Saturday, March 10, 2012

Organization Project Week 8: Thematic Units

It is perfect that the Thematic Units linky party opened today, because I spent the day working on organizing my thematic units. It was our last day before  our Spring Break, next week. I wasn't going to do any heavy lifting today, so I took advantage and put my practicum student to work... with the kids. While I worked on de-cluttering my teaching materials.

I got these fantastic tubs from Really Good Stuff, last summer. I have had plans for them for a couple of years now, and when I was able to get my hands on them, I didn't have time to put them to good use.
Until now...
As you can see they were just filled with random items I was trying to hide. I purchased 4 boxes so that I could have one for each quarter. So the first thing I did was empty them out and give them a fancy new cover page.
 I didn't want to laminate the sheet in case I was going to change them.
 However, I didn't just want to stick them on with tape.
 So I used a page protector.
I used different backgrounds, but I am pretty sure I will be changing them so they are all uniformed.

Next, I wrote out all the themes I could remember by quarter. Ie: Q1: Back to school, Names; Q2: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Veterans day, Holidays. You get the point. Then I used that information to create labels using Post-It notes, like Kristen showed just a few days ago.

 I would then attach these labels to my purple hanging files. What I didn't realize was that I did not want to put tape on the hanging files just in case I wanted to change them around. Regular tape would not work either. What should I use?

Some WASHI TAPE!
 
What I love about Washi tape is that it removes easily, so don't worry about mistakes. It is also pretty sticky, and is super cute.
I didn't have to stick the back down because that was the part of the sticky note that had the adhesive on it. It worked out great.

As a side note, I was going to stagger the tabs but I didn't like the way they looked. So I I left them all on the left side. So if I move any of the units around, the tab would not be out of place.

Finally, I was able to file away all of my great activities and units. What I did learn was that I did not want a box per quarter. I am going to change them so one is for the first semester, Q1 and Q2. The second will be for the 2nd semester, Q3 and Q4. The third box will be for the letters of the alphabet, Sight wd, and HFW work. Basically for Kindergarten. The final box will dedicated for phonics and parts of speech units. Mainly for 1st grade.
However, I am super happy that I got the bulk of it done and all I have to do is some rearranging. I did notice, as I was filing, that I forgot some units, so I will have to go back and make some more labels. No problem now, that Kristen made the template and explained it all for me. 
This is where I will start from when we get back from Spring Break.

Here is a final picture of them all stacked up and pretty. Please ignore the hot mess to the left and right. It is still a work in progress.


 What I love about this is that I will work out of one box and when that is done I can close it up and bring up the next one. No longer will I go crazy looking for a particular idea/ activity. Now it is at my fingertips.

The downfall? I can't add my books to the folders and tubs. However, I like the way I store my read aloud books. I just have to organize and label them better.
 However, this is a project for another day.

Don't forget to hop over to the Clutter-Free Classroom and check out all the other fab organization projects.

Have a great weekend. I hope to catch up with some more posting next week.

22 comments:

  1. I've completely fallen off the declutter project but I'm enjoying seeing how everyone is doing things. I love how you organized your units. I'm inspired. I keep thinking that maybe I'll work a day on my spring break to organize things but then I'm not so sure that's how I should spend my time off.
    Page protectors are my new favorite supply. I have been using them left and right for centers and to put things on my document camera.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I fell off the train too. I just recently got back on and have been working slowly. Glad I was able to inspire you. This was an idea I've had for over a year now. I am happy to see it come to fruition.

      How do you use the pocket protectors for the Doc Cam? Mine just give me a glare. :/

      Ms. M

      Delete
  2. Oh...sweet organization. I love it. I didn't join the project because I knew I'd end up jumping ship...but I love reading about it.

    Just an FYI - I saw those same tubs at Walmart and bought two of the. LOVE them. {The tops were blue though, not green} I bet they are cheaper there too. Of course I have no clue if Walmart is everywhere...

    Enjoy your weekend!!!!

    Holly
    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Holly, you know when I ordered these, the picture showed them with blue tops. I was surprised when they came and were green. Funny. Although green works for me.

      I will have to look for them at Walmart. I haven't seen them there before.

      Delete
  3. Replies
    1. Thanks Jennifer and a big thank you for always commenting. :) I really appreciate it.

      Ms. M

      Delete
  4. wow... love, love, love your organization bins!! Thank you for sharing all the wonderful ways you have organized your unit items!!

    ~Kimberlee~
    Two Fulbright Hugs
    Teacher Timesavers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your welcome. I hope it can help others get organized too. :)

      Ms. M

      Delete
  5. Thanks for posting about this!! I love the organization!! I'm going to head over and check out the linky party!!
    Julie
    Thoughts of a Third Grade Teacher

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Julie, I was surprised to see only 3 entries so far. I hope others get inspired and join. Check out the other linky parties too, I think they have more entries.

      Ms. M

      Delete
  6. You had me at Organization....ha, ha, just kidding! But I do love, LOVE these bins! So I'm now your newest follower.
    :)☼Libby
    Dual Kinder Teacher

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Libby,

      Welcome. I love these bins too. :)

      Ms. M

      Delete
  7. Oh my gosh, I'm laughing so hard right now.
    As I was planning the week for unit organization I kept looking for images or resources and all that kept coming up was 4 empty clear tubs. Then as I'm reading your post and see your organized units it all seemed familiar. Sure enough it was your empty tubs that I kept looking at. So funny! Great job by the way. Happy Saturday.


    ❤Jodi from...
    ★★The Clutter-Free Classroom★★
    Helping Teachers Get Organized

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How funny! Thanks and have a great weekend.

      Oh I do want to share a huge THANK YOU for making me finally get my act together.

      Ms. M

      Delete
  8. Replies
    1. Does it work well for you? What would you change about it?

      Ms. M

      Delete
  9. I just emailed you and I'm going to again later today too! But oh my word, how have I lived without Washi Tape?!? Where can I find it?! I never knew!

    I adore your idea of using the sheet protectors, so smart and practical. I like how you organized everything to the littlest detail, but left everything open to be moved around or changed if need be. This is something I really need to work on! Thanks for the organizational inspiration--I'm still working on redoing my bag like yours!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh I love Washi tape, and just found it recently. The one draw back it is small. I have to find some wider rolls, if they are made at all. You can click on the word Washi Tape by the picture, it should be a link to an Etsy store that sells some, but there are several Etsy stores that sell it. I wonder if Hobby Lobby or Michael's sells them too? I will have to look for them next time I go.

      I love sheet protectors too. :) Because I am changing them I am super glad I didn't bother laminating and just slipped it in there.

      As for the bag, it took me several months to finally find the time to make mine. The table top organizer even longer, over a year! So I completely understand.

      Ms. M

      Delete
  10. Such a wonderful organization tool! Thanks for share.......just started following you & I am excited about the posts to come!!!
    ~Heather

    http://1stgraderockss.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  11. Wow, I'm impressed. I'm slowly taking on the weekly challenges and am definitely not near as far as you! I'll be using your blog for inspiration.
    I'm a 2nd grade bilingual teacher, and your newest follower. It'd be great if you could check out my blog when you get a chance.
    Laura
    Mrs. Castro's Class 2nd Grade...Spanglish Style

    ReplyDelete
  12. I just dissevered your blog through the Clutter Free Classroom Project! I'm loving all your posts! I'm your newest follower. Come and check out my blog Sweet Seconds.

    Brittany
    Sweet Seconds

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for the comment. Please come back again.