Every year I look though my Pinterest account and look at pictures of perfectly organised classrooms. I dream that one day I could create such a beautiful and perfectly-arranged room for my children to grow and learn.
Then I realise that there are no children in the pictures of these perfect classrooms yet.
And I wouldn’t mind betting that one of these two scenarios happens once the children are added to the mix:
(a) The beautifully organised classroom becomes exactly the same as every other classroom in the country: full of good intentions but ultimately covered in layers of paper and pencil shavings;
(b) The class teacher spends her whole day focused on maintaining the classroom organisation, taking focus from their primary purpose of being there – to teach!
Now before you all get cross and assure me that it’s doable – yes, I’m sure that there are some who manage it. I just know that I couldn’t. And I’m pretty sure that every teacher I know couldn’t either.
So I’ve looked out some easy fixes. Things that will last. Things that are genuinely helpful.
Some of them don’t look pretty but look so very useful. If you need to make them neat and polka dotted, feel free!
1. Muffin tin pencil holders
This is something I have used in my classroom for years. I use a Pound shop muffin tin and a pack of 6 plastic cups from IKEA, fixed in using No More Nails. Works a treat.
Plonk one of these in the middle of each table and the children have instant access to scissors, glue, pencils, coloured pencils, rulers and felt pens, eliminating the need to get up and wander around the classroom looking for resources and getting distracted.
2. Buckets on hooks
I had pegboard behind my desk at one school so I bought a couple of pegboard hooks and on them I hung several buckets from Wilkinsons.
If you don’t have pegboard, IKEA’s kitchen range has a great range of attachments for the wall to hang hooks from.
Brilliant for storing my things: pens, stickers, highlighters (urgh… school marking policy!), things the kids had made me etc.
3. Cutlery drainer pencil pot
Another cheap and colourful solution easily sourced from Wilkinsons or a Pound Shop. Use a cutlery drainer as pencil pot – they’re so cheap, you should be able to grab one between two!
Use a cluster of them on a table so that everything is within reach.
4. Art caddy
These are great for storing all sorts of things, not just stationery.
I’ve used them for storing Base 10 materials, flash card packs, Guided Reading group resources and lots more.
5. Spice Rack
Not the cheapest option on the list but great for your desk! Keeps pins, paperclips, elastic bands etc. organised and as a bonus, it doesn’t take up an entire desk drawer!
6. Tins of beans!
Ok, you have 2 options here – it depends on how busy you are. Either peel off the labels and repaint (or cover with decorated sticky back plastic) or use them as they are…
You can even put an elastic band around 3 or 4 tins for a table of children to use.
6 cheap and simple ways to organise your classroom stationery.
How do you do it? Leave us a comment and let us know.