Hi, my name is Carie Ramirez and I am a kindergarten teacher! I have been spending this week in my classroom, cleaning, organizing, laminating, copying and TALKING!! Haha, I swear, if I would just lock myself in my classroom I would be done in one day! But, just as the kids do, I miss my friends over the summer because not all of us get a chance to get together!
The time I have spent in my classroom organizing things for the new year is what I want to share with you. I have taken some things that I had a home to help organize and keep a fairly clutter-free classroom.
First we will start with my old utensil holder that I bought from Pampered Chef many moons ago. I quit using it at home and didn't want to throw it out, so I decided that I would take it to school and use it for my markers, pens, scissors, paper-punches and highlighters. It sits right at the corner of my desk (well it actually sits on the file cabinet that makes my desk a little longer). It spins around too, which makes for easy access to what you are looking for! So if you have anything like this sitting in your cupboards or in your basement, dig it out and take it to school!
Next, I have some old CD holders from the dollar store and that is where I keep some of my CD's of course but I also use them for organizing my word cards for our seasonal/themed word bank! This way they don't get lost in the mix of everything else and they don't take up all that space in the file cabinet. Then to the right, you will see where I keep my poems that are used throughout the school year. I used to fold them in half and put them in the corresponding file but again, that took up a lot of space in the file cabinet, so I went out and bought some C-hooks, screwed them into the bulletin board and starting hanging them up. They are hung up in the order in which I do them, so they are easy to find!
Below, you will see my Guided Reading area! I am sure many of you are familiar with Thirty-One bags. They are wonderful and can be personalized if you want them to be! I have received many as gifts from family and I have so many that I started using them at school to SPICE up my room! The two totes you see below hold everything I need for my guided reading groups and also our Jolly Phonics program. It's an easy access and less hassle of running back and forth to the file cabinet when I need something. I then have baskets for each reading group located inside the cabinet below the totes.
And look it here, another Thirty-one item! It is my little caddy that hangs from my pocket chart! Again, easier than running over to my desk in case I need a different color marker or a pair of scissors! I LOVE IT! Inside you will find highlighting tape, correction tape, a notepad and extra magnets! A friend of mine uses hers on her guided reading table.
Our school's theme is Bee's because our three school rules are Be Ready, Be Safe, and Be Kind. And with these rules comes several teaching aides! But where do I store them all so that I know where they are without losing them???? Well, I designed a bulletin board...again, for easy access! Each Bee on the board has an expectation next to/under it. But rest be assured, I don't just do this because it is easy access for ME but I do it more because it is easy access for the kiddos! The expectations are always posted and if they need reminders all they have to do is look up at the bulletin board!
We do have more expectations, but usually the one we are working on at the time is posted in the front of the classroom by our calendar board. When we are done working on that expectation, I will post it on the Bee board.
And since I was sharing our Bee theme, I thought I would throw this picture in of how I do my class jobs! My helpers are known as WORKER BEES. Each student has a bee with their name on it and I just rotate clockwise daily.
Lastly, I wanted to share with you a picture of what I walked into on my first day back to my classroom (which was Monday) and what I got it to look like by the end of the day! At the end of each year we have to pack up and get everything off the floors, so usually it goes on the back counter and I throw sheets over top of it. So that is the mess you see in the "before" shot.
I hope some of these organizing tips are helpful to you and that you can take some of these ideas to use this year!
Here's to a great school year!