Organize It: Math Manipulatives

Like most teachers, I LIVE for organization!  Prior to closing up my classroom in June, I tried to take pics of some of the ways I organize in my own classroom.  This week I plan to share some of my classroom organization ideas with you!

Let me preface this short series of posts by saying that these are not tips to help you organize your classroom quickly or cheaply.  I definitely spend far too much money on organizational supplies.  I have a problem with binge storage buying.  I'm obsessed with getting just the "right" bins and making sure they match.  The first step is admitting the problem, right?!  Haha.  The upside is that when I get rid of my old bins and buckets there are PLENTY of teachers at my school willing to take them off my hands!  Yay for recycling ;-)

I also find that organization takes thoughtful planning and LOTS of time!  I tend to organize, then live with it a while, and then re-organize to tweak what isn't working.

This year I really organized my math manipulatives the right way.  I am fortunate enough to have two huge closets, and wonderful shelves above my student cubbies.  I store all my math manipulatives in bins above my cubbies.

There were times when I had my math manipulatives in open bins for easy student access.
Then I realized that my manipulatives got VERY dusty... and the kids didn't even need to really access them at all.  I bring the manipulatives we need to our math groups, and any manipulatives that the kids need to use during Math with a Buddy are already in the buddy bins.

So I decided to put them up higher, where I could easily see and access them.

First I looked at all the manipulatives that I had.  I figured out what size containers I needed, and then I went on a shopping spree!

I fell in LOVE with these Snap-Tight Clear Activity Storage Boxes.  They come in small, medium, large, and deep sizes.  You can get them from Really Good Stuff or Target.  I ordered a bunch from Really Good Stuff, and now when I need to buy an extra one here or there, I can just run to Target to pick them up.  They stack beautifully!

Of course, what is storage without good labels?!  I made labels for each bin.  I made sure to print two sets of labels, so I could label both the front and the back of the bin.  That way it doesn't matter what side is showing when I put them away!  I simply taped them on with clear packaging tape.  This way I avoided the extra step of laminating.  So easy!  Want to snag a copy of these labels?  Just Click {HERE} to download a copy.

Click {HERE} to download these labels for FREE!

Happy Organizing!


  1. Wow, I love those containers! They stack so well and look so clean. Great job! :)

    Teach On.

  2. I also use those Target bins. Love them. Thanks for sharing your labels. We are getting a new math program this year and I am sure there are going to be TONS of new maniplulatives I'm going to have to organize.
    First Grade Hugs and High Fives

    1. You're welcome! Oh yeah, new math, new manipulatives. I love getting new programs but there is always so much STUFF that comes with it that you have to organize!
      Colleen :-)

  3. Replies
    1. No, I'm sorry but I don't have an editable version! Colleen

  4. I love, love, love these! Thank you so much for sharing them. :)


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