I'm moving on from organizing - it didn't get completely finished, but good enough for now! I am waiting for some of the Back to School sales to get get 100% finished. Well, not the sales actually, I don't think prices will go down, but I am hoping for more availability! Right now there are no crates or pencil boxes and very few color options for desk organizers! Hopefully all of that will change next month and I can finish the last little bit!
Since I'm headed back to kindergarten (yahoo!), I am thinking about beginning of the year things! One of my absolute favorites is my folders. Each child will get a basic manilla folder, laminated for durability. We keep them at our tables under the caddy and any unfinished work gets stored there. The front of their folder is also their placemat, with handy dandy information and a space for them to practice their names.
I go with the placemat format because I don't do desk strips or nameplates. Too easy to pick at and peel up, plus I like to have the option to move students around at a moment's notice. I know I've seen teachers attach the name strips with velcro, but I haven't seen it work really well - still too much picking going on!
I've also found that cliques are less likely to form when I have the children change tables regularly. Usually I have everyone move tables at the beginning of the month, sometimes I let it go a little longer, depending on the class. With the placemats I can quickly move any children who are distracting others or not getting along too (most of the time we try to work out those personality clashes, but there are times when you just cannot sit Billy Bob next to Johnny or when Getrude and Minerva just can't stop talking to each other.) We just gather up the folder and change chairs, without having to worry about nameplates or desk strips.
Anyways, I revamped my placemats to go along with my "Where the Wild Things Are" theme and added a few things too:
Then I made a cat one too:
You can grab either of them in my TPT store by clicking on the picture. I have a monster and bumblebee placemat in my store as well now. Please let me know if you need a different theme, I'd be glad to make it!
Classroom Placemat Freebie
If you have any ideas for other themes, please let me know! And, as always, comments make my day :)