I am always looking for new (and better) ways to organize my manipulatives and materials. As a teacher it seems I am always collecting stuff. I am finding that if I do not organize things right away it is hard to find things when I need them. Several years ago I invested in these fabulous plastic drawers. They may look like ordinary drawers but they have lids! Which makes them wonderful!
I ended up collecting 4 stacks of them-that’s 28 drawers! I put lots of my centers and manipulatives in them Then, last year I ended up taking a picture of the things that were inside each drawer and putting it on the outside, making it easier to grab things quickly and for kids too to know what is inside each drawer.
My kids can grab them easily and since there are lids on each one of them they pretty much make for no spills. When we finish centers the students can easily put them completely away and back in the plastic drawer tower.
*Label each container and store extra manipulatives in each for easy grabbing.
*Leave one set without pictures on them and place 7 of your reading and/or math centers in them each week for kids to easily grab them and put them away quickly.
*Put writing center materials for kids in each of the plastic towers.
*Label each of the drawers the different days of the week as well “to copy” and “to grade” to help you stay organized with all of your papers.
Can you see why I invested in 4 of them I say invested because they aren’t super cheap. However, I have had them since my first and second year of teaching (I am now on my 7th) and they still are holding up fantastically.
I originally got mine from Target stores (and they did go on sale, if I remember correctly) but I tried and tried to search for them online and am having a difficult time finding them. I remember seeing them at craft stores as well like Joanne’s and Hobby Lobby. It is difficult to tell by the pictures if these containers have lids-but if you have the option of getting the ones with lids they are totally worth it!
I think the Hobby Lobby Containers are the most similar to the containers I have and you can see those by clicking here. I know I didn’t pay this much for them, so they might have gone up in price but the containers are definitely something to keep an eye for if and when they go on sale!
While we are talking about plastic containers… I also love these:
I use these containers to take home papers and things. I also use it to carry my laminated centers back to school. They are great and also have a lid which makes things easier! This would be a cheaper option if you only bought a couple and like the idea of lids, like I do!!! You could still put centers in here and label them in the same way and just stack them on top of each other.
As always, a big thank you to Elizabeth at Fun in Room 4B and Kristen at Ladybug’s Teacher Files for hosting this fabulous linky! I will be very sad to see this linky (and summer) go away!!! Make sure to hop over and see all of the great ideas teachers are linking up with over at their blogs.