It's true, my love for bins is intense. So is my love for organization. You might be thinking that I have one of those FABULOUSLY organized classrooms where boosk are never in the wrong genre section, all supplies are numbered and arranged carefully, and every bin has a colored, laminated label. Wrong. I DREAM of being one of those teachers. Literally: it would be a dream come true. I really try, but as a young teacher, I am most definitely still figuring out what works for me in my classroom. When I moved into my classroom last year, I inherited a TON of crap from its previous occupant. I am literally still sorting through it, a year and a half later. (You can imagine the recycling) Also, last year was so stressful that I'm lucky I filed or stored anything in a semi-coherent way. It's far from well organized, though.
In the past few weeks I've been struck with an overwhelming spring-cleaning bug. I am DETERMINED to get my room organized, including (and especailyl!!) the cabinets, files, and my desk. To get the ball rolling this weekend, I treated myself to a stack of new bins from IKEA and (drumroll) a LABEL MAKER!!!! (cut to me grinning uncontrollably and breaking into a silent cheer) You guys, I have wanted a label maker for about the past 10 years. (Yes, I was THAT KID.) I finally decided it was TIME. After telling several people about my exciting purchases, I have come to the following conclusion: Teachers GET this love. Non-teachers never will. For example: one of my fabulous non-teacher friends joined me for my IKEA adventure. Thrilled when I saw EXACTLY the right bins, I started grabbing a huge stack. She asked me what I was planning on using them for, and seemed confused about why I was buying them when I explained that I had no specific purpose. I tried explaining that I just NEEDED them, and that they would find an immediate use upon entering my room. And it's true! I've already used all but one, and I have at least 5 other uses in my head...time for another trip I guess!! I also started using my fancy schmancy label maker, labeling the binders I've made of literacy and math transparencies and originals. Pictures to come of my lovely shelves. :)
Another exciting moment today was that I got the go-ahead from Mister Principal to order some new book bins for the kiddos!! I use book bins for my Daily 3 instruction, and the kids keep their reading
folder, reading record book, and several Read to Self books in them. We started the year with these IKEA cardboard magazine files (-->), which worked well...for awhile. Then the destruction started. Even though MOST of the kids are really careful with them, it was only a matter of time before they all became a big torn mess. Packing tape is literally the only thing holding 80% of them together at this point!! I feel like a kid on Christmas Eve awaiting the arrivial of my FABULOUS new (and hopefully indestructable) book bins from Really Good Stuff:
So pretty!!! I can't wait to post a picture of them filled with books when they come!
Even though there is more work to do on the Spring Cleaning front, I definitely made a dent today. I figure that if my classroom is organized, not only will things be easier to find, but I will just feel that much less stressed out overall. And THAT my friends, is a good goal. :) And so, I do NOT regret that I spent 2 hours after school organizing my room when that time PROBABLY should have been spent grading papers and prepping lessons. Because this just is so. much. more. satisfying.
What do you do to keep your classroom organized? Any products/systems to recommend?