We all know how valuable math centers can be for our students. But one of the most overwhelming parts of setting up math centers is the idea of storing and organizing your supplies. Not only do math centers require a lot of supplies to help make them effective, but the more supplies you have, the more you have to worry about students losing or misplacing those supplies. So, I want to show you a few ways that I managed to solve those problems.
This is the last blog post in a series of four posts on math centers. If you're interested in learning more about math centers, check out the first post in the series, 5 Steps to Setting Up Your Math Centers
I also have a webinar that walks you through 6 easy steps to effective math centers in your classroom. Learn how to implement differentiated math centers in your room in an organized and manageable way - absolutely FREE! Learn more here.
Use Plastic Boxes to Store Centers
The most effective way that you can keep your centers organized is to put each center activity into a separate labeled container. I used these Sterilite plastic boxes. I really liked how they were big enough to fit everything for a single center activity inside, and that they were protected. The clip handles kept everything safe, but also weren't too hard for my students to open or close.
These bins also easily stacked on top of each other on the shelf.
I could easily fit my differentiated folders and activities inside along with dice, dry erase markers, paper, pencils, and more.
Math Centers On Wheels
Something else I used that worked well was a 10-drawer rolling cart. I could easily organize my materials inside. They were also easily accessible for students to grab.
The centers inside could also easily be switched out throughout the year and didn't take up a lot of shelf space.
Use Soap Containers for Small Parts
Many centers have little pieces, parts, or game cards that go along with it. I originally started using plastic baggies to store everything in, but after awhile the bags got old or torn. Plus there is always that one child who thinks it's hilarious to blow air into the bag and pop it like a balloon. To fix these problems, I went to the travel section at my grocery store and bought plastic soap containers.
This helped keep everything in one place. It was also a great way to store homemade flashcards that weren't the standard size or shape.
Use Craft Organizers For Dice and Other Small Parts
I also had a lot of dice to use for different games and activities. I had originally placed them all in one big box, but that began to take too long to find what I needed. I went to Walmart and purchased a craft organizer to store everything inside. (Find the different-sided dice here, the 6-sided colored dice here, and the foam cubed dice here).
PEACE, LOVE, AND STICKY NOTES,