Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Clutter Linky x 2

This is probably illegal linky behavior, but I'm going to combine 2 diffrent weeks of linkys into one post, because I have everything ready and I hate being so far behind!

Controlling the Clutter:
Being a teacher you would think I am an excellent planner.  Unfortunately, that’s not the case.  Don’t get me wrong, I plan.  But usually the best things that happen in my class aren’t planned – they’re moments of inspiration on my part, my assistant’s part or my students’ part.  I don’t like to make plans weeks in advance – generally I plan a few days at a time.  When I plan far in advance I generally waste a lot of paper because I change the plan part way through.
However, some things do require a PLAN.  Getting control of my classroom clutter would be an example of such a thing.  Fortunately, I’ve been able to check out other teachers’ plans – blog stalker, I know!  And I think I have a basic plan that I am comfortable implementing.

1.  Invest in file folders and hanging folders STAT!  (In my ideal, money-doesn't-matter world, these would be color coordinated and fun…but that probably won’t happen.  Budgets are no fun!)
2.  Use my filing cabinets effectively.  Decide where to store each subject area’s materials and clear out all the random materials.
3.  Decide where and how to store extra school supplies – my own and my students.
4.  Begin investigating organizing solutions for math materials, centers, etc. 
5.  Finish sorting through the materials I inherited and toss anything I doubt I will use.

I think that about sums up my plan for now.  This is my short-term action plan.  I hope to accomplish all of this by the end of spring break.  I’m sure I’ll need to make another long-term plan soon once I get the basics taken care of.  I want to begin doing more math centers, but before I can start I need to get the current clutter taken care of and investigate what organized teachers do for their math centers.

Teacher bag Linky
This is how I felt about my teacher bag a few short days ago...it was a TERRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD situation that has since been remedied.

I had never actually invested in a bag that was a good fit for a teacher's needs.  I some how acquired several random bags over the past few years and none are a good fit for my needs and all are in various states of disrepair.  
See below...

Literally the bigger bag is disintegrating.  And the smaller bag is a mini whole-food shopping bag that my husband got at an Oktoberfest event...sigh

(Did you spot Max?  It is impossible to take a picture in my house without a cat cameo appearance!)

BUT - in honor of this clutter-free project, I have since ordered a new bag, a thirty-one bag...which makes me feel more like an official teacher!  

Introducing my brand new Thirty-One  Organizing Utility Tote in Parisian Pop!
It's lovely.  And already I feel more organized with my little glove compartment!

And my water bottle compartment.  And my pencil case compartment.  
Even my cats are excited!

Now here is an image of what I actually carry around with me almost all the time.  
My general planning binder, where I keep my plans, calendar, student contact information, state standards, and resources I don't want to lose.  I also have a guided reading binder where I have my group information, group lessons, guided reading resources that I don't want to lose, etc.  The little uninspired white binder is my data binder where I keep track of the million data points I need for R.T.I.  And at the end you see my personal calendar/planner...which is essentially only used to keep track of bills and write check marks next to them when paid...it makes me feel good.

Here are some random read alouds, cards from kids and The Wednesday Wars a great book I just read!

Here is a new math program I might pilot with my students who struggle with number sense...it comes with me, but I haven't gotten very far. Oh and don't forget the crocheted headband, glasses case that I have never used...honestly!

So, I'm super excited to have my new thirty-one bag.  I solemnly swear to not fill it with clutter!

Thank you clutter-free classroom project!  You can link to other teachers’ plans on this website, and find other great materials for managing clutter and getting organized.
Mrs. Castro Pin It


  1. Just found your blog! I'm now your newest follower!

    Growing Up Teaching

    1. Hi Kim, thanks for stopping by! I'll definitely head over and check out your blog!

  2. I love your blog design! I am your newest follower! I can't wait to share ideas!

    1. Thanks for stopping by Kelley! I've definitely already been at your blog and used your ideas, hopefully some of mine will come in handy for you!

  3. Hey, we are 31 bag twins!!!

    And I like your organizing plan. I think I will pretend that it's mine, haha!

    Marvelous Multiagers!

    1. Jill did you see the read-aloud? Hooway for Wodney Wat? We read it today! The kids loved it, thanks for the recommendation on good reads!
      Yay for matching 31 bags! I just went and looked at your post for the bag yours wins the cute award since it's monogrammed.

    2. I did see Wodney Wat in your picture!! Did your kids die laughing? Mine did and then I had to read it every day for the next 5 days. They must have said, "A twain twavels on twain twacks" like 100 times!

      The funny story about my bag is that I didn't even have that pattern at first! My friend who teaches next to me has the sister of one of my first graders. The kids got both of us bags for Christmas, and I had a different one at first - it was the pattern with the big dots in grey, black, and white. When I saw my friend's (which is the one I have now), I was like, "OMG I like yours more!" And she liked mine more so we switched, haha!

    3. You definitely got the better bag - the Parisian Pop is my favorite style!

      My kids did love the Wodney Wat and my best English speakers then began speaking like Wodney...the rest all have the Subway commercial stuck in their head "Five, Five Dollar, Five Dollar Foot Longs"...that's literally on surround sound all day long in whispers.

    4. You're lucky it's on surround sound in whispers... my class loves commercials and movie trailers and I hear them ALL DAY LONG. Not in whispers!

  4. Hey there!! I just awarded you the Liebster Award!! Come on over to my blog and check it out!! Congrats and thanks for sharing such great ideas!!

    1. You made my blogging-filled night! Thank you Tammy! I've seen your award on so many great blogs and I'm thrilled that you're recognizing my blog! Thank you for taking the time to visit!
      Mil gracias!

  5. I love your new bag, but I love your kitties even more! I can't have a kitty because my son has allergies. The day he leaves for college watch out! I love your blog!

    1. Hi Jenny,
      I LOVE my new bag! It has really helped me consolidate and organize my stuff! If you don't have one you NEED one! Aren't my cats cute?!?! Thanks for reaffirming their cuteness...I'm on my way over to your blog now!

  6. Very amazing gift hampers for children and elders as well. Mostly this fact come to see that childrens are very keen to get gifts from everywhere and this is so nice of everyone. In polite environment we can grow our child better. If you need more help and article/essay on how to grow your child please join us at buy a research paper

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