Classroom organization is one of my favorite topics. In the earlier years of my teaching career, I didn’t have a great system for organization. In fact, I didn’t have a system whatsoever. I felt like I was always scrambling. I found myself staying late almost everyday and taking work home. Once I had kids of my own, I knew that I didn’t want to stay at school beyond contract hours. I wanted to get home to my babies and leave work at work, which was easier said than done. I knew I needed to come up with a better system.
Over the years, I learned that investing time organizing at the beginning of the year saved me so much time in the long run. Recently, I came across this quote by Benjamin Franklin. “For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” This is so true, and it definitely applies to the classroom.
Last year, I made a New Year’s resolution to leave work everyday at 4 p.m. I was able to make that a reality by having all the things organized. In this post, I’ll share my classroom organization ideas for kindergarten that help my classroom run more efficiently.
Invest in Plastic Storage
I couldn’t survive without my plastic storage. If you are a new teacher, begin by adding a little bit at a time to get started. When I started teaching, I bought bins at the Dollar Store but they didn’t last long. I invested in Really Good Stuff neon storage eight years ago, and I still have the bins today. I use a color coded system to organize my classroom materials. The pink bins hold fine motor materials. The orange ones house math materials. My green bins contain writing materials. Art materials are stored in the blue bins, and STEAM materials go in the purple.
During the 2020-2021 school year, my students needed individual supply bins. These picture book bins by Really Good Stuff worked perfectly!
If you don’t have a lot of shelving, these cubes are affordable and work great! The stackable bins fit perfectly.
Stock up on Dry Erase Pockets!
You can never have enough dry erase pockets. When I see these occasionally at the Target Dollar Spot, I always buy more to add to my collection. They can be used in so many ways. I like to place sheets inside of them that we use often. For example, I put our daily lined handwriting paper on one side and a math skill such as ten frames on the flip side.
Dry erase pockets save paper and save you tons of time from making copies! This year, I also started using the pockets to store my centers and bulletin board lettering. They keep everything neatly organized and I can see exactly what is stored in each pocket.
Whiteboards are a Must!
Like dry erase pockets, student whiteboards are a must! I have the kids pull out their whiteboards for word work, math activities, name writing practice, or just about anything. If you have to do sub plans in a pinch, you can assign a lesson where the kids only need their whiteboards. I got this class set of whiteboards shown here on Amazon that comes with the boards, erasers, and markers.
Utilize Caddies for Community Supplies!
If your students sit at tables, caddies are a great option. I like to use caddies to store materials we use often such as scissors, glue sticks, pencils, and markers. This storage center worked perfectly in the center of my tables.
My students sit at tables that do not have any place for storage. Chair pockets have been a life saver. They provide a place for my students’ folders, pencil pouches, dry erase pockets, and whiteboards. The pockets keep everything off the tables so my kids have room to work!
Create Centers with Monthly Printable Activities
A few years ago, I created a Math Center as well as a Writing Center that my early finishers may visit to work on extension activities. Neon baskets contain printable worksheets such as writing paper, handwriting practice, and more. At my Math Center, I keep geoboards, connecting cubes, pattern blocks, and other hands-on math manipulatives. I print out math pages from my Math Center Bundle, and students may choose their favorite activity. For the Writing Center, I use the worksheets from my Fun With Writing Bundle to print off different activities each month. I also print off extra journal prompts from my Monthly Writing Journals to keep in the baskets.
Involve Your Students
In kindergarten, getting messy is part of learning. My kids love to paint, cut, and glue. Some days, my room likes like a tornado hit! Just remember if they made the mess, they can help clean the mess. Watch the clock, and allow time for the students to help you clean up after activities. Take the opportunity to teach your kids where everything goes. My kids learn my color coded bin system pretty quickly, and they are great little helpers.
Batch Lesson Plans
I saved the best tip for last. Try batching lesson plans by planning out everything for the month. I bundled all of my materials into monthly zip bundles so that have everything I need in one file. You can find my Monthly Bundles in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store. I prefer to print off things in packets or journals when possible to eliminate the need to make daily copies. For example, I use my Math and Writing Journals to complete a page a day, and I send them home at the end of the month.
Classroom organization may seem intimidating at first, but it’s well worth it to take the time to create a well-organized, functional space. I hope you found these classroom organization ideas for kindergarten helpful! What are your favorite organizational tips? Comment below…
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