Colorize Your Classroom Challenge

As I set up my classroom for a new year, organization is always one of my big focuses. I like to think that I am organized by nature; my mind organizes my thoughts and I function better when everything has a place ;)

As part of the Astrobrights Papers Colorize Your Classroom Challenge, Astrobrights is hosting four classroom challenges: classroom decor, classroom organization, differentiated instruction and memorization. ColorizeYourClassroom.com also gives teachers a go-to source for inspiration and ideas on how color can help transfrom your classrooms.
 
As the second classroom challenge, Astrobrights has asked me to share with you all how I use color to organize my classroom. At first, I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to share and then remembered that organizing is my jam and this wouldn't be difficult at all ;) #teacherproblems
In the past, I have used the colored tubs to organize our daily work.
{flashback to my first classroom #awww}

They were functional, but I didn't love them. I disliked the way the papers would curl from being upright, and not everything for the day fit into the tubs. Also, if the papers were taken out of the tubs, I didn't know where they belonged without looking at my plan book. It was organized, but still needed some tweaking.

A few years ago, I moved into a new classroom with tons of cupboard space! #teacherheaven
My co-teacher and I used the tall cabinets to store all of our materials for the week. I love having the shelves because we can lay all the work flat, and we can also store the books we will use for read alouds and any tubs for manipulatives. I made colorful labels to help us keep our daily work organized! Of course I had to add a cute ribbon to attach each label onto the shelves. I just hole punched the label and wrapped the ribbon around the metal rungs.
{Sorry for the glare...hard to get a great picture when things are laminated!}

Each day has it's own shelf, with everything we need to make the day successful! This really helped with the curling paper problem, and held all of the materials for the day, but stacks of lost papers were still a problem!

So I figured out a way to use the color to help us stay organized! Colored paperclips!

As I'm sorting our work for the week, I match the paperclips to the labels on the shelves. As you can see below, the blue paperclip stack is for Friday, and the yellow paperclip stack is for Wednesday!


At the bottom of the cabinet, we have baskets to help keep our work for each theme organized. We make copies ahead of time to stay on top of things, so it's nice to have a specific place to put all the copies. As the year goes on, I will just change out the labels for different themes.
{so much more appealing than the post-it notes that continually fell off last year!}

The fonts I used were inspired by the talented Ashley from Teach, Create, Motivate.
I downloaded her teacher toolbox labels and loved them so much, I had to make coordinating labels for my shelves.
Is this not the cutest thing you've ever seen!? I love how I have a place right behind my desk to store all of my supplies. I purchased the toolbox at Lowes and spray painted it that pretty mint color after seeing Aris's toolbox.

I also LOVE using color against a black background. It really makes the colors pop and looks so great. I found these awesome editable labels from Amy Groesbeck and used them to label the plastic drawers at my volunteer table.

The top drawer holds all the papers that need to be copied, the middle drawer is where the masters go after being copied and the bottom drawer holds pencils, post-its and staplers etc. It makes it so easy to see what needs to be done and what has already been copied. Plus, it looks super cute ;)

Lastly, I am using color to help organize our classroom supplies. I love using colored caddies at each table so I can call the tables by their color name. It really helps my students learn their colors and understand where I need them to be. Over the years, I've been able to collect enough colored scissors to match the colored caddies. This helps to make sure that all the scissors go back to the correct caddies too. I put two caddies on each table since we all share supplies. Such a pretty sight!

I hope these ideas helped you think about ways you can use color to help organize your classroom this year!

Do you have any bright ideas?
Astrobights' Papers Colorize Your Classroom contest is giving you a chance to enter your ideas and win a yearlong sponsorship from Astrobrights worth $5,000!!
http://www.colorizeyourclassroom.com/

All you need to do is share how you use color to create the right environment for your students! Choose one or all of the four different challenges: classroom decor, classroom organization, differentiated instruction and memorization.

You can enter up to four times, once for each challenge! Visit ColorizeYourClassroom.com for details, official rules for entry and hundreds of ideas on how to Colorize Your Classroom. 

Astrobrights may even feature your bright idea as the pick of the week on Facebook to help other teachers colorize their learning!

Are you looking for a way to print with endless colored ink on a budget?  This printing trick is one of the best things that ever happened to me as a teacher!
My good friend Lauren from A Teachable Teacher has this AWESOME blog post that explains Instant Ink in detail! Check it out by clicking the image below...you won't regret it!
http://www.ateachableteacher.com/printing-color-ink-budget/
 

This is a sponsored post. I received payment, trade and/or products from Astrobrights in exchange for promoting.
All opinions stated are my own.

16 comments

  1. I love the labels you have on your big white baskets! I have similar baskets that I inherited in my new classroom. I am not sure how I am going to use them, but probably to hold materials I need for activities and projects.

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  2. Thanks for sharing your organizational tips! I love the way you keep your resources organized. I currently do folders that stand upright, and I am over the papers getting curled!

    Carlee Van Ness
    The Kindergarten Press

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  3. I love your classroom organization. Everything is so bright and colorful, I know the students love it as well. I’m also an organized person and your post gave me some great ideas to use in my classroom. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I love your teacher toolbox I have one of my own. But what did you use to stick your labels in the drawers with? Same question for the to copy to file and supply drawers

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    1. I just used double-stick tape! It has held up all year!

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  5. Does a full pencil fit in the teacher toolbox? I'm trying to figure out how deep the toolbox is. Thanks!

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    1. Hi Erin! No, it's not deep enough for #2 pencils, but mechanical pencils fit! It's about the depth of a crayola marker if fhat helps!

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  6. I absolutely love your colorful organization! I've been revamping mine the last few weeks and am sooo excited about it. :) I'm in need of some new caddies for my table groups and love yours, where did you get them?? Thanks in advance! ☺

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  7. How or where did you get your labels for your toolbox? I love it!

    Thanks :)

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    1. They are available here! https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Teacher-Toolbox-Labels-BRIGHT-Editable-1967459

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  8. Hello, I love the organization box! I was a bit concerned that regular sized markers, pens, etc. would fit in the drawers. The cabinet I looked saw at Menards would clearly not hold them, but does the one from Lowes work better? It doesn't show the specs for it on the website. Thanks so much!

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    1. The drawers are not deep enough for #2 pencils, but mechanical pencils fit! It's about the depth of a crayola marker if that helps!

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  9. Miss Kindergarten~ Thank you for sharing your teacher toolbox. After reading your post I purchased the toolbox and paint from Lowe's. I went to Kinko's and had the labels printed on card stock. When I cut them along the black outline, they were all too large. To make the labels fit in the drawer, I had to cut off all of the black outline, the edges of some letters, and parts of the graphics. I noticed you were able to keep the black outline on your labels. Did you resize your labels? Do you have any suggestions?
    Thank you.

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    1. Hi Mrs Carter! I think some printers just print differently! I didn't have to resize anything for mine to fit. I had to cut off a little teeny bit of the black, but I also taped the labels to the outside of the box using double stick tape. Since I'm the only one using the toolbox (not my students) it held up find like that all year. Hope you get it figured out!

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    2. Thank you for the quick response! I like your idea of taping the labels on the outside. It really makes the them pop. :)

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