Happy March everyone! Living in Alaska, the Iditarod is upon us, Dr. Seuss week is coming up and so is spring break….I’m a bit giddy! It’s me, Jaime from The First Grade Bloom, with another great opportunity to share how I stay organized with all the stuff I have in my classroom. Do you have any of these?
These multi-drawered carts on wheels can be found at JoAnn Fabrics, Michael’s, COSTCO and Sam’s Club (to name a few places). They are a fantastic way of keeping your teaching lessons and materials ready for immediate use. I have a student intern right now and I have been modeling and stressing how important organization is and how being prepared to teach is essential to having teaching flow smoothly and efficiently.
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My favorite, most-used cart is this one (right next to my desk)
The drawers are where I keep my day-to-day lessons and materials (as seen by my labels on the right) and things coming up for the following weeks (as seen by the labels “Next Week” and “Future Stuff” on the left). The left side drawers labeled “Extras!” and “Corrected Work are self-explanatory. Students have access the Extras! drawer and know that it’s their responsibility to get extras if they missed an assignment or can’t find an assignment that is due. What you can’t see is the top of the cart, which is where I keep our “Finished Work Basket” and “Finished Work Chart”. So this cart is really like our ‘business center’! I also keep posters and games under the cart if they’ll be used during the week so I don’t have to go looking for them.
Another essential cart is the one I use for my Guided Reading groups
I keep each group’s materials (lesson plan, books, etc.) in the upper drawers and the bottom few drawers are for teaching materials (magnetic letters & boards, reading phones, word making mats, reading strategy posters, pointer fingers, highlighters, etc.). This cart is right next to my kidney table so I can access it during my groups. On the floor next to the cart are my essential reading binders (AIMSWeb & Benchmark assessment materials, Accelerated Reading, Class Reading Data).
Another important set of carts is for students and they are located on both sides of our Writing Station and is stocked with different writing activities that students can do either when they’re done with their general work or when they’ve finished a writing project and there is still time left.
With both of these carts, I make drawers (activities) available at certain points in the year, depending upon when we learn about them or they are applicable. So the drawers are turn OUT if students may have access to them and they are turned IN if they may not have access to them.
I would LOVE To have carts for my math and reading games but would need to have really wide and deep drawers…so I’ll keep looking until someone creates them!
If you have these fantastic carts and use them in a different way, I would love to hear how you use them.