Thursday, November 8, 2012

Using the Desk/Cubby/Bin Fairy to Keep Tidy & Organized

Since switching from desks to tables, I have been LOVING how much more organized my room is staying!

My students this year have bins from Really Good Stuff where they keep folders and notebooks. I have been very happy with how sturdy these bins are and I know I will be able to use them for many, many years (which is good, because they weren't cheap!).


What I have noticed over the past few weeks was that these bins were getting uncontrollably messy! I was worried that they wouldn't be able to hold all of their supplies, but, believe me, they can hold a LOT! I think I pulled 2 clipboards and 7 handfuls of pencils from one kiddo's alone... my little hoarder :)

I love this show!
So, I knew it was time to intro my favorite little friend, the Bin Fairy (she got a rename this year from Desk Fairy)! We talked as a class about why it's important to stay organized and how we were so lucky to have a helper in our class (The Bin Fairy) who comes by now and again to check to see if we're clean and tidy and organized. Best of all, if we are, she will leave us a note and we'll get to choose from the Dum Dum Tree!!



That last part definitely got their attention :) We brainstormed some ways that we could keep our bins tidy and make a chart of their ideas- some of my super-organized kids talked about organizing by size and color and although their suggestions made me so happy-happy, I didn't add them because I didn't want to overwhelm my little darlings who have yet to put a single thing in their folders..... baby steps :)


I received the most helpful feedback the other day on my Desk/Bin/Cubby Fairy Packet that said she had laminated the cards and that way she can reuse them over and over.... GENIUS! So, that's exactly what I set out to do- I printed out my bin cards smaller using my tech tip HERE and printed them 4 of them (2x2 on Landscape) onto one sheet. I then laminated them and they look awesome! See?


Now, I have a great system in place- after school, about once every week or two, I will inspect their bins and leave them a laminated note in the front of their bin. When they come in the next morning, they get the card, there's lots of happiness (and bin-cleaning for those kids who didn't get one- they just sort of do it without me asking, it's great!), and then during snack they can trade the note for a Dum Dum (or a sticker if they'd prefer).

Here's a note I left in the front of a girl's bin this afternoon:

Isn't it nice how it fits in the back of their nameplates? What luck!

If you're interested in these cards, they are available in my TpT Store in three versions (desk, bin & cubby) and each version has four different characters, so it's fun variety. They come as full-page graphics, but remember to use my tutorial HERE to shrink them down to half-page or quarter-page, like I did. It's a great way to save on ink and paper, but still keep the cuteness, which is tres importante!

I'm going to be sharing a few more tweaks to my systems that I have made this year during the upcoming week- one has to stay flexible in this profession, right?! :)

7 comments:

  1. bin fairy!!! I love the spin on desk fairy, lol! This is darling, of course (your items always are). Happy almost Friday--I have to drop you a line soon about CAFE!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much for your kind comment- you always say the nicest things :) :) And can't wait to chat ab CAFE. Have a great Friday! xoxo

      ~Stephanie

      Delete
  2. Wow, absolutely love this idea and will create my own desk fairy!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Kids loooooove it!! They always remind me when she hasn't visited in a while, so they keep me on my toes ;) Enjoy and have fun!

      ~Stephanie

      Delete
  3. I bought these cards from you this summer and the students LOVE them!! I also printed them four to a page and laminated them:) Some of my witty fourth graders are a little skeptical and say, "You are the desk fairy!". I thought it was so cute because most really do believe there is a little desk fairy! They are so innocent even at 9 and 10:)
    ~Holly
    Fourth Grade Flipper

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Did you leave me that super-smart feedback?! Thank you!! It has made my life so much easier! And saving on all that ink is also freeing up extra coffee money for me, so I owe you big time ;) Have a great Friday :)

      ~Stephanie

      Delete
  4. Lovely blog so important to have at tidy desk area

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for your comments! :)
~Stephanie

3rd Grade Thoughts - Widget
Pin It button on image hover