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Diggin’ into Next Year: Classroom Organization

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Hello!  I am excited to say that this summer I am participating in a Weekly Linky Party that includes 50 bloggers that are blogging about a variety of topics such as:  math workshop, writing instruction, technology integration, behavior management, and so much more!

Classroom Organization…

Over my nine years of teaching, I have managed to collect TONS and TONS of files!  If I pulled out any of these eight drawers, you would see a jam-packed drawer of random files.  To be honest, I hardly ever use half of these files!  If I am looking for an idea, I often times grab my computer and go to Pinterest or Teachers Pay Teachers.  (Do you follow me?)  That being said, I need to go through these and start throwing!  My hope is to get my eight drawers down to two drawers and then the remaining two drawers will be organized into 3-ring binders according to skill or topic. More pictures to come when I get this project finished.

As I approach my tenth year of teaching, I am finally feeling that I have tweaked and changed things enough times that I finally have a lot of things that are working great for me in my classroom (for now).  The seat crates below I absolutely adore!  Not only are they cute but they serve as a great storage option!

You will also notice that tubs, containers, bins, baskets, and crates (with cute labels)are the KEY to my ORGANIZATION!  I love the way that they look and how efficient they are when I need to find something!  These tubs are found behind my guided reading table.

In the school that I teach at, we use the Accelerated Reading program.  Therefore, my books are all organized by their reading level.  Each book has a label on the front or inside cover that provides the reading level, quiz number, and point value.

I don’t know about you but my desk was a deep dark hole of a mess before I made this Teacher Toolkit.  I was so embarrassed if my para, another teacher, student teacher, parent, or volunteer needed to find something in my desk drawers.  No embarrassment anymore…this Teacher Toolkit sits out on a shelf so it is easily accessible to these people.

More tubs…I use these tubs to keep me organized.  All of my math, reading, spelling, unit time, and to do project copies go into these.  It makes for a quick and easy system when I am lesson planning and setting out materials for each day.  It is also a handy place for a classroom volunteer to be directed to because there is always something to do in the green tub and I am not having to scramble to find something for them.

Have you heard about my BRAG TAGS yet?  If you haven’t then STOP and
READ CAREFULLY!  😉  BRAG TAGS have changed the way that I discipline
and reinforce positive behavior in my classroom.  Not to mention that I
no longer dump tons of money into my treasure box!  Sounds too good to
be true, huh?  Well, it’s not!  My kids work their tails off for these
things!  I purchase the necklace chains from Image Stuff.  The BRAG TAGS
just get printed, laminated, cut out, and then I put a hole punch on
the top.  You can see how I organize these necklaces in my classroom
from the picture directly below.  The following picture shows how I
organize and store the extra tags that have yet to be earned.  More on
these at the bottom of this post… like to store my Expo markers directly on my markerboard attached to velcro.  Why?  A few reasons…I like that they are up high so my students aren’t constantly grabbing and “forgetting” to return them.  I also like where they are placed because they are quick and handy to grab when I need them.  I always hang them up with the tip facing downwards too because it leaves me with a longer-lasting marker.

I like to use these rings to keep my students and their supplies organized.  If we have a partner or group game, these work great.  The kids know to sit around the circle and keep their dice, cards, etc in the circle.  I also have used these to make Venn diagrams.  They fold up nicely too!

Another way that I like to keep my students and their supplies organized are these containers.  Do they look familiar?  If you are like me, I often times have to grab and go when it comes to my lunch.  Now that I am on summer break, I don’t care to taste another Smart Ones meal for at least 3 months!  But, their containers are great and sturdy for the classroom!

The last organizational tool for today’s post is my Reading Focus Wall.  (Don’t mind our Elf on the Shelf…old picture!)  When I started using a focus wall in my classroom, I was surprised by how helpful it was to me!  I reference it every day and after a couple of months I find my students reference it too!  It is a nice visual to keep me focused on the skills that I need to teach throughout the week.  It does help to keep me focused and organized!

Do you remember those BRAG TAGS that I was telling you about earlier in this post?  You can pick yours up in my store!  I just got done with a HUGE UPDATE…36 additional pages were added and I plan to add more throughout the summer.  GREAT NEWS…they are 20% off until June 3rd…grab yours today and you will have plenty of time to get them ready to go for the fall!


  1. Cassie Thomas

    Angie! I love this!! I'm totally keeping this blog page up on my computer so that I can jot down some of your ideas!!! I LOVE the brag tag idea. Moving up in grades means I don't think what worked for my Kinder's is going to word for 3rd haha, totally different mind set, but I love this idea. 🙂 I had a couple questions, did you find on Pinterest how to make the crate seats?! I want to do that asap!

    also, where do I find this teacher toolkit? I keep seeing it, and I haven't had any luck finding one!

    Thanks so much!!
    Mrs. Thomas's Class

    • Angie Olson

      Hey Cassie! I'm so excited for you to be moving to 3rd grade but you are right, that is quite the jump coming from kindergarten! The crate seats were super simple to make. I wish I had done a tutorial as I was going through the process but all I did was buy 1/2" plywood and cut them to fit the opening. Then I put 1" foam (cut to fit) and covered it with fabric. I wrapped the overlapping fabric around and under and then used a staple gun to attach it. I know that some lumberyards will even cut the plywood for you if you know the dimensions that you need. As for the teacher toolkit, I do have my directions posted on my blog. Just go into the search sidebar and find "Teacher Toolkit" and you can read all about it there. I can't wait to see your finished products!!!

  2. 2ndGradeRockStars

    I love your organization! After 16 years of teaching, I still struggle with organization in my room. I will definitely have to make the toolkit for my desk this summer.

    • Angie Olson

      Thanks for stopping Rachel. I enjoyed teaming up with you for the Monday Meet Up linky! By the way, if you do decide to make a teacher toolkit, I would love to see pictures of it when you are done! I love mine, it has definitely helped to keep my desk drawers a lot neater!

  3. Bright Concepts 4 Teachers

    I love your brag tag and crate ideas! I haven't used either in my classroom, but I think it might be something I need to look into for next year. Good luck getting your 8 file drawers into 2. I am constantly purging, but I still seem to have file drawers filled with things from when I started teaching 15 years ago. Might be time for me to let go too! Enjoy your summer.
    Bright Concepts 4 Teachers

    • Angie Olson

      Thanks for stopping by Jaime. I am very nervous about the 8 drawers into 2 but I am DETERMINED to make this work! Ha! Also, thank you for your sweet words regarding my brag tags and crate seats. Let me know if you have any questions about either of these if you decide to use them next year! 🙂

  4. Theresa Copeland

    Hi Angie! I couldn't agree more about bins for organization! My husband says I'm obsessed with storage containers and organization, and I'm proud to agree! I'm very intrigued by your brag tags! Sounds like such a great system!

    Theresa @ True Life I'm a Teacher!

  5. Claudia

    Hello Angie,

    I am a first year teacher and currently teaching grade 6 French Immersion in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada and I have been following you and Shroeder Shenanigas in 2nd on social media all year. You both have inspired me so much!

    Next year, I am moving to 3rd grade and I am excited about using Brag Tags for the first time! I am also hoping to inspire other teachers in my school to start using them!

    I simply wanted to thank you for all of your posts, the inspiration and your awesome positive attitude!

    Claudia Blier

    • Angie Olson

      Hi Claudia. You are so sweet to take the time to leave me that message. How exciting for you to be moving to 3rd grade! I love that you will be using brag tags next year too! Your students will love them and you will love the response you get from them when it comes to both academic and behavior! Again, thank you so much for leaving me this sweet message. It made my day!


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Welcome, I’m Angie!

Hello there! I’m Angie Olson- a teacher, curriculum developer, educational blogger and owner of Lucky Little Learners.

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