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.
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.