Five for Friday,  Organization,  Resource Room

Five for Friday-My Resource Room

 This week’s Five for Friday is all about my Resource Room
I’m super proud of this space and know how fortunate I am to have a place dedicated exclusively for my teacher resources!  Let’s go on a tour!

First, let me tell you this room wasn’t part of the original floor plan of our basement.  Our basement is large and finished but sorely lacking in organized storage spaces. We thought about simply building a wall of shelves at the far end and hiding them behind a curtain or sliding closet doors.  A contractor we’ve used on several home projects suggested we build a wall a few feet out from the shelves and truly make a room instead of just a closet.  Best idea ever!

Here’s the view when you’re in the doorway…

and looking down the middle of the room… 
and from the back of the room looking over towards the door…
Yes, that’s my sweet Big Kitty who invited himself on this tour!
Here’s my children’s book collection.  As you walk in the door, these shelves are immediately to the right.  They’re packed pretty full but it’s still very easy to get to and find exactly what I need.  I use a free app called Book Catalogue to keep inventory of my books. It’s nice to be able to check the inventory listing on my phone before I buy a book. I’m always finding great deals on books at Goodwill or yard sales and the book app has been a helpful tool to avoid buying duplicate titles.  I also use the app when I’m doing my lesson plans to see what books I have for upcoming themes.
I’m currently just using old file folders to separate the various book categories.  It works fine…but one of my summer projects is to create some prettier dividers!

Doesn’t every teacher love Big Books? I sure do but they can be very awkward and cumbersome to store. I’ve used laundry baskets, plastic tubs, and even tall kitchen trashcans to hold these big literary monsters.  Nothing worked as well as I wanted.   One time I saw a wooden storage book box at a teacher convention so I snapped a picture and showed to my husband.  He immediately said, “I can build that!”.  So now I have a customized a Big Book Box! It’s on little casters so I can roll it out of the storage cubby, pick what I want to take in and read to the class, and then roll it back in it’s place.  


My monthly boxes are one of the main reasons I yearned for a good storage place at home. I don’t need to have daily access to them but I also don’t want them buried under piles of other stuff.  They are on the very top of the shelves and fit perfectly. Out of the way but where I can get to them.  I have a small step stool in my resource room that I use whenever I need to fetch a box.

The boxes are the plastic Sterlite brand which I purchased from Target about twelve years ago.  They’ve held up incredibly well and were definitely a worthy investment.  I remember buying two or three at a time when they were on sale because I couldn’t justify buying them all at once.

These boxes contain things that are pertinent to that month.  For example, the October box has all of my pumpkin centers, fall decorations, seasonal craft items, October poems/charts/songs for my pocket charts, calendar pieces, etc.  A few days before each month begins, I take down the next monthly box and sort through the contents. It helps with my lesson planning and gets me ready for what’s coming up.

I am blessed to have lots of alphabet/literacy/language resources!  I think it’s my favorite thing to teach and my favorite resources to collect!  This is an important part of the resource room because I am constantly taking things to school to use for learning at the teacher table, switching out items in centers, and trying to meet individual student needs. These tubs are sorted by the types of language arts activities they contain. I knew I’d never remember what was in each tub so I typed up an inventory list and posted it to the end of the tub.  A quick look and I can easily find what I want.

Tub 1 has a variety of letter manipulatives…everything from letter dice to letter rocks. Tub 2 contains resources to teach beginning sounds.  This tub has lots of matching games, small puzzles, and pocket chart cards.

Tub 3 is exclusively for fine motor resources I use when we’re working on learning letters.  It’s full of ABC rubber stamps, stencils, playdoh letter stampers, Wikki sticks, and even ABC crafting supplies!  Tub 4 has several categories but mainly stores my rhyming and sight words resources.

I made three super large binders with alphabet “stuff” in them.  It was challenging to remember what I had in miscellaneous teacher books so one day I sat down and basically disassembled them!  I tore out pages from a huge stack of resource books and then reorganized everything I had.  I put all the pages about letter A in one stack, all the B papers, and so on organizing all I had by the letter.  That way if we’re working on the letter P at school, I can look in one notebook and easily find a P handwriting page, a piggy puppet pattern, a page of P clip art pictures, and a list of P art ideas.  It has made planning so much easier to have everything together instead of having to look through a dozen books to find what I needed.

This language arts area also stores Nursery Rhyme flannel board  pieces, puppets, and pocket chart phrases in addition to my Word Family and Guided Reading binders. Oh, I did the same thing with word family resource books as I did with my alphabet ones.  Tore them all apart and filed everything by that particular word family.  So when I’m planning to teach the -at family, I have a variety of activities in one place without having to flip through 4 or 5 teacher books to find what I want.

The resource room is also home to my math resources.  I have two big blue tubs of math manipulatives which I need to inventory just like I did the alphabet resources.  As you see below, I also have a decent assortment of boxed floor puzzles, games, and items for dramatic play
I’m still “old school” and have a vast collection of books on tape.  Cassette tape, that is!  I know, they’re obsolete but I love my books on tape so I keep them sorted in my resource room in cardboard banker’s boxes.  I have one box for fall, one for winter, and one for spring.  Every month I switch out the listening center with a new batch of stories.  By the way, my listening center has an old cassette player and headphones.   
A couple of shelves are filled with arts & crafts as well as general office supplies.  
I have one blue tub filled with a hodge podge of containers, baskets, storage bins. There’s another one that keeps my science supplies organized including fillers and such I use in the sensory table. 
Well, I think that’s about it for the tour!  Thanks for coming to see my resource room

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