Student Toolboxes!

Happy Monday my friends! I'm psyched to be sharing a project I've been working on for my students this summer. And I'm linking it up with my dear friend Tara for her delightful...
So I think I may have posted about how much I adore my Teacher Toolbox a couple of times. Or several, really.
I just love it! It's the ONLY part of my classroom that never once got out of order last year and I could find things so easily, even in the busiest of times.

It was so easy to manage that I would even let my 5th graders borrow items from there last year if needed...they were always SO careful to put things back in the right place.

And how could you not? Each drawer was labeled and was the perfect size for the items inside.

This got me thinking. 

What if I had smaller-scale toolboxes for my students, at each table? With everything we use during a school day?

I imagined how much easier it would be to track supplies, each in their own proper place. How much instructional time would be saved in not having to pass out materials.
So I decided to test it out. It was still June with weeks to go in our school year. I purchased this little toolbox from Walmart: Stack-On 12 Drawer Storage Cabinet and tested it out with my soon-to-be-graduating 5th graders.

It worked out great! And that was without any labels (since it was the end of the year). I decided to make it my summer project in the coming weeks.

There was only one snag.

That lovely toolbox from Walmart has been out of stock. For a long time. And while it is supposed to come back (yes, I emailed and asked obsessively!) I started thinking about how much I did NOT want to spray paint six of those toolboxes for my students.

In the end, it worked out for the best because I found some that were exactly the same and already black (no spray painting needed!). They were more expensive but honestly the time and money invested in spray painting this summer was just not worth it for me. Plus those guys are still out of stock! I ended up getting: Homak 12 Drawer Organizer. UPDATE! Our friend Emily also found them on Amazon here: Homak 12 Drawer Organizer. Thank you Emily!!

The rest was very easy. I planned out all of the items we use within our day, made some labels, laminated them, and hot glued them right to the outside of the drawers (even though I love how my teacher toolbox has the labels on the handles, I was afraid my students would knock them off over time, so I left the handles clear and labeled the front of the drawers):
(please don't mind my lack of school supplies to show it off...we don't go back 'til September and I'm holding off on buying supplies for now!)
I made six altogether, for my six tables (here's a shot of four of them):
Since the backs of the toolboxes are open...
I covered them with folders in which I could pass out assignments ahead of time, complete with table numbers (I posted about these Table Folders the other day):
So each toolbox will be like a complete organizer (hopefully!) with everything we need for the day.
I have some more plans for these toolboxes, so I am working on a Part Two to this post! I will be sure to show it full of school supplies next time I am in my class, so you can have a better idea of how it looks in action.

Thanks so much for reading! I hope you all have a wonderful week and best of luck to those heading back to school!!

63 comments

  1. How awesome is this? I love the idea of having one for each table!

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  2. You are so amazing!! Every time I see another idea here, I am amazed and can't wait to see it all in your classroom! You have inspired me so much!! Thanks!

    Amy
    The Resource(ful) Room

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  3. I think this is such a great idea! The folders located in the back is genius! *HIGH FIVE*
    Teaching 3rd with Mr. G
    Follow me on Bloglovin

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  4. What a great idea to have the organizers for each table! Your kids will love it.
    -Jaime
    Bright Concepts 4 Teachers

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  5. These are the cutest, most functional things ever! Love them :) :)

    ~Stephanie
    3rd Grade Thoughts

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  6. Brilliant! You are making this TYPE A teacher giddy with excitement at the thought of doing this in my own classroom someday. Love all of your ideas! Thanks for the inspiration.

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  7. Hi, Wonderful idea! Do you have the labels available?

    Evelyn

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    1. Hi Evelyn, I'll put them in my store later this week :)

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  8. When can I come see your classroom IRL!?!? Please!!!!!

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  9. Love those! Putting the folders on the back is a great idea. :-)

    Nichole
    The Craft of Teaching

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  10. The folder on the back is the icing on the cake! :)

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  11. SOO awesome! I love these mini toolboxes... what a great idea for kiddos to use!

    Sara
    Miss V's Busy Bees
    ventrellasara@gmail.com

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  12. Love these!!! And I found the drawers on amazon for under $12! Sweet!
    http://www.amazon.com/HOMAK-HA01012001-12-Drawer-Plastic-Organizer/dp/B000XJKD9G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1375122219&sr=8-1&keywords=homak+12+drawer

    Emily
    eah719@hotmail.com

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    1. Thanks for sharing the link with us Emily!! And thanks for reading :)

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  13. Will you be sharing these most fabulous labels?

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  14. That's an AMAZING idea. I always love your labels - they're so FUN!

    Anisa @ Creative Undertakings

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  15. I love your idea! I've been looking for something similar so I think this will be perfect! One question: I was reading the reviews online and several people said they could barely fit pens in the drawers, even diagonal. Have you tried, and is it able to fit at least 6 pens in it? Looking forward to trying it out!!

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    1. Hi Megan, the top drawers would only hold a few pens diagonally, unless they were a little smaller maybe. You could fit a bunch of pens (though diagonally) in one of the larger bottom drawers though.

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    2. I forgot to add, I'm thinking of just putting the pens we use without the caps in the drawer...I was really tired of caps falling off and getting switched (accidentally?) ;) I think they will fit that way as well.

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  16. I am in love! Such a great idea, and oh so pretty!!!

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  17. These are great Kristen! So cute too and placing the folder on the back was a good idea. Your things are always so cute and colorful...love your color scheme!

    Blessings, Vicky

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  19. WOW, you continue to blow my mind!! These came out great. Love the labels too.

    Laurie
    First Grade Lyons' Den

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  20. LOVE this! Makes me wish I had tables instead of desks!! :)

    Theresa
    Pinkadots Elementary

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  21. LOVE! What kind of folder is that on the back? A decorative file folder? Did you tape the bottom and sides closed?

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    1. Hello! It's called a Backpack Folder and I got them at Walmart for 47 cents the other day. I chose them because they have the bottom and left side already attached, so no taping required! I wrote a bit more about them other the other day here: http://www.ladybugsteacherfiles.com/2013/07/optimum-organization-table-folders.html

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  22. These came out beautifully! I love the folder on the back! Do you have tables or desks in groups? I would love to try something like this, but am wondering about how much space they will take up as I have desks in groups. Thanks so much for sharing your creativeness. I love reading your blog!
    ♬Kay
    On the Trail of Learning

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    1. Hi Kay, thank you! I have tables so these will go in the center of each. Thank you for your kind words, I'm so glad you like the blog! :)

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  23. I absolutely love this!! Do you think you'll make the labels available on TpT? They would go perfectly with my new alphabet I'm about to buy from you!! :)

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    1. Oh thank you Jena! Yes, I'll put them up in the next day or two :)

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  24. Genius! Thanks again as always!

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  25. HOLY SMOKES THESE ARE EXCELLENT!
    Mels

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  26. Once again.....brilliant!!!! Your neat, cute, organized ideas......what can I say.....I just adore them!!!!!!! Thanks for linking up:)))

    4th Grade Frolics

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  27. You just have the best ideas and then make it work with such cute labels. You are an inspiration.

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  28. amazing idea! I love it! You always have the best ideas and I look forward to your Monday Made Its :)

    Katie

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  29. Hi!! I just bought a box at Homedepot, and I saw your post. I can't wait for your labels. :0)

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  30. I want to be like you, I want to be like you, I want to be like you . . .

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  31. Awesome idea!
    Thank you for sharing it!

    Mary

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  32. Do you sell this on tpt? If so, are some blank so you could personalize it with your own label for a drawer? This is so awesome!

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  33. holy stinking cow.... I LOVE THIS. great idea to make them for the kiddos desk too :)

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  34. Kristin, I just saw these on Instagram through Third Grade Cupcakes. LOVE these labels! Just bought both of your sets of flipped cursive alphabet because I couldn't decide which I loved more. Keeping an eye on your store so I can buy those labels when they're available :)

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  35. WOW!!! LOVE this idea. I am more than a little embarrassed to admit my "toolbox" is still in the Amazon box sitting in the corner of my dining room. I guess I should emphasize that "still" means from LAST summer. I have an idea ... you should come and visit me, and we'll work on it together ... and we'll have such a good time that we won't even finish it, and it will still be sitting in the corner of my dining room next year! ;)

    Jen
    Runde's Room

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  36. Hey Kristen!!

    Wow, these look amazing!! You are so clever and so organized! Thank you for the link to the toolboxes! I had bought an ugly blue/gray one from Lowe's and I haven't done anything with it because I was dreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeading the spray paining ordeal...I just ordered a different one with bigger drawers on Amazon that is already black so now I am super happy! I'll just give the ugly one to my hubby and he can put it in his "shop". :O)

    I do have a question for you and I'm not sure if you can answer? I am figuring that you changed all of your clipart to the colors in your room (like bought the clipart and then changed it to your brights?) Do you have a tutorial for that somewhere on how to change the colors? I tried to search...but...it didn't come up quick. If not, could you tell me how you do it or send me in the direction of a link that may tell me? I'm about to have to make some last minute things for my room that has been mandated by my principal and I wanted them to match...

    If you don't have time to explain I totally understand! :O)
    Amanda
    Collaboration Cuties
    PS- your blog makes me happy every time I visit. I mean, event the picture with the monday made it around the edges is so streamlined and professional looking. You are so good! :O)

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    1. Ugh, excuse my misspellings- I have kids running circles around me- and excuse the fact I hijacked your comments and left another short story...I'm so bad about that!! :O/

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  37. Thanks for the editable template for the teacher toolbox!

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  38. Love it! You come up with the cutest organizational tools.:)

    Elissa
    http://hardworkingteachingmomma.blogspot.com

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  39. Kristen,

    Any chance you are going to make matching labels for the teacher toolbox. I would LOVE those!

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  40. I'm not going to lie, when I saw that I got a comment from Ladybug's Teacher Files I felt like a mini celebrity :-P Thanks for stopping by! I made a teacher toolbox but I like the idea of making on for the students too...I may need to work on this next week :)
    Kirsten
    Mrs. Wilson's Class

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  41. I love this idea! I was always so irritated with the kids' caddies. So unorganized and just looked bad.
    You should be very proud of yourself because those look amazing!
    Antoinette :)

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  42. BRILLIANT!!!!!! Oh my goodness this beats my cheesy supply cups that can barely hold any supplies! Not to mention my poor kids end up with about 12 cups on the table between scissors, crayons, highlighters, etc. Thanks so much for sharing!


    Young Teacher Love Blog

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  43. These are awesome! I have my own teacher toolbox that I made for myself last year along with one I made for my daughter (that is about to student teach) and we love them! I would love to make these for my classroom. Will you be putting the labels for the student toolbox on your blog or store so anyone can purchase them? I had a template for my teacher toolbox but not sure about the student toolboxes. :) Thanks!

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    1. Thank you Tracy!! I just put them in this evening: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Student-Toolbox-Labels-Conistent-Colors-804262

      Thanks again! :)

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  44. I do Reading Recovery and have no desk so this would be perfect for me. Do you have a template for the labels though? Even if it is for the students.

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    1. Hi Meghan, what a wonderful position! I do have a template in my store: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Student-Toolbox-Labels-Consistent-Colors-804262

      Thank you for visiting my blog :)

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