Saturday, August 31, 2013

Organizing MFW K - Our “Portable Schoolroom” (Part 1)

Uh, it’s probably only fair to start out by saying that I am *NOT* the person who should be giving you organizing advice.  I have a pile of papers on the computer desk, a pile of junk in the corner of my bedroom, a pile of random items on top of my clothes dryer, and a pile of “stuff” shoved in the corner of the kitchen counter.

Okay, now that we have that confession out of the way…

I’ve seen a few questions lately on the online forums regarding how to organize your MFW K materials.  We’ve developed a system that works for us over the course of the year, so I thought I’d share a little about that.

After a few weeks of doing school last year, we learned that using our bonus room wasn’t working well for us.   We needed an organizing method that made it convenient to do school at the kitchen table, yet that we could still easily put away so that our kitchen doesn’t resemble a school room.

First of all, we use a Sterilite Show-Offs File Tote.  Inside, we have a 27 file folders: 1 for each unit, 1 for the creation unit, and 1 for extra pieces like badges and game pieces.

(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Next, for the day to day organization, I love this scrapbook organizer tote.  It’s cute, sturdy yet has a little stretch/give, and has lots of small pockets for crayons & scissors along with several larger area for books & manipulatives.  We can fit pretty much everything we need for MFW K in this bag!

(Amazon Affiliate Link)

Here are a few pictures to show you how we organized our MFW K year.  First of all, we used that great organizing bag I just linked to above.  (My bag was a Christmas gift from my mom quite a few years back, so I don’t know if it’s still available in the purple/brown that I have.)

There are 5 interior pockets.  The middle one is the width of the bag.  It holds my MFW K teachers manual, a file folder with the student pages for the week, the Lauri alphabet puzzle, and Alex’s calendar notebook.


There are four small pockets inside of the bag, holding a plastic case of crayons, do-a-dot markers, scissors, little dry erase boards, glue bottle, and a few other manipulatives


The outside of the bag has an abundance of small pockets.  Ours hold google eyes, kid scissors, dry erase markers & eraser cloth, pencils, and other small items that would get lost in the larger inner pockets.  (Messier supplies, such a paint, are kept in an out of reach cabinet.)


The Sterilite ShowOffs bin (below) holds all of the student pages and anything extra that we printed for each unit.  There are 28 file folders in here – 1 for creation unit, 26 for the letter units, and one folder for extra pages that are used throughout the year.

Each unit folder also contains printed pages/magazine articles/etc that we found that corresponded with a particular unit.  I wrote ideas on the front of the folder to help me remember things that I’d read in online forums, too.


The shelves below are in our bonus room.  The top shelf holds all of the picture books that we purchased (through used book websites) to go along with MFW K.  It also holds our file box of student pages sorted by unit.

The bottom shelf has two canvas bins.  One holds construction paper sorted by color.  The other holds larger manipulatives, such as cuisenaire rods, that are used on occasion.


“Part 2” is coming soon…how we collected and organized books for MFW K units…

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