Friday, June 28, 2013

Five For Friday- Organizing in a Tiny Room

Happy Friday friends! I'm linking up for Five for Friday with a focus on organizing.  I'm going to start by telling you a little about my classroom. It's not the biggest first grade classroom you've ever seen. It's pretty small. Storage has always been an issue, especially since I have TONS of stuff. I basically have two normal sized closets to fit everything in. I dream of having those dividers that some rooms have. You know the ones that have bulletin boards on one side and then the other side is used to close off a ginormous closet the length of the entire classroom. I get so jealous when I see those. Ah, the organization I could do with that space. Enough dreaming, back to reality! Here's what I do to stay organized with my tiny room. 

1. Here is how I store all of my literacy centers for the entire year. They all fit nicely on the shelf. 

In case you haven't seen this before, here's how they look when I'm using them:
4 folders in each and the kids have their matching menu.

2. My monthly binders. I know what you are thinking. Yucky to the eyes, right? I know I need to make some cute binder spines for these months. I shiver when I look at these but I just haven't gotten around to it. At least it's all organized, right? I put all my monthly themed lessons and craftivities here. I don't use file folders that much. I prefer having it all in a binder so I can look through it easily and choose what I want to do. These are packed! There are so many great products out there and I usually can't resist. I separate each activity or unit with clear paper protectors. 

Here's a look inside my December binder. This is one of the page protectors with the cover of a unit. The rest of the unit is behind this page protector. 

or you could do a general page protector like this one with several worksheets/activities behind it:

3. Then I keep my science stuff in these binders. I divide each unit using page protectors. That keeps the binders looking really nice. My next step is to put the standards in each binder with a checklist to show which units fall under each standard. 

4. And here are some of my literacy binders. They are growing! Clearly, I'm obsessed. The phonics looks small because I actually have more binders for phonics. There is a short vowel, long vowel, digraph, etc. 

5. I have these little tubs to fit those random little things I use each month that don't really have a home. 

This is only the tip of the iceberg. My other closet has all of my hands-on literacy activities and extra math manipulatives/games (most are out for the kids to use year around).

How do you organize your classroom life? It's always a work in progress and never feels like I'm done. It does help my sanity a bit though! 


  1. I love all your binders! I'm still 50/50 between binders and files. Can't decide what I like best.

    Teach on a Limb

  2. I'm still setting up in my new tiny room. Hope I have some pics of organized spaces soon...instead of piles and boxes. Ha! Thanks for sharing your ideas.


    Teaching Little Miracles

  3. I'm so jealous that you even have closets! I have NO closets, NO cabinets, nothing! Literally 4 walls and a door. It's a nightmare! I like how you organize everything by months. I do that with my read-alouds too!

    The Fabulous First Grade

  4. I need to go binder shopping. Here's hoping they go on sale before school starts---because I want pretty ones. :)

    You Might Be a First Grader….

  5. I also have my files stored in binders. I HATE file folders with a passion! They get lost so much easier then a binder.

    Christina :)
    Apples, Books, and Crayons

  6. My room is so tiny with no shelves ;-( miss my old room, My things are in carrying containers divided by months. Makes it easier for teaching have one for Science & S.S.

  7. I'm moving into a new school/class with only one file cabinet so I think I need to start binders as well! Thanks for sharing! :)

  8. Keeping all your files organized with limited space is always a problem to many. I can say that you did a great job in sorting your files and in grouping them accordingly. To keep them organized though, take the time to check if there are misplaced files every now and again so you can put them back to their rightful places before everything goes chaotic. Good luck and good job!
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