I had the privileged of being in a kindergarten teacher's class that had organization, function, and classroom design DOWN. I could see that most of the items in her classroom were purchased at a local Lakeshore Learning store (www.lakeshorelearning.com). I have real life classroom pictures plus links to the products.
Alphabet Sounds Teaching Tubs
Find this product here
I think a DIY alternative is definitely possible. It will take a lot of time but probably won't cost you $150. The storage rack is $29.99
On the side of the filing cabinet are the list of different centers students can participate in. On each side are little magnet people (AM class on one side and PM on the other). Each magnet person has a students name on it. You can easily group your students and your students can easily see what group they belong in and where they need to be. You can simply rotate the centers by moving the yellow center magnets and then tell your students to move to the center next to their name.
The paper trays in the picture house some of the different centers that involve coloring, writing, reading, and well..paper. These can be found here on Lakeshore's website. A set of 4 is $19.99
Write & Wipe Kid Magnets can be found here.
30 pieces for $19.99
The magnetic center chart is also another project that can be turned into a DIY.
Magnetic Place Value Blocks
How long have these existed without my knowledge?!! I don't know how many times I have come into a class having to teach place value. I end up holding and DROPPING the little cubes and fumbling through the lesson. Just add magnets to the back and BOOM, easy! It will make any lesson more effective when your students can actually see what you are talking about.
Magnetic Place Value Blocks can be found here
121 pieces for $44.99
Teacher on a budget version: Add magnets to your blocks. :)
Organize Your Materials By Day
I mentioned a similar concept in a previous post. Organizing your materials by day will help keep you the classroom teacher organized from day to day but it will also help your sub.
Similar bins can be found here
6 for $39.99