Organizing is something that I truly try to manage, and get ready before school starts, but I think it really depends on your kids, and the cards you are dealt.
I am a day late to the party, but I am linking up with the fabulous ladies over at Blog Hoppin' to share my organizing tips and tricks.
Last year I had two aides, so I had someone in my classroom with me from 8 - 12, EVERY DAY! This was amazing, because I could have my aides do my grading for me (I graded all tests, and would look over homework), and my aides did all of my copying. My aides knew my room as well as I did. I didn't have to tell them where things were, they just knew where things were.
This year, I have 24 kiddos, and no aide. I am in charge of all grading and copying this year. I am not complaining about not having an aide, just saying that my organization this year will have to be different from last year.
I am a firm believer in teaching the kiddos your organizing method, so that way they can help you stay organized! I try to organize everything they will need or have to use as well, so that way we all stay organized! If the kids won't use your organizing method, then your method won't work! Especially when it's our kids who are using the materials!
Last year I spent a lot of time putting all of my books into bins by what they were, or author. I had my aide go through and label each one of my books with the AR quiz number, how many points it was worth, the reading level, and how many words were in the book. We have a huge contest where our kids are trying to reach 1,000,000 words, so my kids were constantly asking how many words were in a book! These labels are all inside of the book though, so I do not have them organized AT ALL by their reading level.
The bigger green bins are from IKEA, and I believe they were $2.99, or $1.99 each? I bought them last summer, so I don't remember. Then I have been searching for and buying more of the smaller green, blue and pink bins that you see. They are from the Dollar Tree of course!
At the SDE conference this summer I heard someone talk about a salad bar with all of the math manipulatives, and I thought that this was a GREAT IDEA!! I had all of this stuff, and I knew where it was, but my kids had no idea how to find it! I bought this rolling cart at Michael's last year when they were running them super cheap!! I actually have 3 in my room!! I then went through all of my math stuff and sorted them out and cleaned it up. This is the stuff we will use the most, and then I will pull out seasonal counters, or other things we'll use and have those on top. On top of the shelf I have our rulers and timers.
Finally, turning in homework is always a HUGE struggle for third graders. It's not that they don't do their homework, they just FORGET to turn it in!! I have these bins where they are to turn in their work. I have not updated or changed these labels from last year, but I will be doing that this year. We ALWAYS have math homework to turn in. The other subjects are in the air, as I am doing A TON in notebooks this year!
These bins are right next to their cubbies though, so when they are putting textbooks away, or unpacking their backpacks it is in a convenient area for students to turn in. These are NOT on my desk, as I am trying to eliminate the idea of it being "my" desk.
I also have my students write their numbers on every sheet of paper they turn in! This way I can quickly go through the papers and see who is missing.
I hope that these ideas will help you keep organized!! Make sure to check out Blog Hoppin' so you can see some other amazing teachers who love to organize!!