Now the multi-piece jigsaw puzzles I have always stored in little zip-top baggies with the image cut of the box or a picture of the complete puzzle in the baggie. I also like to color-code the puzzles which is actually pretty simple. Just put the puzzle together and then carefully flip it over and color the back with a permanent marker or even a washable one if the back is rough cardboard (if it's a laminated or white shiny back, use a permanent marker, you will thank me later). This way, if several kids are using puzzles all together and in roughly the same space, they can easily figure out which pieces go with which baggie. You can also add that color to the baggie too to make it easy.
The thing that has kinda always frustrated me is our board puzzles. I have a couple of those awesome metal puzzle racks because I love utilizing vertical storage to maximizing our limited space in our classroom. I purchased one and was gifted another specifically to help aid in the organization of those darn board puzzles however my students just can never get the hang of putting them away correctly.
So this is pretty much what our board puzzles look like most of the time. They are either put in the rack crooked or just laid at the bottom length-wise and stacked on top of each other. UGH!
Luckily our classroom has 2 teachers and we only had 3 students today so while our other teacher friend was giving a lesson I set to work on my idea!
Here's what I did: COLOR CODE THE SIDES!
Metal Puzzle Rack (already owned)
Small Color Dots or Labels (already owned)
Scissors & clear tape
1. Choose your colors. You can do this with just the 4 colors or even if you only have white address labels, color them with markers or crayons and cut them down to fit.
2. Wrap each "notch" with a different color (no 2 colors side by side) on each side of the rack. The most important thing is that both sides match in color and there is no confusion of which "arm" they are trying to match. I did a simple pattern with mine going through each color until I ran out and then started the pattern over again.
3. Cover each colored dot/label with clear tape. For me this was a necessity because the sticky back wasn't adhering as well as I would have liked and started unrolling almost immediately so in order for this system to work, I wrapped it with clear tape to help secure it. Plus it kinda "laminates" it so it looks a bit nicer.
4. Show the kids how to match the colors on each side. I had to show the students that they might need 2 hands to match up the colors. We then got a practice round and they got it on the first try! Even my youngest student!! YAY!!!!
Looking back, I think DUH! But seriously, 7 YEARS and I didn't think of this once!
What are some cool classroom management or organizational systems have you implemented in your classroom or homeschool that were super simple? What are some of your favorites?
Click the box below and tell me all about them. Maybe I can find another solution for something in our schools.
Anything that saves time & creates less stress is a WIN in my book!
Until next time!
If you want to read more ideas like this stick around and while you are at it check out these recently posted items: