New Ideas

14 November, 2013

Once again, I'm excited to join the Blog Hoppin' Linky Party, this time to blog about new ideas!

Often, when I get new ideas, it's from collaborating and sharing with other teachers. I have a few friends in my district who I absolutely love bouncing ideas off of. Whether we are chatting about something we tried in our classrooms, or something we are thinking about trying, we can share ideas without fear of judgment. I encourage you to find a friend who teaches the same subject/ grade level as you do, and share ideas with them! 

Here are three new organizational/ management ideas:

#1: Melodic and Rhythmic Containers
My friend Matt shared this idea with me...and I'm so glad he did!  His idea was to organize all of his rhythmic and melodic materials into milk crates, filed by concept. I couldn't find milk crates, but I did find these handy containers at Staples:

Inside each crate, I placed a hanging file folder for each grade level, and then individual file folders for each concept, like this:

Inside each file folder, I placed activities for that concept. For example, in the rhythmic tub, for ta and ti-ti, I placed ta and ti-ti rhythm flashcards and my walk and running cards (which you can download for free.) In the re folder, I placed re stick notation cards, re staff notation cards, and Do Pentatonic Bingo.

Matt also had the idea of placing a sheet in each folder for new ideas for that concept. While I was organizing tonight, I found a really neat name game for syncopa, so I put it in the syncopa folder. Hopefully that way I will remember to use it!

I love how much more organized I feel with these tubs! (And thanks to my friend Matt for sharing this awesome idea!)

#2: Partner Poster
Shawn, the P.E. teacher at my school, shared this idea, and I'm very excited to use it! He has a poster in his room that is labeled "Partner Poster." Here is one I created that you can download for free (just click on the picture):

The idea is this: when students are finding partners, you can tell any students who can't find a partner to go to the partner poster. Whoever ends up at the partner poster can then partner off! Such a simple way to fix the problem of students not being able to find partners! Thanks to Shawn for the great idea!

#3: Grade-Level Containers
On Pinterest and other blogs, I've seen lots of teachers use day of the week containers (one container of materials for each day of the week.) I liked this idea, but it doesn't really work in my classroom, because on Monday, I teach third grade, fifth grade, first grade, and Kindergarten, on Tuesday, I teach third grade, fourth grade, fifth, grade, first grade, and Kindergarten, etc. I did try containers that said "Lessons for today," and "Lessons for tomorrow," but that still didn't work all that well for me. The containers ended up being a mess and I couldn't find anything, because I teach so many different lessons in one day (and even if I teach two third grade classes in a row, they aren't usually on the same lesson!) So I had an a-ha moment and realized I needed containers for each grade level, like this:

I feel so much more organized now! The materials for each grade level are right there-- I just need to go to the container and get what I need. At the beginning of each day, I make sure all the materials are in the containers, and I also take out materials that I don't need anymore. Love it!

Also, thanks to Deanna Jump for her cute labels (which I used with the concept boxes and grade-level containers.) Her Organization Station is very helpful!

I hope you found something useful. I had fun participating in the Blog Hoppin' Linky Parties all this week. Thanks for reading!


  1. Question about your grade level tubs. I noticed that they have handles on them. Where did you get these and do you think it would be possible to easily travel with these kinds of tubs. I really try to stay organized, but with two different schools I often have to shift materials from school to school each day. I'm wondering if tubs like you have may make it possible for me to put the supplies in them and just grab them as I leave each day. I still will have to remember what grades I'm teaching, but I have to do that regardless. :)


    1. Hi Brittany! They do have handles on them, but I wouldn't carry them by those handles (otherwise, the lid might fall off). They are easy to carry though, as they have built-in grooves by the handles. I think they'd work great for traveling music teachers! :)

  2. All awesome ideas for organizing! Thank you for sharing - I love, love, love the partner poster idea, too and have to try that this week. I can totally see this cutting down on the "I don't have a partner!!!" moments!
    I have plastic sterlite drawers in my classroom that I use for each grade level to keep all kinds of props for games and materials in - but I really love the idea of having bins out for the materials to use daily. I am always trying to improve the organization of my classroom - It saves sooo much time! Thank you so much for sharing!

  3. Where did you get those grade level tubs? I love those!

    1. Hi there! They are called "Really Useful" tubs, and can be purchased at Staples or Office Max.


latest videos