Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Easiest Classroom Mailboxes Ever

Happy New Year!!! I hope you had a wonderful break {I hear some of you are still on break? Sooo, jealous!} The entire month of January The Primary Peach is bringing you a new series..."A New Year of Organization!"

I always think about the new year and a fresh start, both in and out of my classroom. It's the perfect time to try something new, or fix something that isn't working. Who doesn't love to be organized? We all have our varying degrees of organization, right?

Today, I'm talking about mailboxes. Not the kind in front of your house...the kind in your classroom. A quick search on Amazon brings up lots of options for mailboxes, but they can be pretty pricey. My biggest issue though, is that they take up so.much.space! Umm, hello eyesore?

My co-teacher has actually been using a mailbox system that costs less than $15, and can sit on top of one desk (and still have room left over!) Whhhaaat? I immediately adopted it for my classroom too, and I.love.it!

Officially introducing...the EASIEST CLASSROOM MAILBOXES EVER!
Easy and inexpensive student mailboxes to stay organized.
Here's what you'll need:
- Milk Crate ($2.99 at Target) White | Black
- Hanging Files ($9.99 through Amazon) Teal (16 different colors) | Assorted Primary Colors How gorgeous are these teal ones?
- Space in your classroom (not sold in stores, although wouldn't that be nice?)

That's it! You can either type your students' names, or just write them on the tabs.

What goes inside?
- Graded work
- School-wide papers (you know the ones that come from the office that everybody gets)
- Permission slips
- Anything that needs to get inside Take-Home Folders

I use this in conjunction with "Communication Central" - a space in my classroom that handles the flow of papers in and out of the classroom. 

- Take-Home Folders (Students place their folder here each morning)
- Notes for the Teacher (absence notes, tardy slips, notes from home, sweet notes from students) - this eliminates a student handing me a random piece of paper and then me losing it!
- Homework basket
- Mailboxes
Easy and inexpensive student mailboxes to stay organized.
The best thing about this system is that it's pretty much student-run. I check folders daily, and look at any notes that have been put in my basket, but other than that, student jobs take care of the rest.

UPDATE: I've added a FREE mailbox label! You can grab them HERE or by clicking the image below!
For label for easy and inexpensive student mailboxes to stay organized.
Be sure to check out the other posts so far:
- Mandy shared a simple but super effective strategy (plus a FREEBIE) HERE!
- Jivey shared how to get organized with your PHONE! HERE!

17 comments:

  1. I currently use this system and love it! They only thing that I do different is that instead of putting each student's name on a file folder, I have a set of classroom numbers that I don't have to change. The student's mailbox number corresponds with their locker number. This saves the time of having to change names each year. :)

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    1. Isn't it the best? It takes up just a small amount of space! Using classroom numbers is a great idea!!!

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  2. This looks fantastic. Question... how do you manage this? Do you or a student put the notes in each file folder? How do the students pack it all up at the end of the day? I'm just wondering how to eliminate everyone crowding around this all at once!

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    1. Hi Jacqueline! I usually file papers either in the morning as students are entering the classroom (I'm right by the door and can greet students at the same time), or just sort of randomly whenever I have a few minutes. Some teachers have a parent volunteer do this. You could also have this as one of your class jobs - it does require some "training" though. I usually only call a team up the mailbox area at a time, and it works out pretty well.

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  3. I would ask the same question about end of day. Also, did you spray paint this color? Would love to know the name of color.

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    1. Isn't the color so great? I actually found it at Target! I've seen them there recently too! At the end of the day, I usually only call a team up the mailbox area at a time, and it works out pretty well.

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  4. I do this...my room parent comes in once a week, and I have a folder designated for a place to put the all class handouts, etc AND I number my files, then put a class list with the numbers on it there, too. Then it takes care of itself year to year, with no files wasted!

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    1. Robin, numbering the files is a great idea! I'll be using numbers this year!

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  5. I'm also curious as to keep this from getting too crowded from all the students getting their papers?

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    1. Hi Courtney - great question! I call students up to the mailbox area by teams at a time. There are usually about 4 students at a team, and it keeps it relatively calm :)

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    2. You could have a student simply pass out what is in the folders to the student to whom they belong. That is what my students do now with my giant mailboxes. But I love this idea and I can repurpose my old mailbox system. I am always looking for cleaner more streamlined ways to organize the classroom :)

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  6. Do you have a link to your chevron homework sign? It's adorable!! Thanks!

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  7. I use this same system & it works great! My fourth graders pretty much run this system - I'm departmentalized so my team mates just drop in and set their graded papers on top of the files, along with my graded papers and school notices, etc. A few chosen students put them in the hanging folders before class starts or when they're finished with their work. For some reason, this is a job students beg to do! Then the same students take the papers out of each "mailbox" folder and place them in the corresponding take-home folder on the day they're sent home. Another student hands out the take-home folders at the end of "take-home" day. No crowding happens and it's very little work for me :)

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  8. I can't wait to do this with my 5th graders! Do you have a link for the blue chevron signs you used in the picture? It's adorable and I have the same blue crate!

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  9. Hi! So are you using the teal color here? It looks much darker than on Amazon but I love it!

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  10. I love this idea! I'm wondering, where did you get the blue chevron Mailboxes sign that you use in the photo, or did you make it? Because I just love it! The mailbox sign freebie you provide is cute but the blue chevron one you use in the pictures is totally more my style.

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  11. Love this! Where can I find the chevron mailbox label you use? It matches my classroom perfectly :)

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