Organization Ideas That Will Save You Time!

I am linking up with Miss Kindergarten to share some classroom organization tips.  Staying organized is NOT natural for me.  I have to work at it... a lot.  My biggest issue is not having a specific place for certain things, so my goal has been to find more ways to help me stay organized.

1. I purchased a Thirty-One bag a couple of years ago and it's helped me stay organized from school to home.  There is a file organizer in my bag so that my papers stay where they need to be.  If I print masters at home, I can place them right into my "To Copy" file and have them ready to go when I get to school.  I can also keep my highlighters, markers, pens and pencils in the seven pockets so I can plan or grade wherever I am.  It's a life saver!

2.  Teacher Toolbox
My teacher toolbox has been a great addition to my classroom!  I already took it in to school  and filled it up. It's so nice knowing where everything is the moment I need something. No more running all over the room looking for paper clips or digging around in my desk.

3. To Do Drawers
These are another great idea I saw many teachers creating.  The idea behind them is a similar  to my Thirty-One bag, except it's meant to be at school.  I'm looking forward to using this one!

4. This is an idea I am reworking currently.  At this moment I put all of my copies for the week in containers that look like this:

I like this system, but it's not as tidy as I would like.  So I am switching over to this idea:
I am hoping to get these drawers made before school starts. 

5. Box Tops Container
When my kids would bring in their Box Tops, I would end up placing them anywhere near the spot when they were handed to me. This resulted in me losing a bunch.  Now that I have this container in class, the kids walk through the door and straight to the container!  They are also excited about bringing them in because they wanted to put them in here: 

Looking for more organization ideas?  Check out all the ideas over at Miss Kindergarten's link up!

Update 8/11/13: 
I received tons of requests for the weekly bins that match my owl theme and here they are:
If you are interested in this set, you can view the file by clicking on the picture below.  If you already purchased my Owl Be Organized set, make sure to head over to my store and pick up the update for free! 

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To Do Drawers - Owl Themed

One of my goals for this year is to stay organized.  I notice that I quickly pile papers everywhere on my desk, and because I don't feel like sorting through them, I end up pilling them up in different places.  If they go right into this box, I should be able to avoid this problem.

So I made my paper storage bin or "To Do Drawers" this week.

You can grab a copy of my labels HERE

A few weeks ago I made my teacher toolbox and I wanted my drawers to match.  Looks like they do!  
My toolbox is one of my all time favorite items in my classroom! I used to dig through my desk to find all these odds and ends, and now they are all in one place and LABELED! I find things quick!  I've made two toolboxes so that things are always within reach.  This is especially great when I have a helper in my classroom.  They move the toolbox to an area nearby and know where everything is right away.

I've been thanked multiple times by volunteers and subs, for having things so organized.  These toolboxes and bins are life savers on a daily basis.

That is what I've been working on.  How about you? Check out everyone's projects over at Monday Made It.

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Magnetic Felt Flowers

I was stumbling around on Instragram and I ran into the cutest idea for magnetic felt flowers from Chic Classroom Style!  I can already imagine these on my easel and whiteboard holding up some charts!
I made the pink ones, but the blue and white ones are in the works.  I love that I can make these match the colors in my room.
Want to make some for your classroom?  Click on the video below and I will show you exactly how I made mine.

So now check out everyone's projects over at Monday Made It - Early Edition!


10 Things I've Learned From Teaching

Miss Kindergarten is throwing a fun linky where we can share some of the things we've learned from teaching :)  Of course, I had to link up!

1. Kids love to share what happens at home.  Doesn't matter how weird or embarrassing the information is.  You will know what is going on at home all the time.

2. Children love and appreciate bright, beautiful classrooms, but they will somehow manage to run into, knock over, or step on your classroom decor items that you spent hours making.  Just smile and realize it can be replaced or remade.

3. Keeping extra copies around is a life saver.  There are those children that can't handle not having a new paper if they make a mistake. I prefer teaching them that it's not a big deal, but for a few children, it IS the end of the world!

4. Pre-read read alouds BEFORE you actually read them to the class.  Stumbling over every other word is not comfortable with 50 eyes staring at you.

5. A squirmy walk + a smushy face = Real bathroom emergency.

6.  No matter what you do, some kids will always talk over you while you are teaching.  And's always just as annoying.

7. Administration never fails to do a walk thru on the one day you decide to show a movie or have a classroom party.  NEVER...

8.  The kids think we live at school.  Sometimes I threaten to keep them there all day until they finish their work and they actually believe me :)

9.  Somehow they can't remember that "ea" says "e" but they memorize every single article of clothes you wear to school and point out that you finally bought a new outfit.

10.  There is always one child in class that loves you so much that they begin to dress like you, cut their hair like you, and wishes they worse glasses, just like their teacher :)  

Bonus: Teaching is the best job in the world and no matter how many obstacles we run into, it's always worth it!

Now go and link up with Miss Kindergarten to share your 10 things you have learned from teaching!

New Teacher Advice Linky

It's hard to believe that my first year teaching was over six years ago!  I found this linky today for us to share our advice with brand new teachers.
1. You want to have plans everyday for every subject, but you have to remember that things will not always work out the way you planned.  No time for that writing project today?  No worries, it can be done tomorrow or moved to a different time of the day.

2.  It's hard to stay out of the drama.  Everyone seems to get sucked into it.  When you see it, just head the other way.  You don't need to be wrapped up in that.

3. Make extra copies because you never know when a new student will show up, or when you will need to model something more than once, or if you know you have that one child that has to have a new paper or he will melt down because he made a hole on his assignment with his eraser.  (Happened to me this year for the first time.)  It's also good to keep a copy of everything you do for your files.  I don't know how many times I threw out, or destroyed, an original copy and didn't have that master to make copies for the next year.

4. It's easy to get stuck in our ways.  Don't let it happen to you!  Try new things.  Share ideas and collaborate with colleagues.  So many times I saw someone do something that I NEVER thought would work for me just to find that it worked marvelously with my kids.

5. Reflect daily. Try taking pictures and recording thoughts of the day.  Write how a lesson went on the back of a lesson plan.  The kids going kind of crazy, you feeling really tired, or really stressed?  Write it down.  After a few years you will start seeing patterns and it will help you get prepared before that crazy, tired, or stressful part of the year comes around.

Oh and one last thing...try to leave on time!  It's so hard to do but you must try to do it. My first year, I often stayed till 7pm and sometimes up till 11pm.  All that did was make me tired for the next day.  A tired teacher = a crabby unfocussed teacher.  No fun!   You need to rest, relax and enjoy your life too.

Want to read more teacher advice? Stop by Fabulously First and find out what other teachers are saying!

Framed Wall Bulletin Board

For my first made it:

I've received many questions and emails about the following bulletin board:
The frames were created with a Cricut machine and it took several hours to design them in the correct proportions, cut them, and layer them before they were placed on the wall.  To be honest if I had to remake them, I wouldn't make them with my Cricut again because it took tons of time, there was a ton of wear on my machine, cutting matt, and blade.  So when I received requests asking for sets of frames, I was unable to do so.  Then my genius husband enters the picture.  I was talking with him about this dilemma and he said: "Is there a way you can make some frames to print that would have a similar effect?" and the answer was "YES!"

So here is the file anyone can use to create a similar bulletin board:
I love having this bulletin board on display.  It makes our classroom feel like a home and it helps build classroom community.  It feels like we have a wall of family photos :)

I am going to be giving away a copy to the first 3 people that comment with their email address :) 

Onto my second (kind of) made it:
I was searching for clock clipart and I ran into a picture of this cute clock.  I clicked on the link and it led me to an ebay store where you can get a personalized clock for your classroom!  It matches my room and my theme, so it was perfect.  Here is the link incase you want to check it out!

Now to start working on my made it for next week! I'm excited because it's something I've been wanting to make for a long time. 

So now make sure to link up with Tara at 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It!
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