Color Coding Your Classroom For MAXIMUM ORGANIZATION

Today I want to share with you about my “color-coding” classroom organizational system. Although it sounds silly, assigning my students a color at the beginning of the school year is my go-to for organization. It has saved my sanity. With 3 instructional assistants, a lead teacher, and a student teacher, keeping data and student materials organized and easy to access can be quite a challenge in a busy classroom! 

With 8 students, I basically use the colors of the rainbow:
red, pink, orange, yellow, light blue, dark blue, and green. I bought packs of
colored paper at Office Max 2 years ago and I am STILL using the same packs –
quite the bargain!
Here are a few different ways I use the color-coded system
in my classroom:

Adult Schedules 

When I created our master zone schedule, the student colors come in handy. In our “adult” schedule,  I use time intervals and student colors to show adults where they need to be throughout the day and WHO they are working with.



Student Schedules

In our classroom, each student has a
schedule for the day. At the beginning of the year, all of my students usually
start on a picture schedule or words with pictures that are Velcroed onto a
large strip in their cubbies. Their cubby, and schedule cards are both in their
“color” so that it’s super easy for them to locate their schedule at the
beginning of the year, AND it’s a piece of cake for the adults to reorganize
all the schedule cards at the end of the day when we are redoing schedules for
the next day.





As a special educator, DATA has become my middle name.
In order to keep up with all the data collected in our classroom, I created
data binders and data clipboards for each student in our classroom. The
clipboards are hung in a central location in our classroom so when an adult knows
they are working with a certain student, they can quickly grab their clipboard
to take data. 
I keep all the data we collect throughout the year in the data binders, which are kept on the top of the student’s cubbies. 

Station Materials

In stations where each student has
specific items they are working on, such as our language station, I use the
color-coding system as well. In the picture before, the boxes are coded with
the student’s colors, along with the binders that we use to collect data on
discrete trial training and fluency of mastered skills.

Student Binders

I prepare student reading and math binders
at the beginning of the year with all the “copied” workbook materials we use.
For example, in a student’s reading binder, I have tabs for writing, Word’s
Their Way, phonics, handwriting, etc. Of course, the student’s binders are
covered with their color paper and either “reading” or “math” for easy access
for the adults and the students.
How do you keep your student materials organized??
classroom organization


  1. Emily McDonald on July 23, 2015 at 12:29 am

    Wow! Thank you for sharing this efficient (and cute) strategy for maintaining classroom order and your sanity. I am going to "borrow" your idea for the color-coded cover sheets for the data clipboards. What a great way to be on the same page with aides and other teachers. Thanks!
    I'm a teacher blogger newbie, and you can check me out here: I teach K-6 special education and math interventions. 🙂

    • Gabrielle Dixon on July 23, 2015 at 1:14 am

      Thanks, Emily!! Welcome to the blogging word – I will definitely be checking your blog out! 🙂

  2. Sarah Eager on July 23, 2015 at 2:38 am

    OH GIRL OH GIRL. You are speaking directly to my heart. I LOVE this idea and I will absolutely be doing this this year. You rock mama!!!

    The Eager Teacher

    • Gabrielle Dixon on July 23, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      Thanks, sweets!! The colors of the rainbow are my FAVORITE! Slab that on top of organization, and I'm obsessed!!

  3. Christine Reeve on July 23, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    You Rock! You know how much I LOVE color organization!! This is a great post with amazing pictures (as usual!). Love the data clipboards!
    Autism Classroom Resources

    • Gabrielle Dixon on July 23, 2015 at 4:09 pm

      Thanks Chris!!! You warm my heart!! Now I just need all those visuals you just posted to match!

  4. Erin B on July 27, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    l love how your data clipboards are hung on the back of a shelf. Genius! I'm a color coder too. It just makes life easier!

  5. Megan Lynch on August 6, 2015 at 7:19 pm

    How do you use words their way in your classroom?

  6. Megan Lynch on August 6, 2015 at 7:21 pm

    How do you use words their way in your room?!

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