Math = Love: Cabinet Organizing

Monday, August 8, 2016

Cabinet Organizing

Today's turned into a pretty productive day.  

I read Smith and Stein's 5 Practices for Orchestrating Productive Mathematics Discussions (affiliate link) while waiting to have the alternator changed on our car.  

According to my Amazon account, I actually purchased this book back in May of 2014!  It's so sad that I'm just not getting around to reading it because it was an excellent and convicting read.  This book ties in so well with my favorite read of the summer, Designing Groupwork (affiliate link).  Designing Groupwork covers what makes a great task and how to set up groups in a productive manner.  5 Practices, on the other hand, addresses how to carry out a task in the math classroom from start to finish.  I'm definitely guilty of not fully thinking through a task before I use it in my classroom.  This book opened my eyes to the many opportunities I squander when I don't pre-plan exactly what I want my students to get out of a lesson and how I will get them there through their own mathematical discussions.  I know I'll definitely be pulling it out as a reference as I start to plan group tasks for throughout the upcoming year.    

After getting our car back, Shaun and I did some back-to-school shopping.  I needed to pick up some new scissors for my classroom from Dollar Tree.  And, of course, we couldn't leave Dollar Tree with *just* scissors.  

We spent most of the afternoon at school in our respective classrooms.  Though, I did rope Shaun into helping me tame the mess of cords by my desk.  I wish we'd taken before and after pictures.  It was BAD.  

One task I did today was to label all of the tubs in my storage cabinet.  I've done this before, but I've changed what was in the tubs a million times since then.  Only about half of the tubs were still labeled, and I wasn't even sure I still had that color of paper I had used for the labels.  I decided a new classroom meant it was time to go through and reorganize each tub and label it properly.  I chose to make my new labels out of plain white copy paper to make it easier to add more labels in the future without having to worry about matching up the colors.  

Here's my lovely black cabinet rocking Sentence Starter posters and Pythagorean Triple posters.  I think I'm going to finally have to break down and reprint my 11, 60, 61 triple.  The laminator decided to curl it up, and I've been trying to live with it.  I think it's finally getting to me, though.   

Here's how my labels ended up looking l


The font is "Wellfleet."  I'm using it for pretty much everything at the moment . 

I laminated each page and just cut around each dashed rectangle to make a quick and easy label.  I could have trimmed them a bit to make them more uniform, but I decided it wasn't worth the effort.    

And, here's the finished product: 

So much labeled goodness :)

Seeing all the boxes with matching labels makes my heart so happy. <3

Now I just have to decide if I want to print another set of labels and label the back of the tubs, too.  In the past, I've had issues with not being able to find something because the tub got put back in the cabinet backwards by a student.  (At least, I'm blaming it on a student.  It could have been me that put it in backwards, too.)  

If you're interested in my file to make the labels, I've uploaded it here as a Publisher file.  The font is "Wellfleet."  I decided there was no reason to upload a PDF file since your cabinet will surely contain different contents than mine.  :)  


  1. I am so jealous of how much storage you have in your classroom! The labels look great--it looks like you have thought of everything.

    1. This is the first classroom where I've ever actually had storage. So excited!

  2. Hi Sarah! I am another math Alg. 1 teacher from California :) My name is Allison and I ABSOLUTELY ADORE YOUR BLOG. I love how you love to decorate your room and I have been inspired by your love for lamination. I, too, have been set onto this journey of lamination as well. Thank you for all your free resources and all the hard work you put into this blog! It is really appreciated.

  3. The amount of storage is AMAZING! I wish I had storage. Here in Vietnam, they subscribe to the idea that the room is not yours, but you can decorate your "office" space (in another room). Therefore, i keep things to a minimum.....

    I do love your ideas, and use what I can in my classes! :-)

    1. So interesting how different countries operate in different ways!

  4. So jealous of all that storage space!

    1. This has always been me. My old classroom had NO storage.

  5. Your matching bins with matching labels makes me swoon! LOVE it!!