First let me say that my room is full of random baskets, containers, etc that I use for keeping my materials organized. I personally am a big believer in “I can use that in my classroom” when I get rid of something from my home…or someone else’s home…and I do not mind that my baskets are not all the same- I personally like the variety. (Trust me, I use every good looking random container I can find– ask my oldest VERY organized sister or my hubby!) But, don’t get me wrong, I do also love looking at other classrooms both in our school and on Pinterest/blogs and think wow- everything matches so nicely in those rooms. That being said, this little piece of organization I’m sharing with you today is something that fits in several of my random containers and is one of those things that works well in my room and I hope it does in yours as well. 🙂
Here are those super fun mini accordion files that are just $1 each at Target. I’m not sure how well stocked your Target is, but mine literally has tons of these and I just can’t get enough of them! (Fingers crossed for you all being able to find them too!)
I actually bought my first one of these over winter break of this past school year and set up my Phonemic Awareness materials in it. Since I teach K/1, phonemic awareness is a very big part of our lessons so I needed a nice system that would allow me to grab my materials quickly and get us going. These little file guys helped me do just that!
It started out just as this one:
Then I realized, wow, this is keeping me organized and Target still has more…so it became this:
And then at the very end of this school year I purchased some more of the mini file holders and now they are holding my QR Code Task Cards centers and I will be filling the other new ones I bought with my other center cards because I don’t know about you but I have a ton of center cards!
I did attempt to take a picture of the inside of one of them, but evidently I wasn’t very good at holding it open with one hand and snapping a pic with my other, so sadly I do not have the inside, but basically I have each one organized by topic of center activity: QR codes, Phonemic Awareness, Vowels, Word Families, etc. The mini file holders each come with stickers to label them, so that is just what I did and now I can very quickly grab what we are using in our centers/activities and put them back just as quickly! The task cards/sorting cards all go in the mini accordion files and then the recording sheets/directions/etc for each center go in the larger paper size accordion file folder. So nice!
My phonemic awareness ones are separated by season because I use boards and little pieces for each season to identify the name/number of sounds in words. So I have one mini accordion file for Fall, one for Winter and one for Spring. Then within each mini accordion file, I have labels identifying the pieces (flowers, grasshoppers, etc.) so I can quickly grab them and get our lesson going. The boards then go in the larger paper size accordion file folder. This is always our first activity of my groups that lasts only a few minutes and now everything is one place for me to grab and use!
The flowers are the little pieces that go inside my mini file folders.
This is an example of the QR task cards that fit perfectly in the mini accordion files!
So, if you have lots of sorting cards for your centers like I do, I highly recommend using a similar organization system- it’s made a world of a difference to keep my materials together and organized!