You are in the right place if you are looking for 10 organization hacks to use in your elementary classroom to save you time, keep you organized and help make your students more independent!
As a teacher, the one resource that we can never get enough of is TIME!
Being organized is one of the best ways that you can get ahead of the game and STAY ahead!
I'm sure you are thinking “yeah, yeah, I've heard this before”…. and you're right! There are SO many wonderful posts out there on how to organize your entire classroom or setting up an entire system for students supplies.
This is not one of those posts.
This post is my top 10 best tips (and quick) organization tips that will help you get and keep your Elementary classroom organized!
Let's get started!
My Top 10 Organization Tips That You May Not Have Thought Of…
Tip #1 Mark Your New Markers
Label new sharpies/pens with a sticker so you know what is fresh and sharp and what is dull.
Tip #2 Classroom Number Labels
Buy extra calendar numbers to help you label/number things in your classroom (labeling everything with a student number rather than a name so you don’t have to change it every year and it also saves a lot of time when you get a new student in the middle of the year).
Tip #3 Classroom Inventory
Do an inventory of your classroom (journals, folders, crayons, etc) so you don’t over-buy during the back to school shopping rush.
Tip #4 Classroom Library
Clearly label the books in your classroom library so that students can help you return books to the right place
Read more about how you can organize your classroom library (along with some free labels) HERE.
Tip #5: Back Up Mentor Texts
Keep a box of your favorite mentor texts at the front of the room for those extra 5-10 minutes, if you frontload them at the beginning of the year, you can reference them during mini lessons for the rest of the year.
I also do this for my holiday books. I change out my box of “back up” mentor texts about once a month and after the first month of school they usually consist of fun, holiday themed books!
You can read more about The Secret to using Mentor Texts in Elementary here!
Tip #6: System for Extra Supplies
Invest in a solid system for holding extra supplies, whether it be clear plastic drawers, hanging file folders or paper trays.
Make sure everything has a “home” before the school year begins so you can easily put it away during the year to avoid clutter.
Having solid organization systems before school starts can save you a lot of headaches later on in the school year!
Tip #7: Cash on Hand
Make sure you add a few dollar bills to your desk for those after school vending machine cravings…OR… stock up on your favorite snacks and drinks!
I try to keep a stack of (healthier) snacks in my teacher desk for when those cravings hit! Flavored drink pouches for my water are also a must!
Tip #8: Extra Supply Boxes
Have extra student supply boxes ready for students who do not have their supplies on the first day of school.
This tip is not only helpful during the first week of school, but all year long. Very rarely do you get a new student mid-year who brought all of their supplies with them!
I usually have an extra bag of supplies ready to go for a new student so I'm not spending time trying to find things that they need.
Tip #9: Clean Out Your Emails
Spend some time clean up/clean out your inbox, create year-specific folders to keep your emails organized (ex: 2021-2022).
Again, having a good, organized system of folders now will save you headaches later when you are trying to find emails.
Tip #10: Pre-Fill Names for Positive Notes
Once you get your class list, pre-write names on positive notes home. Write a few notes each month and by the end of the year, you will have written at least one positive note to each student.