Getting Ahead of the Game, Week #7

This is the 7th and FINAL week of my summer blog series, "Getting Ahead of the Game." I hope that you have enjoyed these weekly challenge and feel a little more prepared for the new school year.

This week...

The need to label is real.:
Right?!? (Source)

A labeled classroom is a happy classroom. Labels jut tie everything together and help keep you organized! I love labeling everything in my classroom! Here are a few tips and freebies to help. 

1. Make a list. As you are setting up your classroom keep a big list of what labels need to be created. Don't try to stop and create as you go. If you aren't able to get in your classroom yet, you can go ahead and create your templates on the computer and add text after you know exactly what you need. The "Make" section of this Back to School Game Plan would be the perfect place for your list. Download this free HERE

2. Laminate your paper labels. I don't want to reprint and cut labels every year, so I want to make sure that they will hold up! I always print on cardstock and use my personal laminator so they are nice and thick. 

These math tub labels are going on year two! I love adding a little extra math to them with the tens frame number labels. So when I say, "Go grab Tub 4," my students have to do some extra thinking! Download these labels free HERE.  

3. Use magnetic paper. I discovered magnetic paper a few years ago and it has changed my life. It is so great for using on white boards and filing cabinets!

I used magnetic paper to create labels for my filing cabinet drawers. If things ever change drawers, it's easy to switch out labels. 

I also printed my literacy center choices on magnetic paper and it was great because I could move them around the board as I needed to. 

4. Add a picture. If labels are going to be used by your students, make sure they have a picture to reference. This is especially important for library book bins labels because I expect my students to put books away in the correct bin. 

5. Make a sign for each table. I love creating a sense of team and community in my classroom. Kids love having their own table team too. 

These little frames came from Micheal's Craft store and Amazon also sells them in white. You can read more about how table teams work in my classroom HERE. 

5. Use labels to help your organization system.  I have a three drawer organizer to sort my papers that need to be copied, filed and laminated. It makes my life easier because I don't have to give directions when I have parents come help me in the classroom. The labels explain what to do : )

Download these labels for free HERE.

This image was a hit on Instagram a while back. 

These folders also keep my copies and books organized for each day of the week. I just glued the label onto the tab part of the manila folder and ran the entire thing through the laminator.  These day of the week labels can be downloaded free HERE.

5. Use Avery Labels. At the beginning of the year I print a ton of address labels with my name on them. I keep these handy and throughout the year when I get new books or other materials, I just slap my name on! It sure beats trying to go back and label all of your books at once. I also put labels on all of my students folders and notebooks so we keep everything straight.

These labels are a little bit larger than the address size and work great for labeling notebooks and folders. Order them from Amazon HERE.  They are my favorite size ever. 

Thanks so much again for getting ahead of the game with me! Enjoy the last of summer!

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