Material Management

So at the beginning of this school year, my goal was to set up my classroom so that my kinders could independently access everything. I knew this would make the classroom THEIRS, while also making my life easier! The crayon containers in my last post were a huge asset to that. Here are some other ways I organized classroom materials with student independence in mind:

Magazine Holders

I got these magazine holders last summer at IKEA. They came 5 in a pack for $2. That's a great teacher deal! You can find those here.

I thought they were the perfect way to either organize handwriting books and things students use during the day, or as mailboxes. Either way, the white just wasn't cutting it. Well last summer I also discovered the glory of spray paint. The world can be what ever color we want it to be with a little spray paint! So I spray painted them!

The spray paint went on incredibly well. I painted some purple and some turquoise. Here's what they looked like in my classroom.

I lined them up in from of my word wall, easily within the reach of students. Once the school year started I also put each of the student's pictures on the outside of one with their name.

Table Caddies

Here are my table caddies from this year.

The cups inside were spray painted to match the table colors. I also put pink, purple, blue and green stickers on the pencils and dry erase markers so that we could more easily keep track of them. Next year I won't put them on the pencils, but I will continue to put them on the dry erase markers. I think they saved us at least a few markers. I keep the dry erase markers and white boards at their tables for the purpose of formative assessment. That way at any moment each student can pull out a white board and a marker for a quick check of understanding.

Pencil Organization

You'll see on either side of the crayon containers I have a broken pencil bucket, and a contain for sharp pencils. I only sharpen pencils once a week and I fill the sharp pencils container. If their pencil breaks, they know to put it in the bucket and where to get a new one, without having to ask for one. This seems small, but it made our transitions very smooth. Otherwise, I have 10 little hands going up that need pencils sharpened, or a long line of students at the sharpener when they could be writing. Simple idea, great time saver.

Early Finisher Tubs

When I made these I just made a simple label and attached it with modge podge to a plastic tub-in the same color as their table of course! Students know that when they finish their work they can come get their tub and work at their table.

In the tubs I place meaningful activities for both literacy and math. As the year progresses, I can differentiate them with activities that different students need to practice. This also allows them CHOICE, which is important to me.

These were definitely a GLOW from my classroom this year. I don't know how I survived before them. I will do another post on early finisher tubs later.


We use these pointers for many things in our classroom, and the kids LOVE them. Last year though, they were turning up broken and I swear we spent more time looking for them than using them. This year my solution was to put a strip of velcro on them and stick them right where we needed them. I put these two at the big book center, one at my easel and one at the calendar. We didn't lose or break a single pointer all year! This little piece of velcro gave the pointers a home and it certainly made all of our lives easier. 

That's all for today! Enjoy!

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