Kindergarten Organization Tips

Submitted by Myrose, here are some very specific tips on getting organized to teach kindergarten…

I am currently teaching Kinder OCR 2002, but many of
the ideas are still applicable.


Here are some of my organizational tips–I hope they help you:

–I keep all my big books in a small chart box, in the front of the
room, right next to my big book easel. This has been great. The box
is an old one made to hold posters and chart paper. It has dividers
in it, and it does not have a lid. This makes for easy taking out and
putting away of the big books. Prior to this year, I kept my large
wood blocks in the box.

–I gave up on using the word cards that came with the series. It was
too time consuming to pull the cards you needed for every day. Last
year, I pulled the cards that I needed, then afterward, I put them in
a plastic baggie and labeled the name and number of the lesson. If I
needed a card for another lesson, I simply made my own card, so that
I now have a set of cards for every lesson. No more pulling cards
this year.

–My partner and I purchased 5 very large tubs at Walmart 2 years
ago. We labeled one for each unit. We now simply take out a box the
week or two before we start that unit, and go through it to see what
we need. I keep the baggies with the word/picture cards in the boxes,
as well as samples of the First Step Stories, manipulatives, samples
of anything we made for that unit, etc.

–I found that I did not need every blackline master in the book. So,
I keep a folder with one copy of each blackline master I did use in
that unit’s box. I pull the folder out, and can run off everything I
need for that unit at once. This makes life very easy for me.

–My grade level partners and I each take one unit, and prepare what
is needed in the way of worksheets, etc. We go over it with our
fellow teachers to remind them of what they need to do. Being in
charge of one unit makes things easier for us. (We always have
between 4-6 K classes each year).

–We placed colored dots at every stopping place in the big books.
This helps you to keep your place while going between the teacher’s
manual and the big book. We even numbered the dots to correspond with
the numbers in the teacher’s guide.

–My first year I made 3 sets of flashcards for each predecodable. (A
LOT of work that year, but well worth it). I laminated them, and put
them in baggies with one sample of each book, then placed them in the
correct unit boxes, now they are easy to pull and find when I need

8 Responses to “Kindergarten Organization Tips”

  1. Sheila A. Says:

    I use Open Court 2000. I also found pulling the word cards that come with the series very inconvenient. However, several years ago I started using one clear, plastic shoe box to store the word cards, and another clear, plastic shoe box to store the picture cards. I keep the cards in each box in alphabetical order, and they are now very easy to pull. I also paper clip certain ones together, such as colors, number words, etc., also things like, “Rain, rain, go away, etc.” that are used together for OCR lessons. This has worked very well for me.

  2. Jen Says:

    Hi, I will be using Open Court for my K class for the first time this year. Why are 3 sets of flash cards needed for each predecodable? Thanks!

  3. Mathew Says:


    Not sure. This was a guest article. I’m trying to find out.

  4. Maggie Says:

    I am going to be using Open Court for first time in K with no training in sight until late Sept. I am not familiar with OC at all, as I have been brought up on HM. What are the essential materials from series for first month of school besides the teacher’s guide. The school is new and we are not going in until very close to starting, so I need to be able to assess the situation first day and scrounge if necessary what I will need. Thanks to all you hard working teachers for tips, this is a wonderful site!

  5. Mathew Says:


    It’s been awhile since I taught kindergarten myself. I’d recommend posting your question on the Open Court Resources Discussion Board where there are a lot more teachers than just me and someone will answer. Off the top of my head I’d say that you’ll need your School big book, Leo the Lion puppet, and a box of manipulatives (word cards, etc). There are also sound spelling cards to be put up (if they’re not already). But please verify the accuracy of that info on the discussion board (visit and choose discussion at the top)

  6. myrose Says:

    At the time I submitted these tips, I didn’t think about explaining them! Thanks for the question, Jen.

    I made 3 sets of flashcarde so that I could use them in the following ways:

    One set stayed at the front of the room, in my box, so that I could utilize it with whole and small groups throughout the week. Always keeping a set there meant I never had to search the room for them.

    Second set was placed in a box that was set aside for a parent volunteer or aide, which would call students and work with them individually.

    Third set was placed at a center, which the students could go to during workshop time, and use the cards in a variety of ways.

    By having 3 separate sets, I never had to worry about where we left the cards the last time they were used. This saved the time I used to waste looking for the flashcards, LOL!

  7. Jen Says:

    Thank you, myrose! I also tend to misplace things around the classroom in the chaos of the day, so I really like your idea of having 3 sets. And, yes, it would be helpful to have extra sets for my reading teachers.

  8. Tshirt Says:

    We have a poster maker at our school site. I send home the decodable books and review stories in a large poster that I made with our poster maker. It is great review!!

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