Classroom Reveal #2 – Classroom Organization

I can’t even remember how I used to decorate and organize my classroom pre-Pinterest. I’m certain that it was always decorated and functional but given that my brain cannot seem to generate one original idea of its own these days, I don’t how I used to manage. I saw the idea for a “sub tub” on Pinterest two years ago and threw one together in my room. I’ve never taken the time to make it all cute. It works and that’s been good enough for me.
The template for the chevron binder inserts came from A Year of Many Firsts Blog. Her tutorial is actually for monogrammed chevron inserts but I prefer my classroom materials to use my last name rather than a monogram. I borrowed her design that she is so nice to share and just added my name and subject area to each binder. Brain is cranking now about that sub tub. Think I may have to print off another chevron template for my sub tub, cut it to fit, and have it laminated. I would be lost without my binders. I have one for everything: ESL lessons, Cultures lessons, discipline documentation, student accommodations and parent contact, substitute information, ESL paperwork for which I am the primary record-holder for my building, and overall semester plans for Spanish. That last one is a six-inch-binder. My students used to freak out when they saw that thing! They would say, “You mean we are studying all of that this semester??!”  Insert evil teacher laugh here. I still have it on the back bookcase but now I have seven different Spanish binders – smaller ones for each of my units which are easier for daily handling.

There have been many makeup work station ideas bouncing around Pinterest. I like the idea of a makeup work station that can hang and doesn’t take any of my limited side table or shelf space. I ordered this hanging file years ago from Really Good Stuff and have just had it stored away in the closet. The new makeup work station works (above) perfectly with my system for student procedures which I will discuss in another post.

Last summer, I spent 3-4 weeks prepping for my maternity leave. I felt responsible for leaving my long-term sub as well off as possible. She was going to be taking over my room and my students for all three subjects, and it seemed an enormous task to just come in and do. I tried to organize the chaos of my teaching resources, copies, lessons, and manipulatives in the most sensible way possible. Although, I don’t like visible clutter, I have very limited storage in my classroom. I wound up buying two large plastic drawer systems at Walmart. Each one has three large drawers and two small ones. I labeled one drawer for each Spanish unit. I was forced to finally narrow down the exact things I really use when teaching each unit. I am so bad about hoarding crap I have bought from Teacher’s Discovery or Carlex even after I have long realized the items just don’t work for me. I loaded each drawer with the items that would be used: videos, copies of handouts, manipulatives, and (most importantly) the very, very detailed lesson plan binder for that unit. Good gravy, did I work my tail off on those lesson plan binders!! I wanted to throw them all in the furthest river before I finally went on leave. The only thing that got me through all of that work was knowing that I was not only setting my sub up to have a successful semester but that when I returned from leave, the rest of my year (and the years following) would still be organized for Spanish class.


I made a similar drawer system for my ESL class except that I broke the drawers down by two-week rotations. I teach my ESL class on a two-week unit/lesson rotation. Since I already had my entire year planned out for ESL, I was able to gather resources and make copies in advance and stock the labeled drawers. This year, I am doing the same thing.

I’m sure I will come up with ways to improve on these ideas throughout the year, as always. I have no problem with changing my system if something doesn’t work. With 130-150 visitors each day, it is uber

Will be redoing the labels as these were ripped over the summer by a strip of packing tape. I will be smarter this time and place the labels on the inside.

important to stay organized! I learned this the hard way in my early teaching years.

Going to move on to classroom reveal post #3 now!

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