Run electrical cords up the wall and across the ceiling to get to the other side of the room. This way you don't have to tape down cords or have to run a conduit all the way around the room. It is more cost effective and pleasing to the eye.
Dish Pan Storage - each child has an individual dish pan to store crayons, pencils, etc. under their desk. They are cheap & keep things neat.
Put velcro strips on the bottom of pencil boxes when children are seated at tables with a strip of velcro running down the table to hold them in place where all can reach.
Use gallon-size freezer bags instead of supply boxes.
Milk boxes (not crates) are sturdy cardboard boxes with handles that make perfect file storage. You can get them from your local grocery store.
Arrange desks in a v-shape in the room, no more than 3 desks deep.
Have a rolling cart with craft supplies on it, or frequently used materials. This makes it easy to move your supplies to where the instruction will occur.
Instead of desks, use tables with 3 to 4 students at each. Arrange them depending on the activity, making sure that all students can see.
Use hanging fruit baskets to store glue, scissors or markers.
Arrange materials with enough room for 2 or 3 students can reach at a time.
Place the teacher's desk and storage areas away from the main traffic areas.
Clearly label all shelves and material storage places for easy clean up.
Arrange student desks in a u-shape and label the areas of the room with the cardinal directions (North, South, East, and West).
To divide up table spaces so students can have personal space but still see and be seen, use 1 ft. by 8 in. boards atop the tables.
Cover bulletin boards with cloth, burlap, non-fade paper or plastic folders.
To aid in cleaning up after projects, hang garbage bags at the end of each table.
To organize materials, use plastic bins marked with mailing labels.
Color code materials so students know where to return them.
To keep traffic areas clear, have students leave backpacks and bags in lockers, a closet in the room or other designated areas. Make sure they have all necessary materials at their desk so they don't have to go back & forth.
Use vinyl rain gutter sections mounted along the wall to display books.
Make sure all electrical outlets are plugged with covers, or use a plug-in to be safe and smell good.
Stack milk crates to use as bookshelves.
Use carpet squares or scraps in rooms with out carpeting.
Use high quality masking tape, the type used in car body shops. It is more expensive, however, there will be little or no clean up when removed.
Increase display space for student work by stringing heavy-duty wire across the room or along hallways, and use clothes pins to hang work.
Paint one wall a dark color and use it as a large bulletin board.
Use 'Wet Ones' to clean up overhead projector sheets easily.
Use large and medium sized clear plastic containers to store science lab equipment.
Space coat hooks around the room so they do not touch, and students will not bunch up when retrieving coats or lunches.
Consider getting rid of teacher's desk. Use a rolling podium; it takes up less space and can help vary where instruction occurs.
Use a plastic magazine rack to store spiral notebooks. It keeps them organized and handy.
To help with traffic patterns around the teacher's desk, have a front door & back door so students have to line up at one side and exit the other direction. This prevents budging and interruptions by students coming up on the other side.
In the classroom library, color code books according to type - fiction, non-fiction, mystery, etc.
Looking for a way to show students where their desks belong? Try using double stick carpet tape. Stick the name on one side and stick the other side to the floor. This also makes it easier for students to move their desks back to their original position.
If storage is causing you problems, consider these ideas . . . . Store teacher materials in milk crates for movement throughout the building. Use copy paper boxes to store unit material. Use laundry baskets for lunch bags.
If you don't have enough storage space to store teacher supplies out of the sight of students, try putting small stop signs on the boxes with the teacher materials.
Having trouble keeping up with student textbooks? Try this idea. (1) Number students in alphabetical order. (2) Use that number for all student textbooks. (3) For easy view, tape the number on the side of the textbook.
To eliminate disruptions in class due to small medical needs, prepare and store in your classroom a first-aid kit which contains: disposable thermometers, bandages, latex gloves, cotton balls, anti-bacterial spray or gel, etc.
Need more bulletin boards? Try using long ceiling tiles attached to walls by 'Liquid Nails.' Also, you can use chalkboards as displays by using magnets to post sentence strips or posters during lessons.
What about a little variation in bulletin board backgrounds? You might want to try the following: Fabric -- you can wash it and reuse as necessary. Note: if you use burlap or other flammable material, spray with a non-retardant solution.
Use 3M Dry Mount spray (the re-mountable, NOT the permanent kind) to attach letters to bulletin board.
Students can use a shoebox, fanny pack, or Ziploc bag to store their materials. These types of containers, in addition to tidying up the desks, are easy to carry to their next class.
To minimize traffic to and from the wastebasket, provide students with their own personal wastebaskets. A brown paper bag folded over at the top to make a sturdy cuff can be taped to the side of a desk.