Centers. I have a love/hate relationship with them. One reason why is organization. But, I'm happy to say that I have FINALLY found the method that works for me.
I'm sharing it with you today in hopes that it will work for some of you, too!
I keep each center stored in a gallon-sized ziploc bag. I find this to be the most cost-effective and convenient way to store centers.
The cover, the directions, the recording page, answer key, and cards/pieces are all kept in the bag. Easy peasy.
But, how to store these bags? How to put a selection out for students to use? These have always been issues for me....until now.
Enter.....File Cabinet Organization. Love.
File cabinets. Most of us have them in our classrooms already. Many are going unused these days since most of our resources are electronic. For years now, I've been using my file cabinet to store teacher resource books, colored copy paper, cardstock, and construction paper.
I wasn't willing to give up that paper storage, so I asked for an additional file cabinet for this year. I knew I wanted to try storing my centers in the file cabinet, but wasn't sure how to "divide" the ziploc bags into subjects.
I ended up getting large foam boards from the Dollar Tree and my sweet husband cut them to size for me. Then, I used washi tape to cover the top edge to give them a finished look.
I decided to just use small post-it notes to label each of the foam board dividers so that it would be easy to change the labels out if needed in the future.
I've been happier than expected with this set up so far. I can't believe how many centers can be stored in a small amount of space using this system.
When we're working on place value, it's super easy for me to pull out all of those centers (I never sort them by holidays/themes, but by subject topics instead) for students to use.
I display those centers in this book storage rack that I got at Big Lots one year. It's perfect for holding up to 12 centers at a time and letting students "see" them.
I hope some of these tips help you with your center storage!