Every year I try to get better and better at organizing my room.  Today I’m going to share how I overhauled my teacher corner.
This was my teacher corner last year.  I am somewhat bound in how I can set up the area because my computer has to be next to my activeboard.  I also like to keep my electronic piano as near to my computer as possible so that I can easily hook them up when I need to make a quick recording of something. I don’t do it very often, but when I do need to record something, I don’t have time to re-arrange everything.  I thought that if I taught in front of the keyboard then I would be in the way of curious fingers who want to touch all the chords they can get their hands on…….. it didn’t work……
I made several improvements and two weeks after school started I’m still happy with them.

The first thing I did was make some of those handy dandy crate seats and I was able to store an entire grade level of text books in them.  I LOVE my crates for three reasons.
1.  My students sit on the floor and if they are going to lean on something, I would rather it be a padded crate than on the wall under the electrical outlet where my activeboard is  plugged in. (those crates buy me a buffer zone
2. My large or heavy students can sit on those crates and it’s not the same as getting to sit in a chair. ]
3. When we use the activeboard in kinder and first grade, my students (with me right there) can use those crates as a stepping stool so that they can reach the activeboard.

When I was making my crate seats I purchased some crates thinking that I would make more and on a whim I stacked them up and voila!  A new shelf that not only helps me to organize my teaching materials, but keeps my little friends from playing with the chords on the back of my piano.

I have a basket for each grade level where I keep todays  teaching stuff.  This picture was taken the first week of school so I didn’t have too many materials, but I can already tell that this system is going to help me keep my areas neat.  I hate trying to start a lesson knowing that I have set the one thing that I need down somewhere…. now each teaching tool has a home!

So far, I’ve used the baskets across the top to keep track of things that I need to copy, or return to the office, or for things that I need that are not necessarily for students like my clipboard that I used to help students find their homeroom on the first day of school.  I haven’t labeled them yet because I want to make sure that the labels are really what I will use.
My favorite part of my shelf is that there are holes – this way I can see if any of my friends decide to hide behind the piano.
By the way – I found the baskets at my local Dollar Store Chain called “King Dollar”  It’s the BEST Dollar Store ever….. if you are ever in Houston look them up!
I don’t know about you, but three things are true in my classroom.
  1. I need a reminder about the daily schedule much more often than my students do.
  2. My students have not all mastered the skill of how to read a traditional clock
  3. I am rarely if ever in the place where I need to be to see the clock
So to help alleviate this problem, I took a good idea that saw (but forgot to pin) from pinterest and posted clues on the clock to help my time tellers tell time.  I also posted a schedule right there.  That way the responsibility for keeping us on schedule is shared with the students (this is a skill they CAN handle and enjoy) AND when they aren’t there and I’m sitting at my desk, I can use the schedule too.
Organization never happens overnight!  I organized my desk drawers last May using some little food containers with snap lids that I purchased in packs of 5 for $1.00 at KING DOLLAR! It may not look like much to you, but can I just say that this is the very first time that I’ve EVER shown anyone the inside of my desk drawer because until this last May it literally looked like a bomb went off.  I’ve been able to find things easily and the best part is that I’ve even taken out materials and managed to put them back….. did I mention that I am a recovering mess maker? …..putting things back where I got them from is no small feat for me!
My use of technology means that I have an over abundance of gadgets, remotes, pens and other usb devices that  I need to have readily available at all times.  – This basket is half way between my desk and the “real world” so I can get to it easily from anywhere.  – Basket from Dollar Tree
My text book CDs are right by my desk at eye level so that I can get to them quickly.
The colorful boxes above are not labeled because they will be called into service to serve as a holding place for choir, guitar and piano materials which all take place after school and are not needed just yet.
The student issues of Music Express Magazine are sorted by month and issue in hanging files that I got at KING DOLLAR!
My teacher files are at eye level.  These files used to be on my desk, but my new goal for the year is to keep my desk clear for doing work.
There is a box for each grade level where I will store student work – I have a whole system for student work that I will share in a later post.