Classroom Management Series: Part 6 {Organizing Your Classroom}

Sooooo, this is late...again. I apologize. This has been a crazy first week back to school! I was so exhausted Thursday night after meet the teacher and then last night I fell asleep at 8:00!

Today, I wanted to take the opportunity to share with you some of my favorite classroom organization tips to help you in your classroom. These are all things that have saved my sanity or hopefully will this school year.

I saw this idea last year from Teaching with TLA and I immediately knew that this was going to solve my pencil problem. YOU KNOW what I'm talking about. Somehow, all of the pencils seem to magically disappear. I was going through pencils like crazy!! I have never found a better solution to this problem until I found this!

Each student is assigned a number at the beginning of the year. Every student uses their number for their Chromebooks, their cubbies, their headphones, etc. Anyway, I gave each student two pencils, a whiteboard marker, and eraser and labeled each with their personal numbers. They were tasked with keeping their pencil for the whole month without losing it. They must have their two pencils sharpened first thing in the morning as part of their morning routine. If one breaks, they have another one. I do also sharpen some extras and keep them at the back of the room, JUST IN CASE. But this worked amazing! No pencils were lost and students treated them like treasures! No erasers were bitten off. The points were handled with care. Seriously. I cannot tell you how happy this little chart made my heart...Definitely doing it again this year. If you have a pencil problem...You NEED to do this. These charts are available for purchase on Amazon HERE

I read a blog post many years ago by First Grader, At Last and it changed my life. I hated the whole move your clip around the chart and every kid has a different job. Honestly, I always forgot to change all the kids jobs and I just couldn't keep up with all that mess. This is literally the EASIEST thing ever! At the beginning of the year, I put all the girls and all the boys names on two separate flippable rings. The same boy and girl stay the helpers for one week. I let them do ALL the jobs! They take the attendance, they wipe the tables, they take turns leading the line and holding the door, anything you can think of! Here is an example because I never take a picture of mine. Save yourself the trouble...DO THIS. You will not regret it.

A couple of years ago, I found these AWESOME metal caddies at Really Good Stuff. They are a little pricey, but I used my back to school supply money to purchase them. They are durable and there is so much space for STUFF! I love the fact that it has the space for whiteboards or workbooks underneath. If only they came in NEON colors! 

I am implementing the book return bin this year after many years of frustration that students simply CANNOT put books back in the correct place even though EVERY bin and book has a matching label. SIGH. I am hoping this will solve all of my problems. My plan is to assign one afternoon car rider the task of returning the books for the next day.

{Photo Credit: The Creative Apple} I of course forgot to take a picture of my book return

For the last five years or so, I have graded papers and filed them into a bin like this. 

I use hanging file folders with students names for the inside. I purchased pretty neon ones this year. Once I grade an assignment, I put them in the kids folders. On Friday, I staple all of the students' work and pass it back for them to take home. Sometimes it ends up being every other Friday. Wooops.

I don't even think I really even need to explain this because it's like such a thing now. But, if you don't have one, you need one. I store every thing in this bad boy.

Mine looks almost just like this, except that it's black. My drawers are also all the same size. But, you get the picture. 

I have been doing this now for a really long time and it is one of the best things I have done as an educator. This year, we have a camping theme, so we have a CAMP binder. It is basically a parent communication binder. All important information goes home in the binder. We send our schedule, newsletter, class list, important papers, homework, and much more home in this binder. Students keep it all year long. It's amazing. I have parents say every year how much they love it! 

You can actually purchase my Themed Binder sets on TPT. There are many different ones included in each set. Just click on each image below! 

This will change your life. I swear. 

Drop me and comment with your favorite organization trick.


  1. Thanks for the suggestions! I use something called FRIEND OF PENCILS that's worked well, but I pinned your method for future use! It's always good to have a bag of tricks. Love those caddies. Have a wonderful year! I start back Monday.
    Laughter and Consistency

  2. your pencil idea is wonderful. as is your camp binder, will give both a try Thanks.

  3. Hi!
    I'm not sure what the best way is to contact you. I'm hoping to get a copy of "Daily News: Teacher gone missing" page for upper grades but the link in your old post seems to be broken. I've tried to reach you on TPT and left a comment on that old post -- is there any way I can get a copy of this page emailed to me? Or purchased on TPT? Please advise -- thank you!


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