Tuesday, July 16, 2013

An Apple a Day & Optimum Organization Linky


I'm once again linking up to two of my favorite Linky Parties An Apple a Day hosted by Leigh at the Applicious Teacher and Optimum Organization hosted by Fun in Room4B & Ladybug's Teacher Files. This week's focus is on School Supplies and Organization.

Our students are required to bring certain school supplies to school. We have to keep our budget around $20 dollars per family for all classes. Therefore, we try and keep our school supply list pretty simple. They need three binders (ELA/SS, Science, and Math) and notebooks. Plus, they need colored pencils, scissors, highlight, etc. Here's a portion of our Welcome Letter that we send home to parents letting them know what their child will need.

Even though the students  are supposed to have all our supplies. I'm still a firm believer in having a communal supply area. Things to get lost, left at home, or some students may not have a supply. Therefore, I have a student supply station set up in my room.

I offer markers, crayons, colored pencils, scissors, glue, rulers, index cards, and post it notes. I also have some electric pencil sharpers, erasers, and highlights students can use. Students may access the area as long as I'm not teaching a whole class lesson. It's never been a huge distraction - my only upgrade for next year is to add table "drawers." I purchased another set of Sterile drawers like the ones used for my glue, rulers, index cards, etc. I used to have a caddy for each table but they always seemed to be in the way and cluttering up the table or my counter. This year, I bought an extra set of sterile drawers and labeled them for each table. My plan is to have a table drawer with special supplies that students can grab for their table but then put away after class. This should also help manage my supplies... for some reason my room is a black hole for glue sticks. I'm also going to buy one of the amazing pencil sharpeners from Classroom Friendly Supplies and I have my gumball machine of erasers to add to the counter as well. I'm still debating how to set the gumball eraser machine... is charging 5 cents wrong? Should they be free?

As for my organization. I'm a big stickler on making sure things have a proper place so that I don't always have to "see" the supplies, papers, etc. Under the counter in the picture I have several drawers. Each drawer is labeled with a color of construction paper. This keeps the paper out of sight but my students and myself can easily find the colors we need to use. I also have extra cleaning supplies like hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, etc. under my sinks. Students have classwork trays for each homeroom so they know where to put papers. They also have mailboxes for graded papers and I have stacking white trays for every students' Reading R.T.I folder. We track our data in these folders and keep our graphs inside. These are really handy for conferences!

My biggest organizational project has been my library. I have SO many books to keep organized. Currently my library looks like this...(sorry for the blurry photo. I wanted a retake because it's from last year....but our floors are still being redone!)

 I have author labels, genres, as well as "pseudo" genres like sports, quick reads, and books that are movies. Deciding how to set up my library was really just based on what I had at the time. I had lots of books from certain authors plus I wanted to include the regular genres we study. Here is another view of the labels... just printed off the tags and then backed them with scrapbook paper.
I'm hoping to keep my library system up and running this year. I also purchased a display for the top of my bookshelf this year. I purchased the stand from Really Good Stuff. You can view it here.

I'm hoping the display stand will allow me to feature some authors, genre specific books, etc. easily while still keeping everything organized! I'm also hoping to maybe create some sort of top for my display so that I can create this....on a smaller scale.
What's your biggest organizational challenge?


  1. I have the same book baskets! I love them. Your supply area looks fantastic. Thanks for linking up with us!

    Fun in Room 4B

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