In Search of the Uncluttered Classroom: 5 Simple Classroom Organizing Solutions
Clutter is the enemy of learning. It creates tension, stress and can be completely overwhelming. It’s hard enough to sleep well in a bedroom that is cluttered, let alone trying to teach and learn in a classroom that is overflowing with supplies. Proper organization can save you from unnecessary stress, and allow for more productivity from your students. And at the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.
Psychology researchers at Carnegie Mellon did a study to see if clutter in the classroom (as well as too many decorations) can distract students from learning. The answer is, “yes!” Too many distractions can hinder learning, including decorations and disorganization.
Organizing can be tricky, especially when you can’t spend a lot of money to achieve it. The key is having your supplies easily accessible, and organized in such a way that your students can find what they are looking for. If you are in the middle of a lesson and cannot find an important teaching aid, that simply doesn’t do anyone any good. The New Jersey Teachers’ Lounge has compiled a list of a few basic and inexpensive tools that may help you up your organization game.
5 Clutter Crushers for Your Classroom
1. Like-It Magazine File Holders (from The Container Store): Though colorful ones may look cooler, having clear magazine holders can really be beneficial when you are in a pinch and need to find something quickly. The Like-It magazine file holders are sturdy (so important), and see through. You can label them with what is inside, or you can just look to see what book, file or item you may need to find. These are $9.99 for a 2 pack (though they do have special deals for teachers, and during the holidays).
2. Large Stackable Drawers (from The Container Store): Stackable drawers are so great for versatility and also organization. In sticking with the clear theme, these are see-through to allow for easy access and quick search and find. The stackable drawers can be stacked as high or low as you need them, and look really nice too. These drawers are perfect for reading materials, papers, art supplies, teaching aids, etc. These are $17.99 each (though they do have special deals for teachers, and other specials during the holidays).
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3. Recollections Storage Desktop Carousel (from Michaels): Not only is this one of the cutest ways to organize your desktop, but this unit actually spins, making finding the perfect marker, pencil, or tool a breeze! The carousel is deep enough to put in paper, rulers, large scissors, but also has areas shallow and small enough for things like erasers and crayons. If your classroom has communal seating, where kids can share supplies, this would work great in the center of the table for easy access. This item is normally $49.99, but Michaels almost always has this marked down, or you could use a coupon.
4. Really Good Teacher’s Desktop Organizer with Paper Holders (from Really Good Stuff): Your desk should be your sanctuary while working. It shouldn’t be a piled high mess that only stresses you out. This desktop organizer with paper holders can really free up space, and allow you to easily find what you are looking for. The compartments are great for holding important papers and files, while the top can be used for supplies like tape, staplers, notepads, etc. The coolest feature is the side holder where you can easily keep important files or teaching aids. This organizer costs $89.98, which is a pricier purchase than some other organizers, but they do have online coupons and offers you can use to help with the cost.
5. Storex Book Bins (from Amazon): This 30 bin collection is an essential tool in keeping your shelves and books organized. Book bins keep books from getting damaged on a shelf, allow students easier access, and also makes for a nice colorful addition to your room. The bins can be easily labeled depending on how you want to group your books. For a total of 30 bins on Amazon, these cost $68.68 which seems like a really great deal.
Having an organized classroom can really help to make your job easier. Clutter will only inhibit learning, and cause you extra stress. Try some of these organizational tools, or others like them, and take your classroom to the next level.
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