Classroom Management

Stashing Lesson Materials Using Large Folders

Keeping my art room organized is important for my sanity. When my art room isn’t kept clean and organized, I lose things and I feel as though I’m losing my mind. Not only do I struggle, but my students have trouble finding things that they once could find. Everyone appreciates routines and an organized classroom.

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One of the ways I help keep my middle school classroom organized is by keeping all of the materials for my lesson plans in one large folder. This idea could work for any grade level.

Someone donated a large quantity of these folders to me a couple of years ago and they have been a life saver. If you don’t want to spend the money, you could also making your own using a large piece of paper folded in half and tape the edges together.

On the outside of the folder I write the name of the lesson plan and make a quick sketch of what the art project looks like. You could also write the grade level on the outside.

Inside the envelope, I put a copy of the lesson plan, lesson plan examples, student step by step directions, and other important information that pertains to the lesson. I color coordinate the folders for each grade level so students can easily identify their materials on the counter. For example, 7th grade is magenta.

Here is the folder for my 7th grade Quilt Printmaking lesson plan.


I keep a pile of lesson plan envelopes in the cupboard in grade level stacks.

Storing large folders

When my students are ready for a new project, I go to my stack, and pull out the next lesson plan’s folder.

How do you keep all your lesson plans and materials organized?

File folders? Digitally? Using boxes, folders or bins? Do share! 

Magazine articles and podcasts are opinions of professional education contributors and do not necessarily represent the position of the Art of Education University (AOEU) or its academic offerings. Contributors use terms in the way they are most often talked about in the scope of their educational experiences.


Cassidy Reinken

Cassidy Reinken, an art educator, is a former AOEU Writer. She enjoys helping students solve problems and reach their potential.

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