My #1 Classroom Organization Solution

Classroom organization must-haves for back to school! Book boxes for small group instruction can relieve teacher stress when planning out your classroom.
I know how much you love classroom organization! It's a real feel good part of setting up our classrooms, once you figure it out. But before that, it can be a big source of stress. It took me several years to figure out an organization system that worked well for my small group instruction. And now...I want to share that with you! 

Book Boxes!

I have used these Storex book boxes, from Wal-Mart (5 for $9.97) for the past two years, and instantly fell in love. I'm a big fan of color coding, and my school uses the Fountas and Pinnell Leveled Literacy Intervention (LLI) system, which is also rainbow color coded. These bins made for no-brainer organizational alignment. 

The bins hold materials for the small groups I see throughout the week. Each grade level gets their own bin. In each bin is a folder for each student, which contains student references (such as Fundations cards and comprehension posters), our group book, progress monitoring materials, and anything else we might need for the week. You could easily modify my color coded "grade level" bins to hold materials for the small groups you meet with, just within your classroom. 

Storex is a storage solution company based out of Montreal, QC, and they were generous enough to send me a set of their newest storage option to try out before the school year ended. 

As I said, I have been using the "Large Book Bins" for a few years, and couldn't be happier with my day to day classroom organization. However, three times a year when benchmark screening comes around, I cringe at the sight of the intervention room. It has always looked like a tornado rolled through at top speed, until this last assessment period! I was gifted the BRAND NEW "Double XL Wide Book Bins". My team and I used these super large bins to hold everything we needed for end of the year assessments (both reading and math in most cases). They housed our student packets, teacher administration packets, grade level checklists and student folders (for every student on our caseload - that needed to be "stuffed" before end of the year filing). The color coding made organizing a breeze, because my Type A teacher crazy has rubbed off a little bit on my teammates too. 
I would regret not mentioning that Storex has expanded the Wal-Mart selection for this Back to School season! In addition to the large book bins, they also have a rainbow set of 5 pencil trays, individual caddies, and cubby boxes with LIDS! The caddies and cubby boxes are available in a gorgeous turquoise color, so run fast to get them! I have not used these storage options in my classroom, but after seeing them in store, I am trying to figure out how I could - especially the cubby boxes, they are a great size and super sturdy! 

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • SO STURDY! These books bins are a beast even for rough and tumble classes. 
  • Variety of sizes, and options for organization in general
  • Book bins have connecting edges for neat storage
  • Color options (if you love the colors of the rainbow + black and turquoise)
  • Coordinating colors across different "lines" of organization (my Large Book bins, perfectly match my XL Wide Book bins)
  • Wal-Mart line is affordable, even if purchasing on your own, and they have had a BTS presence for at least three years (hopefully they aren't going anywhere, anytime soon).  

Cons

  • Color options (missing orange, white and pink - which I think are popular classroom colors)
  • Label pockets included only with the Large Book Bins
  • Organization options outside of the Wal-Mart line is pricey if you are purchasing out of pocket, but would be a great option to ask your school to look into. 

What are other teachers saying?

Jenn from Reading in Room 11 says, "Year after year I would change the way I organized my reading materials because I never found a system that I loved. All of that changed when I purchased my first set of Storex bins! I loved them so much that now I use them to organize my books too! They are the perfect size, durable and lightweight! I will never use another bin!"


Kristina, a first year teacher from Utah says, "This upcoming year I will have an entirely flexible classroom. I will be using the bins for my students to store the things that they need every day. The bins will be easy for them to move around the room when they need to find the best spot for their best learning experience!"

Anna, a 3rd grade teacher, says "I love the Storex brand book boxes above all others! For years I tried different boxes in my classroom, but they never had the colors I wanted, and they never stood the test of time. These Storex boxes have lasted me many years and are well worth the investment. Pretty AND useful!!" Anna has also created beautiful labels for her Storex book bins. Check them out HERE

For several years, I tried different organization options for my small groups. I've used mailboxes, a rainbow cart with drawers, even magazine boxes - which got me close to happy, but they were just not sturdy enough. I spent more money than I care to admit trying to find something that worked.  Since stumbling upon Storex, and all they have to offer for classroom organization, I have not turned back! Everything just works, and with some of their sets being available at Wal-Mart, for a very affordable price, I have been able to grow my organization collection on a teacher's summer budget.

SAVE FOR LATER:

I would love to hear if you have tried the Storex book boxes (or other sets) in your classroom, and how they have been working out for you! Please share your ideas in the comments, and please share how you would use the Double XL Wide Bins if you were to win! Good luck my friends! 





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