for the students! I lacked in that area this year. I am your newest follower and also a 4th grade teacher! I would love it if you stopped over to my blog and followed me as well!

    -Allison
    Adventures In Room 204
    http://adventuresinroom204.blogspot.com/

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