Organizing my Instructional Area

I haven't posted the past couple of weeks for the Clutter Free Classroom project.  A couple of weeks ago the goal was to go through professional books.  I did that before school started this year so I am pretty happy with what I have now.  I got rid of a TON of "clutter" books this summer.  Last week was a great post about organizing a way to keep track of incoming papers/magazines/to do "stuff" etc....  I have been really good about that this year already (for me anyway) just by following one tip that I learned from Mel From the Pond.  TOUCH IT ONCE.  I am soooo in love with this tip- so simple, I know, but it works!  Any incoming mail, papers, things that need filed, only gets through my fingertips one time.  I do keep file folders for myself that I use.  For example, I have a "copy" file and a "laminate" file.  I want to try the expandable file soon and see how that works... if you don't know what I'm talking about, you can check out this post.

On to this weeks challenge!!  Organizing my instructional area.  Basically, since I have several different groups of students throughout the day- we spend our time at my Guided Reading kidney shaped table.  I have a bookshelf next to my table.  I keep all of my Guided Reading supplies handy on this bookshelf including magnetic letters/trays, magazine holder for our books, pencils/scissors/glue, whiteboards/markers, crayons, and highlighter tape.  These are the main supplies that I use at a moment's notice. Here is a before picture:

I went through and put anything away that I haven't used in a long time and stored it elsewhere.  Now I'm down to this...

It's hard to tell much difference in the picture but it is definitely less cluttered:)

I also have baskets behind my table that are sorted by teacher.  I keep any activities or projects that we are working on in these baskets.  They help me stay organized with keeping my groups on track.  I may do one activity with a couple of my groups but not get to it with some of the others.  I keep the materials in the appropriate baskets so I can remember what I have finished or not finished with each group.
Here is a before:

and an after (I just went through the baskets).

So, one more area that is clutter free:)  It makes me smile!


  1. Hi Jennie,

    It makes me smile, too. It motivates me to start going through the nooks and crannies in my room. I'm sure it's inviting to your students, too! Love the colored baskets.

    First Grade Schoolhouse

  2. Thanks Mona! I am really enjoying doing this just baby steps at a time:)

  3. Hi, Thanks for linking up! Keep up the great work. :) Jodi from