As a self-proclaimed organizing junkie, I’m always finding new and more efficient ways to organize the chaos whether in the classroom or my home…and this same fact holds true for my VIPKid props.
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.”
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.
The Best 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 that other teachers were using 2D VIPKID printable props in their classrooms. 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 of 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 are ideal for use when traveling or for teachers who have a more minimalist approach to props.
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…with daily wear and tear, 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.)
Organizing & Managing VIPKid Props
When I first began using VIPKid printable props, I didn’t want to have to print multiples of different props. I chose 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.
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, once VIPKid starting changing the curriculum and streamlining the lessons, I realized that this approach wasn’t going to be as effective because the lessons were no longer overlapping across levels.
I decided to create flashcard sets for each level with the level and unit numbers included on ALL of the cards. This was the most intuitive way to create the printable props and, ultimately, store them. Therefore, the natural organizational method changed from theme to units.
Plastic Photo Storage Boxes
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!
I no longer use the accordian files because I’ve found these storage boxes to be a much more useful organizational method. However, what works for one person is not the most useful method for another person…hence the variety of organizing solutions.
You have to find the best method to suit you and your teaching style!
Dry Erase Page Protectors
Without a doubt, the absolute easiest storage solution for organizing my specific daily VIPKID printable props has been clear dry erase page protectors.
Before I prepare for my morning classes, I write the name of each student and the time I’ll be teaching that child at the top of the page protector with a black dry erase marker. Then as I review the materials for that particular lesson, I pull any relevant 2D props from that level and unit and simply slide them into the page protector. That’s it!!
During the class, I use the props and write any notes or reminders for feedback on the outside of the page protector. Then, when I’m finished and ready to write feedback, I have my notes available. As soon as feedback is sent, I erase the information and prepare for the next day.
These dry erase page protectors have been a huge game-changer for me because they…
- remove my need for paper and have 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 page protectors 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 them 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.