Class Organization

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Indi, May 18, 2018.

  1. Indi

    Indi Rookie

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    May 18, 2018

    Hello all! It's almost the end of the year and I need organization ideas for next year!! I work in an ESL class and this year had 6 groups, each with 6 - 12 students. This means I ended up having about 52 students! I ended up getting lost in all the papers, notebooks, etc. from each class. I really want to be more organized next year and have a good system! Send me all your ideas! Thanks!
     
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  3. beccmo

    beccmo Comrade

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    May 18, 2018

    As I think of my very paper cluttered desk and demonstration table, side lab bench full of equipment and student notebook bins, I would love some new ideas too. Every year starts with promise, but my organization collapses as the year progresses.
     
  4. JimG

    JimG Companion

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    May 18, 2018

    Hanging file folders are the most space-efficient means of organizing papers. Analyze and write down every different category of paper that goes into and out of your hands each day. Then, make a file label for it.

    Day to day, laying something on your desk to deal with “later” is not an option. If you are not working on it at the moment, it goes straight to its proper place in the filing folders.

    It may help to imagine another teacher will be using the room after you, so you have to keep the work station neat and orderly out of professional courtesy. This actually WAS the case for me each day this year, so it forced me to keep my desk in check.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
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  5. MaleTeacher

    MaleTeacher Rookie

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    May 18, 2018

    You should always try to go vertical. I started tutoring and also began to get overwhelmed with paperwork, binders, books, etc... I bought some taller bookcases and also piled my sterilite drawers on top of each other.
     
  6. Been There

    Been There Habitué

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    May 19, 2018

    Organization can be divided into two areas: your things and students' things. I'll start with how I organized my things - you'll have to modify most suggestions to meet your own needs. I used vertical organizers (each with multiple slots) for folders containing "office" related stuff like blank IEP forms, form letters, school forms, schedules, charts, etc. - things were were used on a regular basis. I also ordered a large organizer (3x4 feet) with adjustable shelves (up to 8) arranged in columns (4) - required some assembly - that I set on narrow a counter near my desk. This was handy to keep sets of copies organized for easy access: worksheets, word lists, leveled reading selections - used Post-Its to label each cubby. A separate cubby/shelf assigned to each group was used to hold papers (in folders) that would be needed for the next two or three days. I also used a large 3-ring binder with index dividers for each of my groups (numbered 1-6) in which I kept a dated copy of everything given to each group.

    As for organizing students' papers, I placed the primary responsibility on my students to maintain their own 3-ring binders containing selected examples of their work that was always kept on a large shelf in the classroom. Whenever I decided that a paper should be included, everyone was expected to insert it as the top page of their binder - we did this together as a class, so that all binders were identical in that they all had the same dated papers in the same order. By being selective, I ensured that there was always room in the binders.
     
  7. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    May 19, 2018

    Questions for you: What types of materials are students using regularly? Single worksheets, packets, or notebooks? Do they turn it in for you to correct it?

    You might try color coding your groups. You say you have 6 groups. You could choose one color per group and have them have folders in that color, and turn their work into bins of that color as well. Or, you could clip all their work together with a colored clip and put them into the same bin.
     
  8. waterfall

    waterfall Maven

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    May 20, 2018

    I currently have a binder for each student. I also have labeled bins for each day of the week; when I make copies I paperclip them and put them in the bins in the order that I'll need them. I'm thinking about going to just one binder per grade level rather than one per student next year; with more things becoming digital at my school I don't have as many papers to put in the binders anymore.
     
  9. Indi

    Indi Rookie

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    May 21, 2018

    Thanks all for the great suggestions! I don't have to grade anything (except for occasional worksheets we have them do to earn rewards) but we do a lot of projects that I end up hanging out the wall or that we need to finish the next day. I love the color coding idea! It would be so helpful to have the kids be able to find their own folder/tray and put away their own papers and notebooks!
     
  10. Indi

    Indi Rookie

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    May 21, 2018

    Day to day, laying something on your desk to deal with “later” is not an option. If you are not working on it at the moment, it goes straight to its proper place in the filing folders.

    Yes! This is a lot of my problem - having no place to put something so just putting it down wherever I can find a space! Need to remember this for next year - have a place for everything and deal with it immediately! :)
     
  11. otterpop

    otterpop Aficionado

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    May 21, 2018

    You can also get colored duct tape or washi tape to mark supplies of you don't actually want to get colored folders or notebooks.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
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  12. Been There

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    May 21, 2018

    Organized teachers often anticipate the flurry of papers that will accompany a given activity and plan ahead so they will know exactly what to do with those papers - e.g. which folder or tray will receive them - as soon as they're collected. Efficiency is all about pre-planning and having established routines. I tend to be extremely disorganized and was easily distracted by different colored folders, clips, tabs etc, but learned to follow the motto "the simpler, the better". See if that works for you.
     
  13. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Phenom

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    May 21, 2018

    I only touch papers a couple of times.

    Students turn their paper in themselves. They put their papers in a turn-in tray marked by class. They check their names off my grading sheet when they turn the papers in. I take them from the tray at the end of the class period and out them in a plastic L-type folder marked with each class's period. After I grade each set of papers, I put them in a pick-up tray for that class.

    Once I grade each set of assignments, I put a half index card with names of everyone that missed that assignment. I post that on a missing work chart. Next to that chart there are vertical bins marked for each class, Kids put missing work in there and mark their names off the list. At the end of the week, I get those out of the tray and score them.

    Any other papers that come across my desk get handled immediately. Nothing is ever free-reign on my desk. I have one basket for "what do I do with this" stuff, and it gets emptied every so often. Usually it is trashed.

    I use binders for all of my papers. They are all labeled and on a shelf behind my desk. I keep electronic copies of everything possible.

    I label everything, too, so the kids can be responsible for putting away things.

    Nothing gets left out overnight.

    I keep track of over 100 kids a day this way.
     
  14. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    May 22, 2018

    I have always color-coded my classes. I use colored binder clips and can tell at a glance that a stack with a red clip belongs to period one. My seniors use composition notebooks, which I prefer because things don’t fall out. I’ll give assignments on a half, quarter, etc. piece of paper (I’m the queen of paper-saving, lol) and students use glue sticks to put the in the Compbooks, which I grade periodically for completion.
    My color system is:
    Red = 1 (three letters)
    Blue = 2 (rhymes)
    Green = 3 (near rhyme)
    Yellow = 4, usually (because it has to go somewhere!)
    Orange, purple, or white = 5 or 6, depending on the year
     

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