You’ve finally made the jump and bought my Math Games and Grammar Games, but now you’re asking yourself, “How do I store these things?” The good news is that I’m here to share tips for organizing Simply STEAM Math and Grammar Games to keep them organized and easily accessible to my students.
Storing Individual Games
You probably know how much I love these photo organizer containers if you’ve been hanging with me for some time. They’re seriously the best!
I love them because they’re compact, easy to see through, and fit nicely in the big container, which keeps everything all in one place.
If you want to get one for your classroom (I highly recommend it!), you can shop from Amazon using my affiliate link or buy one from Michaels, Walmart, or Hobby Lobby. This post compares the pros and cons of each one.
Organizing the Games
When it comes to organizing the games, I place one individual game inside each little photo organizer container. To help me tell them apart, I use labels. (Check out my FREE Math Game Labels from my TpT shop).
I print the labels onto cardstock, laminate them, and hot glue them onto the corresponding photo organizer container. Once the box is ready to go, it’s time to print the Math and Grammar Games themselves.
Printing the Games
In Math and Literacy, skills build on one another. So, the groundwork for a skill taught in 2nd grade was likely laid in 1st grade. Because of that, I recommend using two kits. For example, if you’re teaching 2nd grade, you’ll want to start with the 1st-grade kit. You can use the 1st-grade kit to review the skills and concepts that were already taught.
So if you’re teaching second grade, don’t print those games out yet! Instead, print the entire 1st-grade kit.
Once you have prepped the kit for the grade below, you’ll print the game boards. I prefer to use the black ink game boards and print them onto colored paper. I don’t use cardstock for this because I want to be able to easily fold and stick them in the photo container boxes.
After the game boards are printed, you must print out the game cards. I do recommend putting these on cardstock to prevent students from being able to see the answers through the paper.
If you’re wondering when you will print YOUR grade level kit, here’s your answer.
I leave the current grade level’s kit empty until I teach that skill. Once I’ve taught the skill and am ready to review, I print that game and add it to our game library.
I actually love adding new games, and I build a lot of hype around them. It’s kind of like a new release at the movie theater. Coming Soon: A New Game. My students get really excited for each new release.
Storing the Kits
Confession time. I don’t store these kits in some magical place. Instead, I choose ordinary places in my classroom that are accessible to students. For example, I keep my Math and Grammar Game containers on the floor in front of my interactive whiteboard. I could probably store them somewhere else, but here’s the thing. They’re easily accessible for my students; ultimately, that’s what I want. When it’s center time, students can easily grab them and go to centers. It literally takes them less than a minute.
You may be wondering how I store the other different types of games and materials. I’ll share what works for me in more detail below.
Storing STEM to Win
I place the STEM to Win task cards on binder rings. I simply hole punch one corner of the card and then slip all of the cards onto the binder ring. Ta-da! All of the cards are in one place, and students can easily use them. I keep a STEM to Win set on my STEM cart and at my small group table.
Organizing Pickup Sticks
I store pickup sticks in a little pencil tray. They’re the perfect size for them. I keep these pencil trays on the STEM cart, allowing students to easily grab their pickup sticks and go to their center.
Storing Race to 20
You can go ahead and print a class set of the Race to 20 game boards if you want. With this game, I use the little red and yellow math counters, but I’ve also used dabbers in the past.
Regarding organization, my system for this one is seriously nothing fancy. I have a spot by my sink where I sometimes put activities for students to complete. That spot is where I keep Race to 20. I have a paper tray that stores the game boards and a shoe box where students can get counters. An alternative to the shoe box is a Ziploc bag. And that’s it!
Like I said above, my storage isn’t always fancy, and that’s okay! Ultimately I just want my Math and Grammar Games to be accessible for my students to easily take to their center. This prevents wasted instructional time and keeps things organized. However you decide to play these games, I recommend keeping them organized to build consistency and structure.
Have any tips for organizing Simply STEAM math and grammar games? Share them in the comments below!