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Organize Your Classroom with 21 Must-Haves from Amazon

July 7, 2022 by Christopher Olson




Have you ever wanted to just be organized? I mean like legit organized.  I’m always saying I am going to be so organized this year. For instance, I take days to go through all my files, recycle old things, give-away extra stuff I don’t use, and label everything!  Two months go by and I am in automatic “where is this?” mode!  I don’t know what happens!  I need help.  Do you ever feel this way?  Don’t worry, this is OUR year of organization with these 21 Organizational Must-Haves from Amazon!

I could just toss out 21 things to buy tomorrow off of Amazon to help us get organized and call it a day.  However, that wouldn’t be fair.  Also, let’s be honest… all this “stuff” would just sit in a pile in the corner of my room collecting dust.  Literally.  To help us get organized this year in our classrooms, I am going to pair each of these organizational must-have Amazon tools with the best Education to the Core resource you and your students will LOVE!  

This way we all will know exactly where these resources are located… saving tons of time of prep! All of these Amazon organizational tools are directly linked to Education to the Core’s Amazon Affiliate account. 

Amazon Organizational Tool 1. Zipper Bags

I always provided my students with plastic pencil boxes to keep all of our stuff together.  Pencils, crayons, erasers, glue stick, highlighter, etc. inside.  They fall.  Boxes crack.  They’re loud. This year I am going to try these bags instead!

Paired Resource – Fall Color By Number 

Start off the school year with these color-by-numbers by your side.  Your students will know exactly where their tools are located with their new bags!  Academic and fun, what better combination could we ask for?!?  If you enjoy the Fall Color By Numbers, make sure you have a set for each season: Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer!  

2. File Folders 

Alright, these may seem like a no-brainer to have in your classroom.  However, I go through these like crazy and can never have enough!  I especially like when they are color coordinated so I know, am I looking at student files, assessments, worksheets, etc. just by glancing at the color.

Paired Resource – Reading Comprehension Passages 

Remember how I referred to the color organizing hack above?  Here is my reason why.  To keep me organized I will create a pattern using the colors in my file folder box to go through the months within these Reading Comprehension Passages!  Thanks to my Premium Membership, I can easily print off not only my grade level but a grade level below and a grade level above.  This way I am sure to differentiate based on need and ability.  These Reading Comprehension Passages come in Practically First, First Grade, Second Grade, and Third Grade.

Organizational Must-Haves from Amazon 3. Magnetic Hooks

These hooks come in handy for so many reasons.  Whether I am looking to hang some lanyards, lost and found items, or ‘nameless’ papers, these are my go-to.   I even keep one near my door thanks to the metal frame to keep notes to the office or reminders as a visual for myself.

Paired Resource – Addition Math Facts & Word Families Cards

Sometimes for centers in both Literacy and Math, I have these magnetic hooks down in arms reach and it is automatically a pop-up center.  Place these addition math facts on binder rings for an easy individual or paired activity for your next Math center rotation.  Students can practice these facts together or separately.  For ELA and your literacy centers try out these Word Families Cards.  See if your students can not only identify the words on these cards but make up rhyming words as well.

4. Dry Erase Pockets

If you don’t have a set of Dry Erase Pockets in your classroom yet, these are a must!  I knew I needed to include these for our organizational must-haves from Amazon! They are great to insert items that you don’t necessarily want your students writing on.  Here students can underline, circle, or even write notes on passages, worksheets, and organizers with dry erase markers without ruining the paper.

Paired Resource –  Word Work & Sight Word Menus 

Yes, dry erase markers work wonders on these pockets.  However, have you ever thought about play-dough?!?  Yes, these pockets are the key to not ruining paper with playdough!  Try them out with these word work (Kindergarten, First Grade, Second Grade) and sight word menu resources!  Whether you are writing with a dry erase marker, using playdough, or even tangrams to create your words these pockets are a great working mat and an easy clean-up!

Amazon Organizational Tool 5. Over Door Organizer

I am an individual that doesn’t enjoy a whole lot of clutter or piles of papers lying around (which is hard to do in an Elementary classroom).  This includes various tubs and containers lying around.  Also, we only have so much space on tables, cubbies, or cabinets.  Where else can we organize?   Oh yeah, on the back of a door!  This could be your classroom door or even a cabinet door.  Gosh, you can even hang this on an empty wall too!

Paired Resource – Sound Wall 

This upcoming school year, I am ALL about incorporating a Sound Wall.  What is great about Education to the Core’s Sound Wall is that it is not just a card to place on your wall.  This resource comes with phoneme cards, mouth images for articulation, grapheme cards, picture cards, headings and so much more!  This is why I loved pairing this resource with my over-door organizer because it offers a multitude of pockets where I can easily find what cards I need and when to introduce the sounds appropriately.

6. Four Compartment Caddies 

I’ve had these in my classroom for several years now.  I used them primarily for centers, where I placed all of the required materials that they needed to complete each center independently.  This got my mind reeling when I started thinking about all of my I Spy resources!

Paired Resource – I Spy Resources (Hidden Sight Words, Early Literacy, Math, Phonics)

Inside my caddies, I have a section of highlighters, a section of bingo daubers, one of the markers, and a section of magnifying glasses!  My students have a choice of what instrument they would like to use when solving these engaging I Spy resources!  I am loving that Education to the Core just released a brand new I Spy Hidden Sight Word resource.  My students are going to love them like they do I Spy Phonics, I Spy Math and I Spy Early Literacy!  I wonder what “I Spy” subject is next?  Any suggestions?  Be sure to let us know in the comments below!

Organizational Must-Haves from Amazon 7. Storage Bin Baskets

I stumbled upon these baskets during the first year of the pandemic.  My students weren’t able to sit in groups/pods and needed their own materials and supplies.  Where were they going to put their supplies and how will they not be lost in the abyss of their desks?  I knew they needed additional space, but they didn’t last long on the floor with spilling, kicking, breaking, and janitors needing to vacuum.  WAIT!  How about on the sides of their desks?!?  So I got some zip-ties and zipped them snug to the bar on the side of their desk.  Automatic organizing spaces that were kept clean and free of paper and items.  It did take some practice and stating expectations with what goes in these baskets and what does not.

Paired Resource – Alphabet Foldables, Mini Booklets & Sight Work Booklets

These were some resources that I made sure were in my students’ baskets!  Alphabet foldables, mini booklets, and sight word booklets were in their baskets along with some leveled readers.  These allowed my students to grab a book, review some work, and practice their skills during transitions, after snack time, and even when they finished tasks early.  It cut down on students “wandering” the classroom and on disruptive behaviors!  So it was a win-win for me!

8. Dry Erase Clipboards

When I stumbled upon these, I thought my students are going to LOVE these!  They are so cool, because not only is it a clipboard, but it is a whiteboard as well!  Oftentimes, my students need some scrap paper to help them solve math problems.  Whether they need some space to draw pictures, or additional space to work.  Here is the perfect solution!

Paired Resource – Math Packets 

Remember how I said I allow my students to use scrap paper to draw pictures to help them solve math facts?  Scrap paper no more!  My plan this upcoming year is to clip a worksheet from these Math Packets to the clipboard and let my students go.  What a great tool to use as a classroom management hack as well.  Ready for a great opportunity to respond (OTR)?  Have your students write an answer to a problem on their math worksheet on their clipboard and hold up their answer for you to check.  A quick, easy, and efficient way to scan the room to see who is on task and on target!

Amazon Organizational Tool 9. 15 Drawer Organizer

I already have two of these drawer organizers, but I need MORE!  Well, I want more.  I like these because like other organizing tools on this list, they are color-coordinated.  Great to remember what subject or activity you place in each drawer based on the color you pair with it.

Paired Resource – Phonics Poems, Phonics-Based Passages, Phonics Booklets 

I would like to have an entire drawer set dedicated to one subject like Phonics!  Here I know where I am going to be placing all of my phonics work and supplies!  Whether the drawer is full of my Phonics Poems, magnetic letters, Phonics Based Passages, or Phonics Booklets… I’ll know where everything is at!

10. Organizer Cases Storage Containers

I’ve seen these containers numerous times in various teacher groups on Facebook.  Even within ETTC’s Fearless First Grade, Fearless Kindergarten, and Fearless Second Grade groups! These posts inspired this blog on organizational must-haves from Amazon!  They are cute, colorful and another great addition to this list to help us stay organized this upcoming year!

Paired Resource – Write the Room 

I have been searching for something appropriate to help me get my Write the Room task cards in order.  All last year I tried to keep track of which sets I had printed, which were laminated, and where they were.  However, I kept losing them and the rubber bands kept breaking causing them to fly around the drawer I kept them in.  Problem solved when I place one subject in each of these storage containers!  Easy to hold while you are placing them around the room as well as preparing for one of my favorite activities to do in my classroom – Write the Room!

Organizational Must-Haves from Amazon 11. Pocket Chart

I’ve seen teacher friends use pocket charts like these as student mailboxes as well as for organization purposes.  I could see how they could be used as a mailbox system, but I don’t have tons of space on my walls down low for students to access them independently.  However, what I do have are 14 levels of reading passages sitting in files that I have to crawl through each time to find one.

Paired Resource – Leveled Reading Passages 

From levels A through N, there is a pocket for each! (and then some!)  I loved that I was able to label each pocket with the leveled passage letter and BOOM automatically organized.  Now when I am leveling a student for their reading level, I don’t have to run to my drawer, file through to the next letter, and pick a different passage.  Here I can just see the letter, reach in, grab, and go!

12. 26 Drawer Storage Cabinet

Do you have various boxes and containers full of manipulatives?  You know what I’m talking about.  I have a box for dominoes, a box for tangrams, a box that dice, timers, rulers, and other junk are tossed in that I need to dig through to find one thing.  I think everyone has a box like that…right?  What if I can tell you there are no more boxes to move and lift to find one manipulative?

Paired Resource – No Prep Centers w/ Manipulatives 

That’s right with our No Prep Centers you’ll have all the manipulatives in an easy-to-reach-and-see storage cabinet!  I love these no prep centers because they are not only great practice and review but also the perfect centers for math too!  All I need to do is print off the activity mat and their manipulatives are in the cabinet!  Whether I am working on base ten, facts, money, time, or more I’m covered with these No Prep Centers!   Guess what?!?  ETTC even has centers for literacy as well!  I may have to order two of these cabinets!

Amazon Organizational Tool 13. Clipboards

I may have a problem here, but I love clipboards!  I don’t know why or what it is, but I love them and so do my students!  They get excited when they can use the clipboards in my room because they are able to work around the room or we are heading outside to work!  These clipboards I think are going to be just for me though!

Paired Resource – Writing Mini-Lessons  

Inside each of these clipboards (yes you can place items inside!) I am going to be placing my writing mini-lesson resource.  Each unit of writing comes with a variety of resources.  Whether it is a teacher guide, practice cards, or mentor texts, they are all in one spot inside!  Also, I plan to place copies of the included rubrics clipped on top.  This way I can easily access them while doing walkthroughs and informal sharing across multiple drafts! Available in K-1 version and 2nd-3rd version.

14. 5 Tier Desk Organizer

Alright, I have organizational tools on my cabinets, on the floor, even the walls…now my desk is feeling a bit empty!  Also, my desk is where everything lands!  Papers, projects, notes, etc.; no matter how much I try to keep it clean and organized by noon it is a disaster.  Well no more!  I am getting one of these desk organizers!

Paired Resource – Morning Work 

I am dedicating at least one tier of this organizer to my students’ morning work. A full academic year of morning work that offers daily practice in cross-curricular activities! Whether you are searching for Kindergarten, First Grade, or Second Grade you’ll be covered!  No more hunting down where I placed their morning work!  Now I will know exactly where it is so I am not rushing and standing in line each morning at the copy machine and running back to my room before the students arrive.  I may even get to enjoy a hot cup of coffee now being this organized!

Organizational Must-Haves from Amazon 15. Portable Project Cases

I like these cases because they are a bit wider than the others I’ve seen.  As soon as I saw them I knew that they had to be on our organizational must-haves from Amazon list!  I also enjoy that they are clear so not only could I label them, but could also quickly see what is inside.  Now, what can I place in them?

Paired Resource – Literacy Centers for the Year

That’s an easy answer!  ETTC’s Literacy Centers for the Year of course!  If you just focus on your specific grade level you can have 120 centers at your fingertips!  Each month of the year comes with non-seasonal centers where your students will be actively engaged with fun review and practice!  With a Premium Membership, I can pick and choose what I want across multiple grade levels without purchasing the Kindergarten Literacy Centers, First Grade Literacy Centers, Second Grade Centers, and Third Grade Centers separately.

16. Storage Bins with Lids

Speaking of clear bins like #15, I like these storage bins because they are deep!  I can fill these up to the top with STUFF!  Just kidding, I told you I don’t enjoy clutter.  However, I do need something instead of baskets falling out of cabinets with STEM supplies falling down on top of me.  These have lids!

Paired Resource – Once Upon A STEM Challenges, STEM Story & STEAM Activities 

I quickly became obsessed with these STEM resources these past two school years!  I started off very nervous and anxious around STEM because it involved everything that I was NOT good at.  However, the hands-on activities that are paired with books and literacy are literally my jam!  Each of these resources of STEM Challenges, STEM & Story, along with End of the Year STEAM activities offer critical thinking and an amazing experience for myself and my students.  So now I have a dedicated bin with all my supplies, organizers, and texts needed for projects.  No more running around to several cabinets and trying to find that one book that I knew I had somewhere…

Amazon Organizational Tool 17. 50 pack Meal Prep Food Containers

No, I am not going to tell you to use these for your lunches this week.  However, you could.  Just be sure to save some for your classroom.  Originally my mind automatically went to how cute would these be to help organize individual manipulatives.  No more individual ziplock bags for your base ten blocks that break open and spill cubes out of child-made holes!  However, these containers can be used for even more!

Paired Resource – I Have, Who Has?  

Besides manipulatives for your students, there are enough containers to use for another great resource on this list.  Education to the Core’s I Have, Who Has? resource! These I Have, Who Has Games are a great way to get your students focused and engaged with practicing new skills and reviewing old ones!  I sometimes use this game for a great transition period in between subjects to get my students up and moving.  Other times, this is a small group activity during guided practice in ELA or Math.  Either way, my students are having fun and are engaged!

18. Binders

I feel like I should have stock in binders.  Sometimes I get a bit annoyed with binders, to be honest. Yet, they are a staple on any organizational must-haves from Amazon list!  They don’t fit nicely in my cabinets!  So even though I have a bunch of them, I struggle with appropriate placement.  However, I do have several near my desk just in case…

Paired Resource –  CORE Binders & Sub Plans 

…Just in case I am absent!  Placing my Emergency Sub Plans in a binder near my desk offers my substitute an easy location to know everything.  Whether you’re planning ahead, or need a last-minute save, there are 5 days for the beginning of the year, middle of the year, and end of the year for a total of 15 days fully planned for you. These are also editable where I can simply enter the date, and location of any materials. Hit ‘send’ or ‘print’.  Hole punch, place in my binder, and I am set for the year!

Another great use when I see binders are for ETTC’s CORE Binders resource!  Talk about organization!  It is in the NAME!  Classroom Organizers and Resources for Education is designed for your kids to get both their bodies AND minds working!  These CORE Binders have tons of resources, work mats, and reference points for your students ensuring independence that will cover daily routines across the curriculum.

Organizational Must-Haves from Amazon 19. Accordion Portfolio

I love Accordion Portfolios!  I usually brought one of these to my interviews. However, I could definitely use these in the classroom as well.  What I love about them is that they can definitely hold a lot, but they press back together saving tons of space!

Paired Resource – Monthly Packets & Social Studies 

Since there are 24 pockets in this portfolio, I am filling it up with two YEAR-LONG resources!  That’s right, both of these resources have full-on activities, projects, and fun for each month of the year.  First up are ETTC’s Monthly Packets.  These packets are no prep, print and go, work for any time of the day.  Whether you need some morning work, individual practice, review work, or family connections this is my go-to packet for it all!  I love that there are a plethora of cross-curricular activities in each of these packets.  So you will be sure to find something that you love and fits every lesson inside!

Next up inside this portfolio are 12 sections dedicated to ETTC’s newest resource!  When I think Education to the Core cannot top prior resources they continue to just WOW me!  I am so excited to bring the brand-new Social Studies Units into my classroom!  This resource has it all!  From family letters to teacher guides.  Student activity books to home connections.  It doesn’t stop there though, this one unit even has multimedia suggestions along with assessments, interactive notebooks, clickable calendars, and student slides!  The September unit on Community and Citizenship is being released this month and I cannot wait for the remainder of the months to be released throughout the upcoming school year too!

20. Magnetic Rod with Loose Binder Rings

I hate it when I know I placed something in a location where I thought it would stay crisp and flat, yet find it shoved in the back or fallen behind a cabinet covered in cobwebs.  Eww!  So I need to find a system where all my educational posters are kept safely.  I don’t want to hang all these posters on the wall because it would be over-stimulating.  So how can I keep them clean and unwrinkled!?!  YES!!  Magnetic curtain rods!   I can place them on my chalkboard for reference!

Paired Resource – Grammar Posters, Phonics Posters, Math Strategies Posters & Reading Strategy Posters

Whether I need Grammar, Phonics, Math, or Reading posters I am going to be covered thanks to Education to the Core!  I love to have a reference point for students to double-check on their own instead of having their hands in the air to ask for reassurance.   I can easily direct them to the poster presented on the rod!  Simply place each poster on the loose binder rings and you can easily flip them up and over when switching between subjects!

Amazon Organizational Tool 21. Composition Notebooks 

Wait, notebooks as one of the organizational must-haves from Amazon?  Absolutely!  Especially when they are full of Education to the Core’s Interactive Notebooks!  This past school year I had a composition notebook for each of my students.  They were able to decorate the cover and were only to be used for phonics.  It was perfect!  Each activity went inside this notebook.  Each student knew exactly where the notebook was and all of the activities were in one perfect spot.  This allowed for students to revisit these notebooks throughout the year to practice and review prior lessons thanks to these interactive resources!  

Paired Resource – Interactive Notebook Grammar & Interactive Notebooks Phonics 

Interactive notebooks are my new favorite obsession!  Not only do they provide hands-on practice and review (which I love), but they also offer the students multiple opportunities afterward!  No more searching for the activity.  No more “I left it at home”.  Not even a shrug when asked where it went.  Last year’s class did so well with their Interactive Phonics Notebooks that I am definitely going to try Interactive Grammar Notebooks this year too!

Alright…so I did say that I was going to provide you with 21 Organizational Must-Haves from Amazon to help Organize Your Classroom.  I hope you found tons of tools to help you stay organized with all your amazing Education to the Core resources! Do you have any go-to organizational must-haves from amazon?!?  Be sure to reach out and let us know!

However…SURPRISE, I have one more for us!  This one I know you are going to laugh when I mention it.  I thought my desk is bad…this one is even worse!

BONUS Organizational Tool 22: Google Drive 

Yupp, my google drive is a MESS!  I try to make folders to help me stay organized, but then I end up not using them or forgetting I made them already…making more repeats.  Oh well, one of these days I need to get in there, archive old class work, and prepare for new.  One major motivation for me is to make room for all of Education to the Core’s DIGITAL resources!

Paired Resource – Digital Resources

That’s right, you read that correctly!  Education to the Core has TONS of resources in digital format!  Whether you are planning on sharing them via google classroom or want to project them upon your smartboards, we have you covered.  Yes, ETTC is working on preparing some of your favorite paper versioned resources into digital formating.  For instance, here are some of my favorite go-to digital resources:

What resource would YOU like to see in digital format?  Be sure to reach out and let us know in the comments below so we can hopefully get them in the works for you, our amazing Teaching Trailblazers!

Written By – Christopher Olson

 

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