As a self-proclaimed organizing junkie, I’m constantly searching for new and better ways to organize the chaos whether in the classroom or my home. When I first started teaching with VIPKid, I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on props, so I basically just stole random toys from my boys’ rooms to use in my VIPKID classroom. #bestmomever
I had plastic animals, Legos, stuffed animals, etc. that were in constant rotation. But, as I started teaching more classes from Level 1-5, I began accumulating more “stuff.” I was constantly in search of this thing or that thing to show my students. Then, once I had the object I needed, I would just keep it in with my props to have it for the next time I taught that lesson.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t long before I was running out of storage space, and I didn’t have a fraction of the “things” I needed to teach my lessons. I knew I needed to come up with an alternative to minimize the amount of space my props took up. That’s when I discovered VIPKid printable props.
Organizing & Managing Your VIPKid Props
2D VIPKID Printable Props
After realizing that I needed props that weren’t going to threaten to take over my house, I started searching for different VIPKid classroom ideas. I figured I could gain some insight into how other teachers were corralling all of the chaos.
That’s when I discovered Jennifer Anderson’s tips and tricks for storing and utilizing her 2D VIPKID printable props. I’d never even considered the idea of using printable props! So I decided to print out a few and give them a try.
Honestly, from the first time I used them, I was hooked.
Instead of finding a home for the shark toy (that was as long as my arm) or the elephant (the size of a dinner plate), I could store all the VIPKID printable props I needed for 6 classes in a row in a space the size of a sheet of paper.
2D VIPKid printable props made my organizing and prepping so simple, and since each one is no thicker than a piece of paper, they’ve been ideal for use when traveling.
These are the 2D VIPKID printable props that I use in my classroom every day.
I simply downloaded them and printed them on cardstock. Then, I laminated them for increased durability! Because I use these daily, I wanted to make sure they would last. (You can find out more about what’s included in each bundle by clicking on the pictures.)
I used to organize my VIPKID printable props by theme in 10” x 5” accordion files because there were many levels and units that required the same props. (This allowed me to print only ONE of each prop instead of multiples of the same for every unit. And these were a cheaper storage option that I could afford when I first started teaching with VIPKid.)
To organize my props with the accordion files, I would write the name of a category on the tab and then place all relevant props pertaining to that category (or theme) in that particular pocket.
So in the “Clothing” category, I included all of the seasonal clothing and seasons props. Because I’d taught these lessons many times, I knew that when I needed access to the clothing I would also need the 4 seasons. So, it just made sense to me to keep all of those together.
The nice thing about organizing props this way was that I always knew where my props were no matter what level I was teaching. I could use the same farm animals in levels 2, 3, and 4 without needing to store 3 horses, 3 pigs, and 3 chickens. (This also gave me freedom to pick and choose other related props for extension.)
However, when VIPKid introduced the new Interactive Level 2 and updated all of the levels, I noticed that there were very few repeats of 2D props. So I decided to switch my 2D prop organization.
Plastic Photo Storage Boxes
When VIPKid updated the content within the levels, I chose to update the 2D prop flashcard sets that I had created. This update included adding the Level and Unit #s to ALL of the flashcards. By doing this, the natural organizational method for me changed from theme to units.
So I purchased these photo storage boxes that have 16 small boxes within a larger box. Each large box holds a specific level with all 12 units of flashcards divided into the smaller boxes.
I have the large box labeled with the Level number and the smaller boxes labeled with the unit number. Now when I’m ready to prep for my classes, I simply grab the Level and Unit boxes!
Dry Erase Pockets
Without a doubt, the absolute easiest storage solution for my VIPKID printable props has been clear dry erase pockets. I have 6 that I use each day. Before I prepare for my morning classes, I write the name of each student and the time I will be teaching that child at the top of the pocket with a black dry erase marker. Then as I review the PowerPoints, I pull any relevant 2D props that I’ll need for that class from my accordion file and simply slide them into the pocket. That’s it!!
During the class, I pull out the props and write any notes or reminders for feedback on the outside of the pocket. Then, when I’m finished and ready to write feedback, I have my notes available. As soon as feedback is sent, I erase the pocket and prepare for the next day.
These dry erase pockets have been a huge game-changer for me because they…
- removed my need for paper and saved many trees in the process.
- perform double duty by being the storage for my props and the place where I write my notes.
- take up so little space that I don’t even notice them.
The pockets that I have are rainbow colored. So, my first class is red, second is orange, third is yellow, fourth is green, fifth is blue, and sixth is red. (I only have five colors.) By keeping the pockets in order, I know which class I’m on and which one is coming next simply by glancing at the color.
Remember, you don’t have to do things just like me or anyone else for that matter. You just need to do what works for you and your teaching style. However, I hope you’ve gotten a few ideas or helpful hints to make organizing your VIPKid printable props a little more efficient.
If you want to read more about VIPKid, you can check out these posts.