Get Organized in the New Year: Centers

I love the new year. It's full of excitement of the new things that will be happening. It feels like a fresh start, too. I find myself getting things organized in my classroom as I get ready for a new year. Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks as well as some of my favorite tools for keeping an organized classroom, but I'm still able to keep everything I may need at my fingertips.**Note: This post included affiliate links. If you purchase any of the items featured in this post you will not be charged any more and a small commission will be sent my way. This helps keep this website up and running.**It's always such a battle between order and things in a special education classroom. Our students need a lot of supports to help them access their curriculum and to be able to participate in activities but this just means MORE STUFF in our classroom. If you don't have a good system in place for organizing and storing all this "stuff" you're quickly going to be drowning in data sheets, sensory fidgets, behavioral icons, classroom schedules, and so much more.
We run centers in our classroom and many of our centers need to serve double duty. We do our math and art tasks at the blue table. We eat snack, complete reading tasks, and writing tasks at the red table. And having all of those things at our fingertips takes a lot of work. Putting some good organizational tools into our classroom centers has been a lifesaver in our room.  I was lucky enough to score two rolling cabinets that divide our two centers in our classroom.

This photo was snapped mid day during a crazy day so don't mind the mess, but you can see our rolling carts behind the table. You can see I have a pocket chart hanging from the cabinet where we keep visuals for projects. These are great tools for use during centers. Here are some of my essentials for organizing materials for center time.

I recently picked up this tabletop pocket chart and I have to say it is AMAZING! It's one of my favorite purchases yet. My favorite part of this tabletop pocket chart is that it folds up flat and is closed with velcro. I can leave icons and sentence strips for lessons in the pocket chart, fold it up, and place it between the two cabinets when it's time for our center to serve a different purpose. When I pull it back out again, there's just some slight adjustments that need to be made to pieces that have slipped, but then we're ready to pick up right where we left off.

Desktop caddies are another classroom favorite! And I especially love to color code them. We keep a red desktop caddy at our red table, a blue one at our blue table, you get the idea... These store markers, pencils, erasers, and basically anything else we are going to need to complete tasks at our work centers. They also tuck neatly into our divider cabinets when we are finished with our center work.

Another classroom must have are these magazine holders. They hold our work for center times. I have color coded each bin with folders that match the color for different subjects. For example, reading is red, math is orange, etc. Inside each folder is generalization work for students to work on to complete the skills they have been learning in 1:1 work times. I added a couple labels and the bins are looking adorable!
Get your classroom organized in the new year. Special education centers are a breeze when you have an efficient organization system for all the things!

How do you keep your classroom organized at center time?


  1. Where did you get your magazine box labels for the subject area boxes?

    1. Hi! Those are some labels I have made and use as folder covers in my classroom. They're something I can share soon :)


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