Filing System

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Loves the beach, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. Loves the beach

    Loves the beach Companion

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    I would like to start a new classroom filing system from scratch. Just a basic filing system. I would appreciate any suggestions! What file categories do you have that you couldn't survive without?

    I am not the most organized person, so any other advise regarding organization is welcome!
     
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  3. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I have binders for each unit. The beginning of each binder contains a table of contents and a basic unit plan. Everything is kept in sheet protectors. I organize my computer files just the same. I do this for all courses I teach. Courses I'm currently not teaching stay at home.

    As a department we have course binder for each course. In it we keep all course materials for that course. All videos and larger materials are kept in boxes labeled for each course. In the course binder all out-of-binder resources are also carefully noted.

    I also have a binder for meetings with sections for 1) department chair meetings 2) department meetings 3) faculty meetings 4) academic council meetings 5) IEP and parent meetings. I also have a folder for notes and notices from the office where I keep them until I record the pertinent information or file it in my meetings binder. I keep all papers and notes for the meetings in those binders. Any papers which I think I'll need to reference elsewhere is copied and kept someplace else. Important papers are scanned and placed on my computer. All files on my computer mirror exactly my paper files.
     
  4. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    I also use binders for each of my units. In addition, I have a large binder for Writing that's indexed by genres and also contains miscellaneous writing assignments that I can pull out if I need to fill 5 or 10 minutes at the end of a class. The only thing I keep in my filing cabinet is class sets of readings. I gave up trying to file curriculum; it just disappears into a black hole! I'm much more organized using the binder system.
     
  5. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    I also organize by unit, and as best as possible, the order in which I present the information within the unit. I don't actually use binders because all of my files are electronic now, but it's the same basic principle.
     
  6. love_reading

    love_reading Comrade

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    I start with monthly files: August, September, etc. and inside these go any seasonal worksheets and projects. For example, back to school stuff goes in the August file. I also have files for major holidays or themes. Halloween, Thanksgiving, etc. have their own files. These are in one file drawer. Then I have a drawer for only language arts, reading, and writing files. Language arts is further sorted into things like, nouns, verbs, beginning and ending sounds, etc. Another drawer is for math with categories like addition and subtraction, place value, fractions, etc. My last drawer has science, social studies, and health units that I teach. I also keep a few personal files in this drawer like forms and other papers I get in my mailbox throughout the year.
    I have tried the binder system and while this may work for some, it didn't work well for me.
    Hope this helps!
     
  7. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    Man, do I feel chintzy. I keep each of my units in a giant zip-lock bag :lol:
     
  8. Muttling

    Muttling Devotee

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    Some teachers have bigger units than others.





    <Mutt runs to hide>
     
  9. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Here are some ideas for your favorite hardcopies:

    1. Keep a monthly file drawer. Major holidays should have their own files. You can keep handouts, worksheets, small decorative items, cutouts, craft projects, fun fillers, even holiday info (origin, facts).

    I also kept my students' birthday cards in the appropriate monthly folder. Before each new month, search through the folder for ideas and filler projects.

    2. Separate a teacher's workbook (if you have one) from the spine. Behind each page for a lesson, add in your own favorites. This works well for math as well as grammar.

    3. Keep a separate file drawer (or cabinet) by subject area. Have a pendaflex for each major topic area. Use files within each for handouts, quizzes, tests, games, etc.

    4. For magazines, you can either keep them intact or separate them to save only the best ideas. If you keep them intact, then you will have to search for lessons as needed. If you buy the end-of-year Mailbox issues, though, you can look up topics in the index.

    For websites, save sites in your favorites. Make separate folders by subject area.

    Save documents in an organized way in your doc files. Try to save the 'printable' copy when possible to weed out ads.
     
  10. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    have two 4-drawer cabinets, one two-drawer cabinet, and two file drawers in my desk. I have no permanent storage in my room (no closet, no built-ins, etc). Here's what's in files:

    school forms, employment-related stuff, files of small BB items and cutouts, note paper and cards, parent letters, hanging 3-ring notebooks with math and language arts brainteasers and activities, one drawer for monthly files for holidays, one drawer for extra file folders and pendaflex, two for craft materials and fancy paper, one for extra goodies for my goodie box, ..... oh, I can't think of the rest.

    I have one 4-drawer file cabinet in storage. It has subject folders: lesson plans, tests, handouts, novel units, and other materials from the last 10 years.

    I have one drawer for math, one for soc studies, one for language arts, one for literature units (novel studies). For each subject area, I collect handouts, any kind of review materials I find that I like, old tests, enrichment materials. I put these in folders related to specific topics we cover during the year. In another file drawer, I have school stuff, Scholastic book order file, miscellaneous other files. Then I have a file just for monthly materials, especially holiday related theme projects, skills review pages, even window clings and small cut-outs. I also put some of the thinner books of crafts or holiday reproducible books. I get a lot of my stuff from Mailbox magazines.

    I have another (yes) drawer with binders full of math brain teasers and games, and La games.
     
  11. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    If it works, it works. I wouldn't feel chintzy at all. Some units have bigger peices, examples and the baggie would be great for that!
     
  12. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Solves the problem of all the little pieces falling out of files. I kept all my BB letters in clear sheet protectors in a binder. Sort of like ziplocs.
     
  13. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    We can still see you :lol:
     
  14. Teacher Chele

    Teacher Chele Habitué

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    I have done the monthly files for years. They work really well. Once you have your scope and sequence, you can even expand them to include subject area items, if you'd like or you can keep those in separate files. I love to use the colored hanging files and file folders and then color code each subject. They are a little more expensive, but worth it.

    Don't forget to make a mark with a yellow highlighter on the front of your master copies so you don't accidentally hand out your last one. (Been there done that too many times.):blush:
     
  15. Miss84

    Miss84 Comrade

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    Question? I have been filing just student information in a small file box with small file folders. Do you all have file cabinets? Like the big heavy ones, or are these in the small boxes? I am trying to get myself better organized for next year, this year (my first) has been a mess with trying to keep everything together-and finding it when I need it.
     
  16. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Oh, definitely cabinets.
     
  17. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I have four four-drawer file cabinets and one two-drawer file cabinet. Each unit has its own file drawer. I keep all materials, including books, all within that same drawer. There is a binder in the front that has masters of everything for the unit.

    I also have a drawer for teacher materials for my textbooks that don't really go with a particular unit. There is a drawer with literature circle materials, one with writing workshop materials, and one with extra supplies . . . paper, folders, labels, etc. Oh, and another has cleaning supplies. There is another drawer labeled "sub materials" which has extra stuff in case I can't leave lesson plans. And, finally, I have a "current unit" drawer where I put things for whatever I'm teaching at the time. I don't always use everything in my unit drawer, so I put the things I pull in the "current unit" drawer.

    The small cabinet is by my desk. That's where I keep all of my things like requisition forms, cataloges, missing work notices, office referrals, parent contacts, etc. The other drawer is for binders. I have the teacher handbook and a binder for department meetings, team meetings, writing meetings, and any of a variety of other meetings. I hate lugging a binder to meetings, so every year I buy a new 5-subject notebook to take to meetings. I just tear pages out to file them. At the end of the school year all the extra paper in the notebook is torn out and put into my extra paper drawer for the kids.

    I'm super organized. I can't stand for things not to have a place to be, and I unless I'm using it, that's where I want it to be.
     
  18. Emily Bronte

    Emily Bronte Groupie

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    I am lucky enough to have filling cabinet and each unit is kept in a file folder or two...or three. There is a unit plan also in the folder (s). I am lucky enough to have filing cabinets, so I make use of them. I also use carrying crates for other things, such as my Autism material. I label the crate by what's in it...For instance, the Autism crate is labeled "autism resources" inside, there are file folders with a variety of information...each file folder is named according to its contents.
     
  19. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    When I first started getting some files together-I practically had a file folder for each piece of paper! I definitely didn't know how to organize! I haven't got a whole lot better, but I did try to consolidate some of my categories based on what I use the most. I like the idea of monthly files.
     
  20. krysmorgsu

    krysmorgsu Cohort

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    I have a 4 drawer file cabinet (which is almost maxed out). I use a hanging file for each chapter, and put into it manila folders. If I go over three, I just use another hanging folder. For me, 1 folder has workbook copies, 1 folder has additional resources, and the third has my own chapter worksheets. Note handouts are separate for me. I put them (again) in manila folders, 3 to a hanging folder. Each is labeled, and I organize them in the order I teach the concepts or what logically goes together. It makes sense for me, since students may need additional copies of something we covered earlier in the year. Using file folders has saved me, though. I'd never find anything without them!

    Oh, and I always put my "key" and an extra blank copy into a page protector in the beginning of the folder, so that I can always find the key and never have that, "Oh no, that was my last copy" problem.
     
  21. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    In my filling cabinets, I keep extra handouts of all course handouts, and I have one drawer with all odds and end forms. However, anything I reference often goes into a file sorter on my desk.
     
  22. stargirl

    stargirl Companion

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    I've tried both binders and file cabinets, and I find binders to work much better for me. Easy to transport and I can keep my written lesson plan right on top of any handouts/overhead projector sheets. Also, easy to put papers away immediately after the lesson. Stuff piled up way too quickly when I used file folders.
    I keep student data and assessment materials ( we have to give "benchmark" and other assorted assessments in each subject several times throughout the year) in my two drawer file cabinet, as well as class lists, emergency forms, etc.
     
  23. shouldbeasleep

    shouldbeasleep Enthusiast

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    Science, Social Studies, and Math binders organized by unit. These are stored in my file cabinet. I don't use them anymore, but I want to keep them in case I need them in the future. The teacher new to 5th grade who did teach SS and Science this past year would just come in a use the binder. She's now organizing her own this summer.

    A binder for grammar and usage.

    Several binders for writing organized by type of writing. (I am now the main writing teacher, so I have more items.)

    A binder each for grades, lesson plans, data and work samples, and one called "Everything" that I use to put in notes about how to get into a computer program, etc. It's my "go to" file when I can't think where else something might be.

    I have expandable folders for some writing units. They hold cards, prompts, sample papers, books, etc.

    And I have a lot of things on discs and on Word--organized by topic.
     
  24. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    I have a file for each story in our basal, and include in that file all English, vocabulary, writing, spelling, and comprehension activities or pages I use for that week. I also have a file for each skill/standard for ELA to pull additional reteaching materials from.

    I have a binder for testing/retesting with a separate section for each LA unit.

    Sci/SS chapters are filed and color-coded by unit (life sci/physical sci/earth sci).

    I use monthly files for seasonal materials.

    Literature Circles materials are filed together for all skills (grouped by quarter to match what is covered in E/LA), as well as filed by book title with ideas, vocab., pacing, and questions.

    Next year I am going back to keeping a file for each student with notes, memos, late assignments, etc. I also keep a file for each students' tests by quarter.

    I keep the current chapter in Sci/SS and the current E/LA file on my shelf with the teacher's guides. I do keep a substitute binder with student info, class lists, general information, schedules, etc. on my shelf, too.
     
  25. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    Jun 13, 2010

    Oh goodness. Thank you for starting this. All of my files are currently sitting in 7 boxes in my garage. I've inherited a lot of really great things over the past few years and I *really* need to organize them this summer. I currently have a file for each story/novel, each vocab unit, poetry, masters for graphic organizers, etc. Roughly 4 of my boxes are inherited materials I never had a chance to go through.
     
  26. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    Chebrutta - I'm right there with you! I have gone through my files for my first year in 3rd grade after teaching 2nd for a long time, and feel good about what is actually in my file cabinet...but there is a shelf in my classroom closet that has a bunch of old files from when I taught in another state 25 years ago! I am going to tackle that shelf this summer!!!
     
  27. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    I file as little as possible and keep digital files of anything I can. I have some photos of my system on my blog (link below).

    I number my kids.

    I created a file with numbers at the top that I put important items relating to that student in. Then I empty them in the spring and add the new class the following year.

    I use binder for everything else.

    Good luck with your project!
     
  28. tgim

    tgim Habitué

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    I am going more and more to digital files. I can send the paper directly to the copier, saving time and steps - and eliminating the need for me or for our instructional assistant to run copies.
     
  29. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    This year I am going to have a binder for each quarter, and keep my lesson plans and hand outs for the week behind a tab for that week.

    I make most of my own materials, and try not to buy anything that I can't get pdf. Once I've whittled what I have down during the upcoming year I will scan everything that is just "too good" to toss.
     
  30. Loves the beach

    Loves the beach Companion

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    So many wonderful ideas! I thank you all! Now to start on my project.
     

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