Lesson Plan Series {Organizing Units}

All Posts in This Series:

So, once you have your unit plans written and in a binder.  What now?  How do you organize your units?  As in, the books and supplies...everything that goes with each lesson within that unit.

I used to be old school....as in folders within a file cabinet.  But, things got lost.  Those drawers are just too big for me - they would always end up a mess! :)  I now use my file cabinets for construction paper storage, teacher resource books storage, and center storage.  Here's a peek at my center storage....

So, if I don't use file cabinets, what do I use to store my unit supplies?  See those containers on top of my cabinets?  Bingo!

I have a container for each unit that I teach.  I bought them s-l-o-w-l-y throughout a year.  Each time I would begin a unit, I would buy a few from Big Lots.  By the end of the year I had a wonderful organizational system.  They stack neatly on top of my cabinets and cubbies.

Inside each container is hanging file folders labeled with "Lesson 1", "Lesson 2", etc.  Inside the folders I place anything needed for the lessons - books, master copies, games, etc.  Here's a peek inside of my Reading Strategies container...I use lots of books for this unit, so it's pretty packed!

This makes my life SO easy!  No more looking for the books I need, or scouring through the file cabinet for the masters I need....it's all right there in the unit container.

When I get to a unit, I take that container down and place it on a counter near my desk.  Then, I'll make all of the copies I need for that unit and place them in the folders.  Voila!  I'm set for a few weeks.

So, the containers above are the ones I'm actually teaching from...the ones here will be rotated as I teach.  The containers at the end (with the green lids) are for Word Study.  Since that's the only subject that I plan weekly, those containers are organized by quarters (Quarters 1-4).  Here's a peek inside a Wordy Study container....

You can see that each week's skill has a file folder holding the books, games, etc needed for that week.  I'll also put the weekly spelling tests in here once they're copied.

The best thing about this system is that it is flexible.  If I decide to revamp a unit - no problem!  I can move the materials around easily since the folders are just labeled with "lesson 1", etc.

I hope that gives you some ideas to think about for organizing your unit supplies!  I'll be back soon with a post about my planning calendar!


  1. Wow! Thank you for sharing your ideas! Your room and blog are both amazing. I plan on spending some quality time here (on your blog) this summer. (Just wondering, is your house this organized?
    ; )

    1. Thanks, Suzanne! Ha....I WISH my house was this organized!!!!! ;)

  2. We loved this planner! Our party was two weeks ago and every detail of it was amazing. From start to finish the event planner team has been there every step of the way going above and beyond to make our party so special.

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  4. HI Amanda,
    Thanks so much for the great series. This came just in time! I have been following you for some time now, and am always appreciative of your creative ideas. I do have a question about your Long-Range Plans, (beautifully put together, by the way!). When you teach nouns under Word Work, for example, do you have a unit for purchase on either of your stores? Could you provide a link for these units shown on your long range plans?

    Thanks so much!!

    1. Yes! You can find most of the activities I use during that block here - https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Teachers-Clubhouse/Category/Word-Study

      LOTS of games and activities to get them moving! :)

  5. Amanda,
    I am bound and determined to organize and plan this way for the coming year. I also have convinced my teammates to teach reading using a genre theme like you do. Question: what order do you do your genres in? Also do you plan on making more genre units for your TpT store?

    1. Hi Erika! I hope you saw the Long Range Plans post in this series. That will show you the order that I teach all of my genres and units. I have most of my genre activities on TpT - mysteries, informational, biographies, fairy tales, tall tales, poetry...I do need to work on Fables for TpT. I hope to do a series on my reading genres this summer!

    2. I did see them. Thank you! I absolutely have loved this series and am so excited to use the summer to work on planning for next year. And I think teaching reading through genres will really get the kids excited. I look forward to your series on genres.

  6. You are a teacher after my own heart! I love organization, and this goes above and beyond. I will definitely be trying something like this next school year. Thank you for sharing your wonderful tips.

  7. Amanda,
    This is wonderful! Is there any possible way you could share what is in a few of those boxes? I homeschool, and I am so overwhelmed by the amazing stuff I have. I have always been drawn to units, and I am really good at collecting stuff. I just don't know what to do with this it once I have it. I get overwhelmed and end up not using much of any of it. How do you choose the books for your units? If nothing else, a list of picture books, poems, non-fiction, etc. that you use for each of your units would be the most amazing gift!!! At least then I would have a jumping off point! I taught middle school for over a decade, so I feel like I am drowning or barely surviving sometimes to prepare for the elementary years. Thank you so very much!!


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