The thing about summer for me is that I have time to think of all the ways that I can better organize my classroom for the next school year. I have a feeling that this might stem from the fact that when I was in school, my mom always took my brother and I on a “back to school” trip to pick out our new school clothes and one new organizational item. One year, it was a trapper keeper. Then, it was a daily planner. And one year, it was gel pens or a nice L.L. Bean Backpack. So every year, right around this time, I get the urge to find new organizational tools for my classroom space.
Well…my mission has been a success! I have ordered each of these things and can’t wait to start to use them in the fall.
Here’s a look at the haul from this year:
I have a homemade one of these on the board behind my desk, but this is much more streamlined. I love how it’s color-coded, clean and can easily be moved around without a fuss. As with all of you, I have too many hats to wear to not have an organizational file system. This will be able to store my team leader notes, classwork, choral music, arts integration plans and more. And at under $14, this was a steal!
I don’t know about you, but I often need a bunch of my files to take home with me. As much as I try not to take work home, sometimes it’s inevitable. This organizer can house the files that will usually be stored in my hanging mobile organizer. Easy to put in, easy to organized, easy to transport. No more lost items for me! At $21, this was a little pricey, but I was willing to pay a little more for the convenience.
This neat little invention folds up into a 14 x 11 folder, but when it is spread out, it covers the entire desk. It’s like a desktop in a folder! I was amazed at how much you can keep in this workstation – from files to pens to scissors to post-its. I am constantly on the go and have a lot of “I wish I had my….” moments. This looks to be the perfect solution to that conundrum. We’ll see how it holds up with lots of travel. But for only $18, I can afford to try it out.
This little magnetic cup just might make me a saner teacher! For only 12 bucks, I now have a place for my chalk, pencils, green tickets (positive rewards for students), post its and even my upcoming board manipulatives for my back-to-back classes. All hanging right there on my chalkboard. It doesn’t take up a lot of valuable board space and keeps me from running all over the classroom. I almost want to run to my classroom now to hang it up!
I’ve got to say that I’m a 3M girl all the way. I love post it notes, pop-up tabs, scotch tape and even their Command Hooks (no mess!). This tray is designed to house all of it in one neat, deep drawer that expands to fit whatever desk I may have. We are in the middle of a school renovation and I will be receiving a new desk. Thankfully, this is designed to fit whatever size drawer(s) my new desk may have. Plus, I’ll no longer have to look for rubber bands or a random paper clip again! This is definitely my most expensive by at $32, but I think the time that it will save me during the day looking for what I need will be worth it.
So there you have it – my organization happy list.
Have you used any of these products yourself? Have any that you’d like to share? Let us know about it! Happy Back to School Shopping (even if it is a little early)!
Susan Riley is the founder and President of EducationCloset.com. She focuses on teacher professional development in arts integration, Common Core State Standards, 21st century learning skills, and technology. She is also a published author and frequent presenter at national conferences on Arts Integration and Arts and the Common Core.
Susan holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education from the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ and a Master of Science in Education Administration from McDaniel College in Westminster, MD. She lives in Westminster, MD with her husband and daughter.