Today I want to share with you about my “color-coding” classroom organizational system. Although it sounds silly, assigning my students a color at the beginning of the school year is my go-to for organization. It has saved my sanity. With 3 instructional assistants, a lead teacher, and a student teacher, keeping data and student materials organized and easy to access can be quite a challenge in a busy classroom!
With 8 students, I basically use the colors of the rainbow: red, pink, orange, yellow, light blue, dark blue, and green. I bought packs of colored paper at Office Max 2 years ago and I am STILL using the same packs – quite the bargain!
Here are a few different ways I use the color-coded system in my classroom:
When I created our master zone schedule, the student colors come in handy. In our “adult” schedule, I use time intervals and student colors to show adults where they need to be throughout the day and WHO they are working with.
In our classroom, each student has a schedule for the day. At the beginning of the year, all of my students usually start on a picture schedule or words with pictures that are Velcroed onto a large strip in their cubbies. Their cubby, and schedule cards are both in their “color” so that it’s super easy for them to locate their schedule at the beginning of the year, AND it’s a piece of cake for the adults to reorganize all the schedule cards at the end of the day when we are redoing schedules for the next day.
As a special educator, DATA has become my middle name. In order to keep up with all the data collected in our classroom, I created data binders and data clipboards for each student in our classroom. The clipboards are hung in a central location in our classroom so when an adult knows they are working with a certain student, they can quickly grab their clipboard to take data.
I keep all the data we collect throughout the year in the data binders, which are kept on the top of the student’s cubbies.
In stations where each student has specific items they are working on, such as our language station, I use the color-coding system as well. In the picture before, the boxes are coded with the student’s colors, along with the binders that we use to collect data on discrete trial training and fluency of mastered skills.
I prepare student reading and math binders at the beginning of the year with all the “copied” workbook materials we use. For example, in a student’s reading binder, I have tabs for writing, Word’s Their Way, phonics, handwriting, etc. Of course, the student’s binders are covered with their color paper and either “reading” or “math” for easy access for the adults and the students.
How do you keep your student materials organized??