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Saturday, 14 January 2017

Flexible Seating - Organizing Student Supplies

This is the second post in my Flexible Seating series. To get a look at the different seating options I offer my students, click here.

One of the things I was most nervous about while considering flexible seating was that I had no idea where students would put their supplies and their work. I tried a few different approaches this year and here is what worked the best for my classroom.

Unfinished Work Folders

Since students don't have desks, they need a place to put all of their unfinished work, notes to go home, etc. We use "Unfinished Work Folders" in my classroom and they work like a charm! I simply gave each student a manilla folder and some time to decorate. Anytime a student has a loose paper, they put it straight into this folder. Works like a charm :)

unfinished work folder - a solution for students organization with flexible seating in upper elementary

Student Book Bins

My students use their book bins during reading and writing workshop. 

Each student fills their bin with the following items:
  • independent reading books
  • reading response notebook
  • writing workshop notebook
  • unfinished work folder
These book bins from Really Good Stuff are awesome because students can simply pick them up and move wherever they like in the class! 

I'm going to warn you... this is a real life photo and is not Pinterest worthy but this is what my students' book bins looked like in December. A bit messy but they serve their purpose :)
book bins- a solution for students organization with flexible seating in upper elementary

Binder/ Duotang Storage

My students keep all of their duotangs in subject specific bins. For example, we have a math bin where everyone keeps their math duotang, etc. Then when we are working on that subject, I simply have the kids grab their duotang out of the bin. 

We store all of our duotang bins and binders on this bookshelf. This way students can easily access any materials that they need.

At the beginning of the year we model and practice how to carefully and responsibly take materials out and put them away. 
binder and duotang shelf- a solution for students organization with flexible seating in upper elementary

At the beginning of the year, the white bins at the top were empty. Now I store my guided reading materials in them. This makes it really easy to grab the day's lesson and go!

Community Supplies

This year I started using community supplies. We keep little caddies with school supplies on each table. At the end of the day, the kids clean the caddies out and ensure that all dull pencils and pencil crayons go in the dull container and are replaced with sharp ones. My students are completely in charge of running our school supplies system and I love how it is going so far! At the beginning of the year, I filled the caddies and then put all of the extra supplies away in a bin. Then I will take out the extras to refill the caddies in January. This will hopefully help our supplies last all year long!

community supplies - a solution for students organization with flexible seating in upper elementary

Organization is key when using flexible seating! I hope  I gave you some useful ideas for your own classroom :) Be sure to pin the image below so that you can come back to this post later!

storage solutions for flexible/ alternative seating classrooms


Have a sweet week!


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