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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Tuesday Tip--Center Storage

For those of you that don't know already---I'm cheap! Call it thrifty if you want, but regardless I hate parting with money.  I see all these beautiful classrooms and I LOVE them, but I have kiddos that don't always take care of what I put in the room.   That's part of the reason for my center storage (well, and the fact that as I said, I'm cheap!)

 I've tried using tubs/baskets/etc---you know all those cute storage bins---but this has been the easiest for me to keep up with (as well as cost effective).

First, I don't laminate every page of my packets.  I like to use page protectors.  It's simple, and it saves me cutting time.  I slide the cover page/direction page in the front of the page protector, and then I put the recording sheet on the back side. 

When I flip it over, I should be able to see the direction side.  This makes it simple for copying as well.  I just grab the page protector and head to the copier. :)

If there are playing cards or sorting cards, I store them in a small zipper bag.  I actually prefer to use the extra large sandwich bags.  They are bigger/deeper and if I make bigger cards, they always fit in them.  (Again, being thrifty, so I only have to have one box of small zipper bags.)

 I put the sheet protector in a gallon bag. 
 I also store the cards in the gallon bag.  If I'm prepped for my centers ahead of time, I also store the recording sheets inside of the gallon bag until I'm ready to use them.

I'm fortunate enough to have great storage in my classroom--and long counters.(My room was an old junior high science lab.)  I just set my centers out on the counters in different corners of my room.  This also gives my students a sense of area--as they work in groups next to where it's laid out. 

When I'm ready for new centers, I place them in the cabinet.  The plus side is with them being stored in plastic bags, I can easily see what center activity I'm grabbing.  This makes it easier to share them with my intervention teachers or coworkers as well.  I have them arranged in my cabinets in the order I used them--which makes it easy for seasonal activities for next year as well.
Kinda messy---but you get the picture.  
I don't always "remember" everything---but I can quickly pull out what game/center I'm wanting to use with my students this way.  I know that some people store their games in binders by skill, or activity.  If I didn't have the cabinet space I have, I would DEFINITELY use binders and label them per skill. 

There you have it---my cheap way of keeping myself organized.  

Now, I'd like to share with you some of the things I've been working on.

First up---Super Reader Set 4 is complete.  This may be my last big unit like this.  
Out of the 4 sets, there are 100 words. 

 You can click HERE to see it on TpT and see the words included with this set.

I have a few students still working on Super Reader Set 3.  The word our is very difficult for several of them.  Here you can see us working on it.  
I had a big group today instead of one-on-one. 

I've also noticed that I've been selling just the sight word books.  
I made a set of just books for this set.
You can click HERE to see it on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Then I decided to bundle all of the sight word stories, and offer them at a discount.  If you purchase the bundle, you save 20%.  Also, if I add to this set with more sight words, you will always be able to download the new sets for free.  
(Note--If I do add to it, the price may go up.)

You can click HERE to see it on Teachers Pay Teachers.

If you would like to try a sample of Set 4 Super Reader pack (remember the stories only are in the smaller sets) you can click on the images below.  **Also included in the big set are sight word sentences, flash cards, games, practice sheets, and a sight word book in which students earn stickers.

Above: This is a sight word page for the word long.
Below:  There are two versions of the sight word story.  
One students will read the story.  The other students will write in the missing sight word.  
 (Thanks to Scrappin Doodles and KPM Doodles for the graphics.)
I try to include stories that can prompt discussions.  For example, my intention of this story was to discuss different types of animals.  Many of my students haven't visited the zoo.  This helps tie in a bit of science/animals.  It also encourages them to share their experiences or knowledge with me.  If you wanted to extend the stories, you could.  You could have them use the word long to describe another animal.  For example, they could write/draw a snake.  A snake has a long body.

The last thing I have for you tonight is my Hop into Spring Set.  This pack is math games (with the exception of 120 chart puzzles).  There are no recording sheets, and they are aligned to first grade Common Core standards.  I've even included the standard on the direction sheet.  The pack  has both colored and black/white versions.  
You can print at school on colored paper if you wish to bring some color into it. 
(told you I was cheap!) :)
You can click HERE to see it on Teachers Pay Teachers.

One thing that's included in this pack that's a must for first grade teachers is a 120 chart.  
Here's a freebie of that for you.  You can click either image to download it from Google Docs.  
(Thanks to the Bubbly Blonde, Creative Clips and Pixel Paper Prints for the graphics.)

Before I go---bear with me if I'm hit and miss on the blog.
Between soccer, karate, softball, and camping season beginning---this mom is going to enjoy her family time! :)

 Ohh and we have to add some baking in the kitchen to that list! :)


  1. Ok silly question do you use anything to help hold up the bags in the closet? I like storing my centers in baggies but haven't decided if I should put them in tubs by theme, in a file cabinet or some other way. I like that you are able to see what is in the bag easily. Oh and I love seeing pictures of the munchkins.

  2. I JUST wrote about needing to organize my centers. Bookmarking this for sure!

  3. We use sheet protectors too, and if I'm really honest, all items I'm not using sit in cardboard boxes until the day I splurge for a file system or cute little plastic bins to put each unit in. Thanks for the freebie!

  4. I love your sight word books and packs and am SO excited to use your new math centers! You always come up with the greatest games. Thanks for sharing!!

    A Day in First Grade

  5. I organize mine in baggies too!! lol

  6. Thank you for sharing this! I am desperately trying to find a system that works for me. I have to try this for next year! Thank you :)

    Mindful Rambles

  7. I've really got to work on organizing my stations better AFTER we've used them. Thanks for sharing your system! Great to see the little quirks that work! =)

    A+ Firsties

  8. This post is all around full of awesome...right down to those two cuties at the end :) I love simple storage methods for various things around the classroom!! And your sight word packs are awesome. They have helped my kids sooo much and they love them :)

    My (Not So) Elementary Life

  9. You are always so generous with your freebies! Thanks DeAnne! I love that 120 chart and your kiddos are just adorable in their karate outfits (my dad has a black belt in Kempo, I should know what those things are called! Ha!)
    Teaching With Style


First Grade and Fabulous

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