Organize Your Centers! Part 2

A little while ago I wrote a post about how I organize my centers... the ones that are "in use."  Now I thought I'd share how I store the whole kit 'n kaboodle!

If you have a ton of literacy and math center packs like I do, then you know that organizing them all can be a *little* overwhelming.  There are so many pieces: recording sheets, task cards, sorting mats... To keep it all together {and to keep myself sane}, I use clear, poly envelopes.  I print out the cover page and pop it in the front of the envelope so I know which pack I'm looking at:
Inside of the envelope, I have master copies of any recording sheets that go with the centers from the pack.  This way, I can just pull them out and send them to be copied when I'm ready to use a center.  I then separate the pieces of the different centers into little Ziploc baggies:
Each baggie contains the cards or sorting mats needed to complete one center, as well as a mini copy of the directions page {I print four to a page}:

When it's time to use an activity, I will take it out of the poly envelope, out of the Ziploc baggie, and transfer the pieces into our supply baskets.  The activities stay in the basket all week, and the baskets rotate from group to group throughout the week.
Read more about these baskets and the rotation {here}!

I'd love to hear about how you keep yourself organized!  I'm always looking for new ideas :)


Miss Kindergarten said...

I LOVE that you print the directions 4 to a page, so clever!

Mona said...

WOW! I love your organization. I especially like the clear poly envelopes. I've got to put this idea on my To Do List. Great ideas!

First Grade Schoolhouse

Mrs. Sheehan said...

Oooh! I love this! I always get so frustrated with all the pieces that go missing after I store them somewhere. I love the clear envelopes! That is brilliant! Thanks for these ideas. Pinning this right now so I can use this over the summer to get organized :)

Ms. Richards said...

Thank you for sharing. I am in desperate need of figuring how to organize my centers. Right now they go into a box that I don't have to worry about until next year. (Scary, right?) I plan to try to work on it during Spring Break. But who wants to do that if you don't have to. So, thank you for sharing. :)


Ms. Richards's Musings

Mikaela said...

This is helpful! Thanks! My trouble is the next step.... where to store all the bags? Currently I have plastic bins for each month, but I think I need to move to larger bins and then the issue is where to store those?

Stacy Renee said...

I always used gallon ziplocs but I could never get them to close. I'm adding clear poly envelopes to my list. Thanks for the great organizational tips!

Live Love Laugh and Teach!

Sarah Hankinson said...

Great idea! I have purchased three drawer containers on rollers. I labeled the outside and keep everything by holidays inside that drawer. I have also purchased various colored baskets from the dollar store and made tags to attach to the handle; everything in each basket is organized by skill. It makes it easy for me or anyone who is working with my children to find exactly what is needed.

Learning is for Superstars
Learning is for Superstars is on Facebook

Judy said...

Thanks for sharing! Awesome ideas! I read somewhere in blogland where one person uses the clear 5 drawer chests. Depending on how many centers you have, you can put one or 2 months in a drawer. I am just starting out with centers so they are more seasonal so that will work for least for now. Can't wait to hear more!

Live, Laugh, I LOVE Kindergarten said...

Great idea!! I needed some help organizing my centers! Thanks for sharing!!

Kimberly Ann
Live, Laugh, I love Kindergarten

Covered in Glitter said...

This is fantastic! I have had this on my mind recently, so I appreciate your ideas. I am curious where/how you store the units that aren't in use?

Covered in Glitter and Glue

Liz said...

Thanks for sharing! I've been throwing mine in a box and I HOPE to organize it this summer. You know, when I'm tired of going to the pool. ;)

Sara said...

Thanks for sharing! Mine are just stuffed into folders by months that I use them - this is much better :)

Melissa P. Brittany P. said...

We're a tiny bit jealous of your organization! How do you manage it all??? Thanks for all of the great tips! One day everything will have a home, but for now we just have so many center games and pieces to go with them that it's hard to manage it all! Your tips should surely help!

Rae said...

This is very helpful! I've been trying to figure out the best way to manage all of my center ideas (yet to be implemented!). Thank you for this :)

Mindful Rambles

Amanda Bryant said...

Very clever!

Amanda Bryant
A Traveled Teacher!

Susan Moran said...

This post is FILLED with good ideas! You are a genius, Mrs. Cupcake! Thank you :)

T.G.I.F. (Thank God it's First Grade!)

Emma Eckert said...

Where did you buy the clear envelopes?

Michelle Griffo said...

Can you just come to my class and organize everything for me???
Xoxo- Michelle

Nicole said...

SO smart to print 4 pages on one and include them in your center basket! LOVE!

Mrs. Griffith said...

I just ordered 100 large envelopes and am TOTALLY regretting it now! I was wondering how I was going to tell what was inside...tape the cover sheet on the front. This is SO much easier. Now what to do....?

For the Love of First Grade

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