Classroom Organizing Challenge: March, Week 1: Visible Storage {Student Stuff}

Welcome to the third month of my Classroom Organizing Challenge!

This is a yearlong organizing challenge with weekly tasks to get you to your most tidy classroom yet.

Below is the list of topics and months, so you can join in and/or catch up anytime.

If you haven't read the Getting Started post, I recommend reading that first for some simple tips, a fun playlist, and a big-picture view of 2019.

You can always catch up on the Classroom Organizing Challenge Page HERE. Here's our yearlong overview:

Getting Started
January: Student Desks
February: Teacher Desk
March: Visible Storage
April: Hidden Storage
May: Technology/Digital
June: Classroom Library
July: Student Life
August: Class Routines
September: Teacher Life
October: Home-School Link
November: Mom Life
December: Maintenance

. . .

Visible Storage: Student Stuff

One of the ways I think our classrooms can look their tidiest is when our visual storage is clean, uniform, and intentional.

When items get thrown into random corners, piles, or bins with no system, it not only becomes stressful to look at, it adds additional time and energy to our schedule when we go hunting for an item we need!

I want to tackle visual student clutter first because I think this is the easiest to identify.

How are the student supplies and storage spaces in your room organized? Are their clear labels? Do you use bins, baskets, tubs, or a combo of all of those?

When students know where things belong, you automatically have 25+ additional helpers to keep your class clean and tidy.

I have three main student storage spaces in my classroom: classroom supplies, rainbow drawers, and the white bench.

These areas are also in three different areas in my classroom, almost a triangle, so that one small wall isn't holding each and every piece of extra supplies the students might need during the day.

Classroom Supplies

Students have their table supplies, but when glue sticks dry out, when they need additional red markers, or an extra sharpener, they come to our classroom supplies area.

Here, I have markers separated by color (I used Creekside Teacher Tales' freebie HERE) and write more about the whole process HERE.

I also have clear drawers that hold a variety of other school supplies. I like being able to peek in and see what needs a refill and it's easy for the students to find homes for these items as well.

Rainbow Drawers

As you know, I am in love with rainbow drawers. I have taller ones for my things and use these lower ones for student supplies.

Note: These lower ones are getting harder and harder to find. The only ones I could find easily are available at Joann's HERE.

I purchased three of these and adjusted the bins so that each column is its own color.

Then, each column can be grouped to fit a specific item. For example, red holds our headphones, orange, green, and blue hold Word Work (more info on that HERE), and purple, and black hold games for Friday Free Choice and Indoor Recess.

The labels for these drawers are available on TpT HERE.

White Bench

The last student-centered supplies area is what I call the White Bench, although we don't use it for sitting. I got this from Ikea years ago (the "bench" is available HERE and the bins HERE)

I have adored this piece of furniture: Inside the white bins are all of the building supplies kids use during Friday Free Choice and Indoor Recess. They are out of the way and the bins hold a lot!

On top of the bins, I have a lot of the areas kids need to access. This shelf is right in front of our meeting area, so it's a quick trip to get a clipboard or grab a Toobaloo.

Start thinking about your students' supplies and how creating distinct, well-labeled areas around your room can help create a cleaner, tidier, and more efficient workspace for you and your class.

. . .

This Week's Think Abouts:

  • Where are extra student supplies stored?
  • What extra supplies do I need to have available for students? What can be put away in a hidden storage spot?
  • Are extra supplies clearly labeled and easily accessible during work time?
  • How are games organized?
  • Is there a way to make centers easy to access and clean up? 
  • How can a student be sure they are returning materials to the correct space?
  • How can color-coding, labels, pictures, and/or placement help organize these supplies?
  • What is the travel time between supplies and student work areas? How much opportunity for distraction is in between where they work and what they need?
  • Think about the heights of available materials and the available shelving and counters in your classroom. Can adding in additional, lower furniture help make items more accessible?

* Would you like these Think Abouts in a handy PDF? Click HERE

Be sure to follow along with me on Instagram @3rdgrthoughts on both my feed and my IG Stories throughout the year.

Tag any of your before & afters, progress, or projects using #ClassroomOrganizingChallenge. Together we can finally tackle the visual clutter and stressful spaces!

Join me in two weeks when we switch directions and start tackling visible storage for teachers for the remainder of March!

Happy organizing,

No comments

Post a Comment