Thursday, July 10, 2014

1800 and Counting

  Last year I was on a "center - gathering" mission.  Trying to meet with more small groups meant I needed something for the others to do.  So thanks to Teachers Pay Teachers I was able to get so many! (Although I find myself still looking for more...could this be an addiction?)  I quickly got the new centers laminated and ready to go for the kids.  And while the kids loved them and I was able to meet with more small groups, I didn't have a good system for storing and organizing them.  Some were in zipper bags, some in file folders and some in pocket folders.  I needed some consistency and organization!

So that became my summer goal.  I brought home all my centers -- 4 milk crates plus some. After much thought I decided to go with file folders.  But since things fall out the sides, I chose to staple the sides up.  I know... I could have gotten folder jackets.  I even researched it.  But they were more than I could afford and I could get the file folders from school.  Having 200 plus centers meant a lot of stapling!  In fact I have used 1800 staples since June.  (I know this because I bought a brand new box of staples before starting my project !!)
Three staples on each side = 1800 staples so far.

Evenings have been spent with me on the floor, stapling folders, printing out missing pages, pulling out what needs to be laminated, and in some cases throwing things out when I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was or what it went with.

My little corner of the family room as I sorted.  You can see the mix of folders and storage.

Originally, I had kept extra copies of all the recording sheets in binders, one for ELA and  one for math.  At the time I thought it was a great idea.  I'd always have a clean sheet to make copies from.  However, it ended up just sitting there and I would forget to put the new ones in or copy the old ones.  Then, one day, I accidentally sent the record sheets off to be laminated with the games.  I decided to put them in the folder with the game.  That way the sheet was always with the game, but the kids couldn't "accidentally" use the last one.  So I took apart the binders, matched them up with the correct center, and added the needed ones to the laminate box.
My stack of "To Be Laminated"  I've got a lot of cutting in my future.

My binders waiting to be taken apart.
Next step in the process, organizing each box.  I haven't decided how to do that yet.  I've considered keeping them alphabetically - always a trusted way to organize, but some of the titles don't match the concept.  That would mean typing up a list of centers and the objective or skill it works on, which I'm not totally opposed to.  I've also considered organizing them by when I use them during the school year.  Which makes perfect sense...just go straight through the boxes.  But then there are those concepts that cycle through the year and I use more than once.

These are just the English/reading/language arts centers!
I'm am open to any other suggestions as well.  How do you organize your centers?  I'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback.  Now it is off to the swimming relay carnival!



Post a Comment