I received a few messages after posting regaring the containers I used for organization, so I thought I'd take a minute to break it all down in case anyone else is curious, too!
Storage containers, Sterilite drawers, and clear shoe organizers!!! Affordable and efficient!!!
I absolutely love the clear shoe organizer (I found mine at Wal Mart for right around $7) for catching lots of odds and ends that would typically end up in a drawer and eventually find themselves at the bottom of said drawer leaving me baffled and beyond frustrated. The visual piece helps keep things organized and easy to find!!!
These are the two containers I primarily use for storing my materials. They're both the *perfect* size for the materials I need to store. And they're at a really reasonable price point, too.
These are both Sterilite containers and I got them from Wal Mart.
The 6.2 qt. is great for storing papers, games, manipulatives, and just pretty much anything you have hanging around in your classroom. It's super verstatile, too.
What I love about this size is that it can be used with the Mainstays brand Mini StorageTrays & Rectangular Mini Bins for cleaner organization (also from Wal Mart).
The 6.2 qt. is great for storing games, activities, and papers. I like to use these containers to store my skill based math games.
My Making Math Fun games & activites fit perfectly into each container. I like to place each unit into a different bin and store them. Then when I want my kids to play a specific game or complete a specific activity, I'll remove the remainder of the games/activities, place them in an extra box, and then take the container and fill it with the items necessary to complete the activity and place it on the math shelf. The latch-top lid is perfect for keeping everything contained.
Here's my Place Value & Base 10 Block skill based game container. I placed 3 different activities in this container that require the use of the oversize dice, expo marker, base 10 blocks, and additional counters (in the blue snap top container). I can easily place this in it's entirety on the math shelf and my kids have all the items they need to successfully complete the activities & play the games in one handy little container.
This container is such a handy size! And for classrooms with limited space, they become the perfect little workspaces that can go pretty much anywhere you allow your kids to work. They're great storage for teacher resources and materials as well.
I love that they can be carried around to work with students one-on-one, used to store small group materials, and perfect to grab for whole group as well. Everything can be contained in one small space and then put back inside the closet at the end of the day. My classrom may look like a hot mess during the day, but it always makes me feel like I'm starting my day on the right foot when it's not a disaster! Being able to just put everything back inside it's container and then hide it away until the next day is HUGE!
If you're anything like me, you love collecting seasonal items to use as counters/manipulatives for different math...or even reading!...activities. The problem for me is always finding a spot to store them all. When I'm working in classrooms, I always suggest to teachers to give kids choices when choosing the counters with which they work. Sometimes this small release of control helps give our kids the sense of autonomy they need to feel successful. It also helps to change things up and make things more exciting :) The problem with giving lots of options is the lack of space we have to store them. I found these Sterilite divided cases at Target and think they fit the bill perfectly!
As you can see, they come with two long trays and 2 divided trays of 3. I bought several of these containers and just mixed and matched the compartments to use as needed. I like using the trays of 3 for my counters and using the long trays inside of a different container to house my crayons, colored pencils, and skinny markers. I love the idea of keeping my counters in one space making it easy for kids to access. Actually, I have several of these that hold my counters, but you get the idea! It's easy for kids too choose from, easy for me to store, and I know I can always find everything in one spot!
These storage containers are great for guided reading, too!
I have one container I use specifically for my guided reading tools (kind of like my guided reading toolbox!)...
These 6.2 qt containers really do hold a lot! In my "toolkit", I keep whisper phones, pointers, reading strategy posters & sticks, boo boo tape, highlighter tape, reading comprehension before/during/after question rings, reading comprehension prompts, reading comprehension posters, elkonin boxes, ABC linking chart, and counters. I also keep a timer & DRA calculator inside, too.
Guided reading game containers are also the perfect storage solution! It would great to have a container for each small group you see. That way everything you need for that group is housed in one container and can be switched out quickly. We all know how precious our guided reading time is, so anything that helps with time management is a winner in my book!
The 2.7 qt. containers are perfect for storing manipulatives & anything else that's "small". I use these for math manipulatives, washi tape, glue sticks, dry erase markers, erasers, dice, etc. They stack up pretty well, too! I love a stackable container!
I *personally* think these containers are an excellent storage solution for any classroom. They're compatible to fit inside of most cabinet and shelving spaces, they stack, and they latch. Everything I want in a storage container without the bulk! And they're priced really affordably, too! Okay, so if they were more like $1 it would be ideal, but it's definitely better than some of the options without similar qualities.
There's nothing I love more than an organized space, even if it's only behind closed doors :)
OH! One more thing. If you're already shopping for next school year, or trying to find things to finish out the current one, Teachers Pay Teachers is hosting their sitewide Teacher Appreciation Sale today (5/9) and tomorrow (5/10). Everything in my store is 20% off and you can use the code THANKYOU17 to get an additional 10% off of your purchase at checkout.