Organizing Those Classroom Posters

I like making posters.  Or should I say anchor charts?  I'm not sure what the difference is, or if that's just the new buzzword for something teachers have been doing for decades, haha.  Anyway, as much as I love MAKING posters, what I hated for the first several years of teaching was trying to FIND my posters.  I invested in one of those big boxes and it never worked for me.  Chart paper is too thin to put in, flip through, and remove.  So I needed a better system for organizing my posters.  The answer:  binder clips on coat hangers

Each social studies and science unit has a simple label taped to the top(ish) of the coat hanger.  There are extra large binder clips to keep them attached.  During the time frame that I'm teaching the unit, I just have one coat hanger I take out to deal with, and just one to put away at the end.  It's much easier to flick through 10 posters at a time than an entire "science" section of a box.

I have a different system for math, reading, and writing however.  Since these units change every couple years, they're a little bit more lumped together.

Basically I stuck a few hangers (available at Staples and sometimes even in grocery stores!) on the inside of my closet doors.  There's one for math, one for reading comprehension skills, one for writing, one for language/grammar, and one for genres.  What makes this system easier is our chart paper has 2 holes already punched at the top.  So all I had to do is put the hangers through those holes before I stuck them on, and I had a perfect fit.

You'll notice that some of my posters are upside down. Well, the holes do inevitably tear, so sometimes I flip them and re-punch.  It's actually easier to look through the posters when the titles are down there!  The other option are these gadgets that look like single hole punchers, but actually stick a thin plastic ring around a hole that's already been punched.  VERY useful for this purpose.  I wouldn't use them on all loose leaf paper, but for posters it's worth it.

Anyone else have tips on organizing their posters?

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  1. If I have posters that I want to reuse each year, I simply laminate them. Once laminated they're a little more freestanding and can use a multi-slot box that I made for each class that I teach. I also tend to rotate posters that are in the same place on the wall so I use velcro dots in the center and then 6 inches from the center (some posters are bigger than other so you don't want the dots on the corners).
    I suppose if I had only a few posters I would just use the hangers made for slacks that pinch down on the garment and hang over my door (I don't have a closet.)

  2. Jessica,
    Thanks for the tip! I actually tried that before, and you're right; they are more durable and free standing. Unfortunately, my students let me know it is a struggle for them to read off of a laminated poster. I tried sitting where they sit and saw they were right; the glare from the lights created huge blind spots. Do you have any advice about how to deal with this? Every room (even the little things like lighting) is different. :)


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