Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Organizing for Next Year


First up, when it comes to my classroom and decorating, it is an absolute passion of mine.  But along with that comes the classroom clean out.  I am talking every single piece of paper and every single manipulative gets MAN-HANDLED {I have man hands} during my Summer.  This is because during the school year I flip a switch of some sort and am UNABLE to put ASingleThing back where it belongs apparently.  #truestory

I began by bringing home 4 HUGE boxes filled with stuffy mcstufferson lessons of yesteryear.  I whittled those 4 boxes down to one and a half.  That felt good.  But now I have a big mess of lessons that need refiling.  But I don't like files.  I never put them back.  So I am now determined to find a system that will work for me.

 I have tried binders, file cabinets, piles, drawers....NONE of them worked for me.  The closest I come to staying on top of things is with my math and literacy centers.  This is my inspiration for the change. If I can put the centers back correctly then I need to make that system continue over to the paper side of things.  Thank goodness for computer files.  I can print from my computer and not have to worry about saving every paper.  Free At Last.

 My 2014 school year room plan is about streamlining and organizing by what works for me. Needless to say the family along with hubs and nana are venturing out to IKEA tomorrow.  It is all we can talk about.  The closest one to us is about an hour away.  We have pit stops planned for before and after.  It will be a day to remember.  Let's hope for good reasons.

So here's what I have so far.   Yes I am aware that this has NOTHING to do with organizing my lessons.  This is exactly the issue friends.  Case Closed. 

...moving on

I posted to Blog Hoppin yesterday and shared a bit about phonological awareness.  I also shared a freebie there too.

This Summer I have enjoyed all the interactions we have had on Facebook so I want to share this freebie there too!  Rachel from The Tattooed Teacher was so sweet and made my facebook freebie app work now! Once you go to my facebook page click the freebie button!

http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Roll-and-Write-11-Phonological-Awareness-Games-1301398?utm_campaign=TransactionalEmails&utm_source=sendgrid&utm_medium=email

 In other news, I will not be making the Vegas Trip.  I was hoping to go this year.  I can't really be sad though because we have our family vacation the exact same week.  We make an annual trip to South Padre Island.  It might just be my absolute favorite week of the year. 

2003

2013

I will be sure to share my finds from IKEA tomorrow!  What is your favorite way to organize?? 

47 comments:

  1. Awww, I am so sad that you aren't going to Vegas... I was really looking forward to meeting you!! Hope you have a great trip and can't wait to see what you get at IKEA!

    Bobbi
    Bitty Bilinguals

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    1. Aw thank you Bobbi <3 Maybe we can find each other at a conference soon!

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    1. Here's the link http://www.reallygoodstuff.com/durable-book-and-binder-holders/p/160103/

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  3. I am an organized person at home- hate clutter, etc. I just can't seem to stay on top of it at school AT ALL! I've gotten rid of a lot of old files & stuff in my cabinets. I dream of a classroom where everything has a place and a place for everything. I've seen pics of other teacher's room and their counters are clear! How does that happen???? Have fun at IKEA- I'm planning a trip there myself this summer. Be sure to share- there might be stuff you buy that I will decide I NEED. Carol

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    1. Bahahahaha I love it! I am the same!

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    2. CarolP. . . There is NO WAY those teachers counters are clear all the time. . . if they are like me, they swipe everything into a basket, snap the picture, then throw it all back out!!!

      Reagan, I LOVE your words on organization.
      They are my struggle exactly. I love the tubs you have, can't wait to see what you do with them. Good luck at IKEA!!!

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  4. I am the exact same way, but by the time that summer rolls around, I find I am really not interested in being in my classroom! That being said, I am a binder girl. I have a binder for each month and tabs for each week. I also have monthly tubs were I put the books etc.. that I want to use for that month. On the front of the tub I also have what skills are in there, so if I need a skill for another month, I can find it easily (does that make sense?) Enjoy your vacation! It looks like a lot of fun!
    Hilary
    Second Grade is Out of This World!

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    1. Yes I am torn between theme, skill, and type of resource when it comes to how to organize!

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  5. I am as obsessed with organizing as you are!!! I tried using a file cabinet this year, but HATED it! I am making the transition to binders which I am loving so far, but we'll see how long that will last! I have high hopes, though! I also enjoy using sterilite bins. I have a bunch labeled "math unit 1," "math unit 2," etc. In the bin, there is a binder of lessons for that unit, as well as all of the manipulatives, game boards, and things that are needed to teach that unit. In theory, I could teach my whole lesson out of that bin!

    Looking forward to hearing what you get at Ikea!
    Gina
    Miss Peluso's Kindergarten

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  6. Here in France, we call Ikea "the swedish guy" to avoid naming the brand (it really doesn't need anymore advertising...). I really think they should have a huge "teacher corner". So yes, I will go to the "swedish guy" this summer too and buy a bunch of clear boxes to organize my classroom. Different country, same issues, same solutions.

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    1. Love it! I will tell the swedish guy you said hello!

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  7. I struggle with the same problems, putting things back. I too have tried the organizational things you have tried. I am going to try something new, but I want to see what you get at IKea. We don't have an Ikea near (four hours) but maybe I can find something that will work. I am excited to see what you get.

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  8. I actually planned a "vacation" to IKEA and Lakeshore Learning Store (Orlando) last summer. I was so excited and even took pictures. The next day we went to SeaWorld because teachers get in free. It was a fun mini-vacation! Next time, I want to go to The Container Store. :) Lucille in Florida

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    1. Hilarious that your vacation centered around being a teacher! I am afraid of what will happen if I go to a container store!!!

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  9. I'm interested in the tubs too! I've been looking for long and thin tubs but also deep. Love the colors!

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  10. I have to say so far I am loving using binders for worksheets and miscellaneous papers for each unit. As far as centers and games go I have rectangular plastic tubs labeled with each unit in a rolling wardrobe. It was a HUGE project to organize everything. (And to get everything to fit!) It is one of those projects that just makes you sigh with happiness when you look at it though- everything organized in one place.

    Most of the things in my classroom are from IKEA. Love those stack-able stools! We have them at my guided reading table, writing center, computers, etc. Love, love, love my teal rolling cart that I keep guided reading materials in. I actually have 3 white tables (the ones where the legs come apart) from there that are set up as a writing center. The kids and I both adore it.

    I think I'm going to splurge and get this for my room... http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/10251045/

    I'm planning on using it to hold weekly spelling words for my spelling groups. This year I passed out spelling sheets every Friday so it was on their desks the following Monday. Took-for-ever. I usually don't have more than 5 spelling groups so the other drawers can hold the copies for the following weeks. Games for spelling patterns could go in there....endless possibilities!

    I PROMISE I am not secretly an IKEA employee haha. I have just loved the additions their products have made to my room and teaching. :-)

    Enjoy your IKEA trip!!! :-)

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    1. That cabinet is adorable and such a steal!!! I just have TOO much furniture and they won't let us purge dang it! :)

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  11. I am just like you! I am super organized before the kids come, and then I can't seem to put a single thing back where it belongs. I have zero files in my filing cabinets....I've finally surrendered and realized that all of my files need to be electronic. If it can't be kept digitally on my computer, I just have to find a replacement haha! I'm thinking of trying binders this year but it seems like another thing to make a mess of to me. Have fun at Ikea! My Nana and I have been talking about going for a while! :)

    Tiffany
    KTeacherTiff

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  12. I have these red and blue tubs that I love from ikea and I went to get some for my son's nursery closet and they don't carry them anymore! They have them online but in green.... Womp Womp. Luckily I have all that I need for my classroom, but I wanted to organize some closets at home. I look forward to seeing what you got and how you plan to use it... I might have to go back and get it since the last time I left there I wasn't happy!

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  13. I'm so glad to hear that I am not the only teacher who is uber-organized before school starts and then can't keep up with it during the school year. I tried binders last year. They worked better than file folders, but I still didn't return everything to its place. Now I am just relying on digital files. I reorganized all of my files by standard, so now I can search a standard and have all files that I have purchased or created pop up. Have fun at IKEA! I am so glad to live close to an IKEA now (we used to be 4 hours away).
    The Traveling Teacher

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  14. Off to Ikea in the near future too :) But I am so thankful to live less than 10 minutes away. I did, however, have to drive 5 hours to hit a Hobby Lobby {OK, my family spent the day at Splash Lagoon & I headed off to Hobby Lobby...but we don't have that store here in Canada...and I just NEEDED that chevron bulletin board...}

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    1. I totally know what you mean. I will make it happen for decor purposes.

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  15. I also flip a switch and piles start to appear and the room is a mess! So with my sister's advice, I am almost finished scanning all of my paper copies into Google drive and having an online filing cabinet. Maybe you want to try that! =)

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  16. Where did you get your tubs? They would be great for Daily 5 book boxes
    Amy Lebakken
    clorrox@att.net

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  17. Oh the journey to ikea! One of my favorite places...I hope you plan on getting some in-n-out burgers while you're up there! I tried last time but it was PACKED. Have fun! Can't wait to see what you find!
    :) Jana

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    1. Yes my family acts like they are showing me support but it is all about the In-n-Out....

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  18. I am exactly the same way, Reagan! I left half my files piled on top of my cabinet so I could deal with them when I go back to work. I have stuff everywhere and I always have a plan for how I'm going to be more organized but it never happens. My teammate always says, "At least your creative." I hope your plan works for you. Have fun at Ikea! I'm a bit jealous but I can't wait to see what you get.

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    1. Can't wati! I have boxes of papers to organize!!!! Bleh!

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  19. I am so relieved that there are other teachers with the same organizational challenges as me!!! I want to get on top of it too! Thanks to everyone for the suggestions and I will be hitting IKEA too!

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    1. I felt the same relief! Okay, IKEA IT IS!

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  20. Glad we all have the same problem! Anyone file by CCSS? Toying with that idea, but am afraid things will just get buried. Stick with IKEA. Container Store is cool, but very expensive!

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    1. I am thinking of by skill this year but I am so scared of missing stuff that is themey. Pumpkins will have to happen in February I guess....HA!

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  21. I usually end up shoving everything in a bucket as the year goes on...it's affectionately known as the "bucket of fun" by my team! Oh, we can't find something? It's probably in Karen's bucket of fun! Haha!
    On a separate note, are you attending CAMT this year?

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  22. I, too, have those filing dilemmas. I thought I was the only one! Every year I take home a huge box load of papers that need to be filed because they never made it back to the file cabinet. I never know what to file new papers under, either. When kids, prep, staff meetings, and countless other tasks are calling, who has time to put papers back in the file cabinet? I can't wait to see what you will do. Thanks!

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  23. I like to be organized and have no problem throwing away things I no longer use ("when in doubt throw it out!"). I have a tiny classroom and all clutter and extra furniture must go. However, I am the worst paper filer! I'm glad to see there are so many others with the same problem.
    I keep my files in binders, organized by month/theme. I'm normally really good about putting away files at the beginning of the year-- for at least the first two weeks. Then the pile starts to happen. All of my team mates know where to look if they need a copy of something… in the pile. I make it a goal to re-file my copies before I leave for Christmas break and before summer. I always put it off and it's one of the last things I do before leaving, but I make sure it's to do it.
    I hope you find a system that works for you. I've resigned myself to the fact that this is my system. I don't really have a mess every where, just one neat pile. It's not the greatest, but it works.

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  24. Hi Reagan!
    I was so happy to read this! I am the same way during the school year...unable to put papers back in their files! I know it's because we are so limited on time and have to move to the next thing! Please tell me,
    where did you find the colorful book boxes (organizing bins) in the picture? I have some I found years ago at Target $1 spot and can't find them anymore. Thank you! Cindy

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    1. If you don't mind white and don't want to pay a lot. I just bought ice bins from Walmart, brand is Mainstay for $1.88 each!

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  26. I am a primary teacher in Scotland and I have only been teaching fully qualified for a year... It terrifies me to think how much more clutter I will accumulate over the next couple of years... My class is already full! Thanks for sharing your ideas and plans for organisation!

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  27. I love your blog! I so wish I lived near an Ikea! I may have to make a road trip to Atlanta!

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  28. I totally hear you on during the year never putting anything back where it belongs! I too am the same and every school year I drag my mother into my classroom to help me with reorganizing for the next year. For some reason getting my hands back on everything makes me feel so much better about organizing and reminding myself what I have. Just a TeacherWeirdo here!

    Jenn

    Teach.Love.Autism

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  29. Love the game! These will be perfect for summer school and the beginning of the year!

    Kristin
    Teaching In A Nutshell

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  31. I love your colors for you room! :) I'm hoping sometime this summer there's a chance similar to the blogger meet up you put together last year for our area in Texas! I wasn't blogging or even teaching then, but now I'm real excited to meet everyone especially if it's in Gruene again, that's right down the road from me! Love your stuff :) Hope you had a great vacation!!!

    Cassie
    Mrs. Thomas's Class

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