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Teacher Week: Now Teach! Organizing for Instruction

Today we are taking a look at organizing for instruction, so that you can "now teach!"  We hope you find some useful tips in this post and from our fellow bloggers who have linked up.   Don't forget to check back with us each day of Teacher Week.

New crates to help me stay organized. I always get behind on filing and so I created a bin where I can "hide" everything that needs to be filed. 

These bins hold everything for my parent volunteers. Sometimes I'm with reading groups when my parent volunteers come in, so I created these bins.  The parents can come in and just grab whatever is in the bin and begin working (I always leave a note inside and make sure to say hello to them). You can read more about it *here*.

{These} crate seats are PERFECT to store white boards, markers, or anything you need for guided reading.  And... it's just right under their bums, so you won't waste any time!


Hi, Erica Bohrer here from Erica's Ed-Ventures (formerly know as  Erica Bohrer's First Grade) to share some organizational tips to help you optimize your teaching time!
 These labels come in my Back to School Organizational Forms and More Packet.  You can also simply write the numbers inside the books.
These mailboxes are made out of two spray painted white shoe organizers from Target.  I push them together to save space.  I hot glue the number labels to the mailboxes and "try" and use them year to year .  A few numbers got peeled off last year... kids love to peel things!  This year, I am going to print the calendar labels from my birthday board pack at a reduced size and use them for the labels.  I also have a just number and letter labels decor pack  here.
 I use these helping hand labels year after year.  The students don't touch the circles and they are laminated, so they stay in good condition.  If you are interested, these are available in my Classroom Jobs packet.

 I label everything!   I like to label and I like to organize things.  My home does not look like this, well... except for my shoe collection!   I love that I can ask a student to get me a clothespin and he/she knows which bin to bring me.  You know that moment when you don't have one hand free and your clothespin just broke as you are already on top of a desk?  You have totally been there right?  So instead have having to get down and grab one, the students help me out because they know where they are.  The students love to help, this might be a first grade thing, and they love the independence the room fosters.  If they need a supply, they know where to grab it.
Most students need to MOVE.   They cannot stay sitting at a desk.  I like to incorporate learning and movement.   Hence, the Read/Write the Room Center.   When your room is already print rich and everything is labeled, it is easy for the students to find words and it is an easy center for you to set up. Plus, the students are never done!  If a student tells me he/she is done, I tell him/her that there are probably 800 words in this room, did you get all them?  OF COURSE NOT - go back and keep writing.   Here is a FREE Read/Write the Room Center:

 Keep like things in the same area.  Don't go running all over your room looking for something and waste valuable prep time or valuable teaching time.  Keep all math stuff in a math area, all reading materials by the reading area, science stuff in a science bin or get the point.  It is so much easier to search one area.   Above is an example of my math closet.  The white boxes above store math centers and their recording sheets.  I just pull out a box and put the contents into a center basket when I want to use it.  I also keep an original sheet to duplicate at the bottom of the box.  Before I put the center back away, I make sure I make more copies.  The white boxes are called "Printer's Boxes" and our district uses them to send us our duplicating.  I always recycle mine and use them for storage.  I hide them in the closet because they don't look as neat as plastic bins.
These large plastic bins were purchased at Wal-mart and I have one for every month we are in school.  Inside, I store things that I only use specifically in that month: read alouds, centers, project samples, etc.  I use large zip storage bags to store as much as I can.  I like clear bags as opposed to manila envelopes because I can easily see is inside and they just fit letter sized paper.

I hope these tips help you optimize your teaching time!

It's your turn to show us your stuff! Post some organizational ideas and link up below! Don't forget to snag this button:


  1. I love how you leave a note in your bins for the parents if you are not able to greet them.

    Tacky the Teacher

  2. I love the graphic you have at the top of this page I would love to use it for teacher appreciation week to send home with students. Is this something you can share?