I had no classroom organization for primary grades when I got my own classroom. Making my room organized was one of my first goals when setting up my classroom, but I didn’t know where to start. I wanted to know where all of my materials where, since I was terrified of losing important documents. It was also important for me to know students could navigate our classroom easily and find what they needed. I did not want students constantly coming up asking me where things are! I have compiled a list of 10 things I wish I would have bought when I first entered my classroom.
1. Classroom Caddies
These caddies are essential if you are planning on having tables in your classroom. I use them in my flexible seating options, which you can learn more about here. They’re fantastic to teach students about communal classroom materials. How to properly respect and take care of supplies.
It makes it easier to do our classroom centers as well! No one is losing their pencil since they can pull one from the table’s caddy. I personally put crayons, scissors, and pencils in my caddies. You can also use them to organize center materials. Like flash cards, puzzles, and more. Great addition to a classroom. You can get a pack of six here.
2. Book Bins
Book bins have a wide variety of storage uses you can do with your students. You could put books in it of course. Put a center’s materials in one so students can grab it and go. I also use these as my students’ personal items storage. I don’t have desks, so students take their book bins to where they sit so they have everything they need.
I also use these for my guided reading library. It’s a great way for students to instantly identify their books when it’s guided reading time. You can get a pack of six here.
3. Rolling Storage Cart
I did not get one of these until my third year of teaching, and I was wondering where it had been all of my life. These rolling carts are 110% worth the investment if you want to have your materials organized. I had materials all over the room previous to buying this. Now students have a central hub for their colored pencils, markers, glue sticks, spare erasers, and writing paper!
Those above things are only in my small trays! In my big ones, I organize my math manipulatives. I put rekenreks, Unifix cubes, base ten blocks, and tangrams in the larger trays. My classroom looks much cleaner now and students know exactly where to find everything. It has greatly increased my classroom efficiency. You can get your own here.
4. Paper Organizer
Paper organizers can be great, or the bane of your existance depending on their quality. I LOVE this wire one as it can serve many different purposes. You can use them as classroom cubbies if your room doesn’t have built-ins. You can use it for center activities. You can also use it to organize your writing center.
I have used these ones for my Chromebooks before my district gave me a Chromebook cart. The wire let me zip tie my cables to make it still look nice and clean. Each slot comes with a name plate too, which was extremely helpful.
I have multiples so I could use some for my own paper organization. Copies I need to make along with having all of my week’s materials available for me. LOVE THIS. You can get one here.
5. Cube Storage Organizers
My school did not come with much storage options. I also did not have a closet. Buying these helped me organize all of my games, centers, and extra supplies without taking too much extra room. I also love the modular options it provides. Being able to buy foldable storage bins if its bulk materials or you don’t want students to see what’s inside.
I use this to store student binders and supplies for progress monitoring. Previously, I was a hot mess and had things mixed up everywhere. Not I have each square assigned a purpose. Makes life so much easier. Get yours here.
I hope I helped you find some items that would benefit your classroom and increase your own organization. When you’re overwhelmed, it can be hard to think of solutions to your problems. If you have any suggestions for other organization items you use to stay organized in your classroom, please comment below. I would love to know what you use in your own classroom!