Saturday, August 31, 2013

Simple Ideas for Your Classroom

Well, I'm done with week three of school and I've already rearranged about five times. It's amazing how things that you think will work don't end up working when there are kids in the classroom.

I moved my library around so one of the bookshelves is facing in.

After I moved the bookshelf,  I noticed that I could use the ends to display my anchor charts.

I used 2 Command hooks. I should own stock in these because I buy so many of them but they are so useful in the classroom. I also love the poster hanging strips. Anyway, I put my anchor charts on rings on the two corners and I now have a place to hang them. By the way, we are not working on opinion. That's just the top chart that I had available. I have several of them together on the rings so I can flip through what I need.

Another problem that I was having was displaying these huge high frequency word cards that come with our new reading series. I made some little ones for my word wall that I also have up but it's hard for my kiddos to see them across the room. I wanted to use these big cards because they are so easy to see but they don't fit in my pocket charts. So I took hot glued some clothespins on the wood strips between my bulletin boards. Now they are easy to change out and easy for the kids to see. 

Another thing that I am loving is this magnetic strip from The Container Store.
Stainless Steel Skinny Strips

It's adhesive on the back so I attached it to the wood strip near my teacher table. I am using it to hold all the important teacher papers that I need often like the bus duty schedule and report cards dates. It's also a great place to hang photos of my adorable nephew. The little magnets are very powerful and hold great.

A few other neat things that I got from The Container Store are these Post-It pockets, display frames, sticky strip, and a dry erase message center. I'll show how I am using these soon.

I have this locking cabinet behind my reading table. It's a great place for storage but I wanted to use the front of it for something. I decided to hot glue these large clothespins from Michaels to display the objectives for my reading groups and important things that I want them to remember. 

I am obsessed with these drawers from Target. I love how big they are and how much they can hold. I am using them for my reading groups and other things that I use quite often. I have a daily bin for each day but I usually copy more morning sheets than I need for the week. I put the extras in the drawer for the next week. 

Right now, I only have 3 reading groups. I've never had less than 4 so I'm going to see if this will work. I have that extra drawer up there just in case I need another group drawer.

What's your simplest tip for classroom organization? I would love to read what simple ideas you have come up with.

I hope you have a fabulous long weekend! I am so excited to watch my Tennessee Vols play today and spend tomorrow with my adorable nephew.

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  1. How are you keeping up with all the Teacher Pay Teacher laminated I can's and objectives - along with ALL the cute things I have bought???

    1. Hi! Do you mean the things that I have made? I have a post about it.

      We actually don't have to post our CC standards anymore so I don't have a bulletin board for that. I will be using the clothespins on the cabinet for our reading group objectives.

  2. Hi Courtney,

    I LOVE your library! It looks so bright and inviting. I start school on Tuesday. I have just set up my new classroom. I wonder if I will jig things around too? It seems so perfect to me without kids! lol

    How do those magnetic strips work for things like pictures? They are cool!

    :) Shelley

    The Perks of Teaching Primary

    1. Thanks so much! Yes, they do. Those little magnets are really powerful.

  3. These are such great ideas! I love your book shelves and the anchor chart display. I can totally do that in my room. Why didn't I think of that? :) That is such a great use of space. Thanks for all the great pictures!
    Sarah's First Grade Snippets

  4. Lots of great ideas!!! I need to go to the container store!! Although, I'm so OCD that it would completely break the bank for me!!!!! :O)

    Collaboration Cuties

  5. Great ideas! I really like those oversized clothes pins. I need to get me some of those!
    Conversations in Literacy

  6. SOOO...I am taking a mental snapshot of all your ideas-love your anchor chart/paper idea-how do you flip through the pages though? Or, do you take the whole tablet of paper off and turn to the back to see the following page?

    1. Hi! The tablet is actually just anchor charts that I have made that are hole punched in the top. I usually only display one at a time so I will just flip through them to find the right one.

  7. I love how you used unconventional display spaces for the words and anchor charts--what a smart use of space!! Thanks for this Courtney, I am always, always looking for ways to utilize my space better. :)

  8. Courtney,
    You have such great ideas, thank you for sharing. What are the green squares beside your word wall? I cannot see what they say. Is there a container store in Knoxville ?
    Thank you!

    1. Those are my reading groups. I used bright green plates to display each group with the kids' names on them. I was going to show a picture of that board but it was really blurry. I hope to blog about that soon. No, we don't have a Container Store. There is a new one in Nashville though.

  9. Courtney- I love your word wall letters ;) Your library looks so cute! Very colorful and welcoming...and organized!!

    The Learning Tree

  10. Just found the last 4 of those giant clothespins at Michaels! Can't wait to hot glue them to my closet doors. Thanks so much for the tip!

  11. I'm still rearranging things myself

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