8 Organization Faves for the Classroom from Amazon

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We all know staying organized is key when it comes to keeping classroom clutter at bay. Check out some of my organization faves, all available on Amazon!

1. Small Parts Storage The little drawers are perfect for holding brag tags.

2. Sterilite Baskets I bought 12 of these baskets my first year of teaching and have used them for so many things! They're perfect for leveled readers or printed books, but I've also used them for centers bins.

3. Wall Organizer  Get your weekly copies or other paperwork off your desk and somewhere you can see them at a glance with a wall organizer.

4. Command Hooks My organization strategy is to hang anything that can be hung. Seriously, I have a huge pegboard in my home office! You can use command hooks for hall passes, flashcards, pocket charts, and more.

5. Teacher Toolbox A teacher toolbox is definitely a must-have! Clear off all the bits and bobs on your desk, from paper clips to band-aids, in a pretty toolbox.

6. Expanding File Organizer I use expanding organizers to hold my weekly phonics lessons. I prefer them to a binder because they can hold pocket chart cards and other small pieces without worrying about them slipping out. 

7. Rolling Cart These rolling carts are so useful! If you're short on shelves, you can use one as a sight word station. It also makes a great "command center" for storing class-wide items like tissue, hand sanitizer, and pencils.

8. Paper Organizer This is one of my all time favorite purchases! It's such a delight to see your Astrobrights all pretty and organized. 

Don't have Amazon Prime? You can try it out with a free 30-day trial here!

December Teacher Care Crate Unboxing

Watch the video to see all the items that comes in this month's Teacher Care Crate, and read below for more details on each item!

Art Print: This month's 5 x 7 art print was designed by Jess Golz of Teacher Golz and Ink Chicago{Retail Value: $8}

Knitted Headband: Use this maroon headband to keep your ears warm all winter long! {Retail Value: $12}

Mint to Be Balm: Handcrafted by Me Time Botanicals, this balm is perfect for dry hands and feet. {Retail Value: $12}

TEACH ornament: Your handmade ornament from Cabin20 Creations can be displayed on a Christmas tree if you celebrate, or up in your classroom all year long! {Retail Value: $10}

Peppermint Cocoa Lip Balm: This delicious smelling lip balm from Shade Tree Naturals is perfect for swiping on between classes. {Retail Value: $4.50}

Christmas to Color: This activity book includes holiday postcards, gift tags, and ornaments you can color as you relax over break. {Retail Value: $9.99}

The December crate is all sold out, but head to teachercarecrate.com on December 26 at 8 pm EST to subscribe starting with the January crate! 

5 Ways to Beat the Winter Blues as a Teacher

This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

You get up and go to school and it's dark and freezing. When you leave school, it's also dark and freezing. Then you repeat, only seeing the sunlight on the weekends, and even then, it's still freezing. Sound familiar? If you find yourself suffering from the winter blues, try these tips:

1. Invest in warm clothes & outerwear. If you live somewhere freezing like me (Chicago!) go ahead and get the warmest of everything you can find. When I first moved here and bought $200 snow boots from L.L. Bean, it was the most expensive clothing purchase I had ever made. But this is my fifth winter wearing them every day, and L.L. Bean even fixed them for free for me when the back seam busted (I walked a mile plus to and from public transit every day). #worthit #notsponsored

2. Plan a trip or staycation. If it's in the budget, plan a quick trip somewhere warm over a long weekend. If it's not (and realistically for most teachers, it's not), try a "staycation" somewhere warm close by. My new favorite thing is to spend the day at the Korean spa. It's $35 for a day pass ($24 if you get your pass at the Asian grocery store next store, which obviously I do) and it's full of hot baths and saunas. No affordable spas near by? Try indoor botanical gardens or a conservatory. 

3. Exercise. Getting up and moving might be the last thing you feel like doing, but we all know it can energize you and boost your mood. If you hate the gym like me, try a yoga class or even a fitness video on YouTube. I find it especially effective to schedule that ish! I go to yoga twice a week on the same nights, which keeps me from having to re-motivate myself to go each time because it's already on the schedule.

4. Get a SAD lamp. While light therapy lamps are technically for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder, they can help the rest of us soak up a little faux sunlight too. I would put mine on as I was getting ready in the morning and eating my breakfast before going to school.

5. Stay social. Chicago winters make me want to curl up in a blanket and leave my apartment never. BUT ultimately this isn't going to help your mood, though of course you should rest when you need to! Try organizing a staff happy hour or attending a weekly club or class.

While hopefully these tips will help you get out of a winter funk, if you find you are suffering from depression during the winter months, be sure to talk to your doctor or psychiatrist. Seasonal Affective Disorder is a real thing! 
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