If you’ve decided to use kindergarten morning tubs in your classroom, you’ve made a huge step towards creating a consistent morning routine. Now the question is, how do you store and organize them?
Read on to learn how to store and organize your kindergarten morning tubs to make them easily accessible for both yourself and your students.
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How to Store Kindergarten Morning Tubs for the Teacher
There are several different options for storing kindergarten morning tubs, based on your classroom setup and organizational style.
Before you worry about how to store your morning tubs, the first thing you’ll want to do is print your morning tub activities on cardstock, laminate them for durability, and cut them apart. You can print additional copies if needed. Once the activities are prepped, next comes storing them.
When storing them away in your classroom, make sure you keep every component of the activity together, except for the manipulatives. You’ll add those later when you get the tubs ready for student use. Keeping the activity, teacher directions, and I Can card together will save you time trying to piece things together later.
Teacher Storage Option 1:
The first option for storing kindergarten morning tub activities in the classroom is to store them in a filing cabinet or plastic file box with colored hanging folders. Inside the hanging folders, you can keep each individual activity in tabbed file folders, allowing you to easily find what you need.
If using a plastic file box, you can store several months of morning tubs together to create “seasonal kits”. Simply use a different color hanging folder for each month.
For example, your “Fall Morning Tub Kit” would have the months of August/September, October, and November inside. August/September could be stored in yellow hanging folders, October in orange, and November in red.
Then, inside each month’s colored hanging folders, you can organize the activities in individual file folders by skill. Write the activity name or skill on the tab so you know exactly what’s inside.
Teacher Storage Option 2:
Another way to store your morning tubs in the classroom is in colored plastic envelopes or gallon-sized zip-top bags.
Simply place each activity for the month in individual plastic envelopes or zip-top bags and store them in large plastic containers labeled for each month. This is a great option because the envelopes and bags stack easily. Depending on what size plastic containers you’re using, you could also create seasonal kits with these.
By having a container for your kindergarten morning tubs, you are able to store them in a closet, corner, or on a bookshelf when you are not using them. No matter which option you choose, you’ll want to make sure you can easily access the activities you need when you need them.
Getting Your Morning Tubs Ready for Students
When it’s time to use the morning tub activities, you most likely want to transfer them into containers or trays (aka “morning tubs”) for your students.
Below, you’ll find two kindergarten-friendly options for organizing tubs for your students. Whichever container you decide to use, pick one that allows you to keep everything the students will need – from the activity mat to the manipulatives.
Once the activities are in the student containers, place them in a designated area like a counter or shelf so your students know where to find them.
How to Organize Kindergarten Morning Tubs for the Students
While it’s important for you to have a solid storage system for yourself as the teacher, it’s also important to keep your morning tub activities organized in a way that is easily accessible for your students to grab and go each day.
Keep all the materials and manipulatives they’ll need as well as the I Can cards with each corresponding activity.
This ensures students have everything they need to be successful and don’t have to roam around the room looking for supplies or directions.
Student Organization Option 1:
One way to organize kindergarten morning tubs for the students is to place the individual activities in mesh zipper pouches. This allows the students to see what’s inside.
If you have several small manipulatives, such as mini erasers or plastic math cubes, you can store them in small plastic containers.
The great thing about these mesh pouches is that they are super durable and everything, including the activity, I Can card, and the small container of manipulatives fits inside. Plus with a zipped pouch, nothing can fall out or get lost!
Student Organization Option 2:
For this system, you’ll want to place the activity at the bottom of the colored tray/basket along with the I Can card. Then, place the supplies and manipulatives on top.
If there are several pieces, such as mini erasers or plastic cubes, you can place them in a smaller container and add that inside the colored tray/basket as well.
Students can easily grab their tray/basket and take it to their seats with everything they need.
Student Organization Tips
Regardless of which student organization option you choose, be sure to teach students the procedure for getting their morning tubs and putting them away.
Using different color trays, baskets, or mesh pouch zippers act as an instant management system. Simply display or tell your students what color activity they are working on that morning.
You can absolutely let students choose their own activities, but using a color system helps ensure that each child gets the opportunity to do each morning tub activity.
Once you’re no longer using some of the kindergarten morning tubs, you can add them to your early finisher or free choice activities (especially if it was a class favorite).
This gives students an extra chance to work with them. Plus it gives those students who arrive late or are absent an opportunity as well.
How to Group Students and Rotate Between Morning Tubs
First, decide whether you want students to work on the kindergarten morning tubs independently or with a partner/small group. You can mix it up and do a little bit of both, especially for the activities that have multiple pieces.
At the beginning of the year, it is a good idea to have students work in partners or small groups. This allows you to give guidance to them all at once.
As students become more independent, they can work on their own. If you do have students working together, 2-3 students per group is ideal.
You’ll want to decide if your students will rotate through activities or remain at the same morning tubs. This answer will depend on the amount of time you have in the mornings.
If you only have 10-15 minutes, you will most likely want to plan for each student or group to only complete one morning tub activity per day. If you have more time you can have students rotate to a different tub.
Plan for about 10 minutes per activity. At the beginning of the year, plan for closer to 15 minutes per activity.
If your kindergarten students rotate through morning tubs, have them put all the pieces back in the container. Then, have the kids rotate the containers. This is often quicker and more efficient than rotating students.
If you’d like to get all of your morning tubs for the entire year done for you, click here to grab your year-long bundle of kindergarten morning tub activities. Each month comes complete with fun, seasonal themes.
I hope these tips help take the stress out of storing and organizing your kindergarten morning tubs. For more tips on how to get started using morning tubs in your classroom, check out this blog post!
How do you store and organize your morning tubs? Snap a picture and share it with me via email at email@example.com. You can also share it with our kindergarten teacher community. I know other teachers would love to see your ideas!