Monday, November 22, 2010

Color Coding Organization

I am currently teaching ELL and because I teach multiple levels, kindergarten & first grade, I have two sets of almost every thing in my room. Two sets of lesson plan books, workstations, anchor charts, word wall words, writers notebooks, well you get the idea. It can get pretty confusing but I've found a system that works for me. I've decided that Kindergarten materials would be red and First grade would be blue. So now when I buy folders, pocket charts, etc... I get a red and a blue set.

Here is a picture of my word wall. The Kindergarten words are in bright red and the first grade words are in blue. At first I thought it would be difficult for my students, especially because they are so young and just learning to use a word wall, but they got the hang of it real quick. An added bonus is that my First graders have their Kindergarten words on the wall if they need additional help, and my Kindergartners get VERY excited when they can read a First grade word.

 If you look closely at my word fish, you will see two sets of our weekly words, easily identified by their color. :)

 These two mini-pocket charts from Target's $1.00 section hold our talking buddies. To the left you can see two purple anchor chars that I will talk about later, but keep them in mind.
Here are two pocket charts that hold our assigned numbers and line order.

I thought I had a picture of how I post my workstation but I can't seem to find it. I cut out red and blue construction paper and place the workstation icon in front of it. It sounds more confusing than it really is. I will have to get a picture to post  sometime soon. I also have pencil boxes color coded red & blue at each workstation that hold leveled activities to at each center.

There are some exceptions. Anything that is used by both grade levels is purple and occasionally green, when I can't find purple. So below you can see one of my anchor chars in purple.

It makes for a VERY colorful room and sometimes I feel like it might be too much color, but it works, at least for now, and helps my students and I to put things back in their rightful place quickly.

There was one other picture I could not find, our class library. Once again my reading tubs are color coded red, blue and clear/ transparent.

Now, I realize that many of you don't have multiple grade levels but you can still organize by color coding. When I taught First grade I used to color code by subject.


  1. So I've finally had a chance to look through your blog and I absolutely LOVE it! You are so inspiring!

  2. Thank you so much. :) I enjoy reading your blog too. You make me laugh all the time.

    Ms. M

  3. You have to be very organized teaching 2 levels - I could never do it!
    Thanks for linking up to my linky party!

  4. I also teach ESL and I have 2 levels - Kg. & 1st grade. For first grade, I use a HUGE pocket chart for their word wall. I use mailing labels that I have laminated for each word wall. This way the words can easily be removed and taken to their table for writing. On the other side of my classroom, I have the kindergarten word wall. I used velcro to attach each word to the wall. Again, the kids can manipulate the words and bring them back to the rug area. It's nice to have another ELL teacher that is doing similar things! Nina

  5. Great idea. I would like to make my word walls interactive but I don't currently have space low enough for my students to reach. I've thought about it, it just never worked out for me. I did however make my "Fancy words" interactive. You should check out that post. My students are loving it. I bet your kids would love it too because they are already doing something simar with your word wall. :)

    Ms. M

  6. I teach two grades and last year I struggled at keeping the stuff for each greade separate. I ABSOLUTELY LOVE your color coded system. I will be using it in my classroom next year. I am so happy right now! You have made my job easier!!!

  7. Thanks. When I first learned I would teach multiple grade levels I had no clue what I was going to do, but I knew I wanted to keep my materials separate. This just worked for me and I LOVE it. I hope it works for you too. :)

    Ms. M
    Ms.M's Blog
    A Teacher's Plan


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