How do you organize your desk?

Discussion in 'Debate & Marathon Threads Archive' started by ayotte04, Jul 16, 2007.

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  1. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    I'm just fishing for ideas from people about organizing their desks. What sort of little holders, or stackable trays, or rotating compartments do you use?

    Do you use magnets on the chalk/dry erase boards? I see they make mesh baskets to hold things on those boards.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    On top of my desk, I use mesh baskets and plastic stackable trays. The trays are for me to keep copies of my most-needed documents at hand. One mesh basket is for the kids to turn in their assignments, and the other mesh basket is where I throw everything I don't have time to look at right now but want to hang on to. I go through that basket whenever I have a few minutes.

    I just line up my stapler and tape dispenser on the desk. I think I have a little mug or cup for pencils and pens.

    Inside my desk I have those plastic school boxes for markers and pens. I also found a neat little 6-compartment tray where I keep my paper clips, rubber bands, binder clips, and so on.

    I do use a magnetic dry erase board. I love using the heavy-duty magnetic clips...these are usually free at those booths at all the teacher convention things.
     
  4. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    the magnetic dry erase board....are you talking about the big one you use for class, or your own personal smaller one?

    and you only have one turn-in folder? Isn't it hard to alphabetize all the kids and periods since you're a h.s. teacher?

    Have you seen those baskets that are magnetic and can stick right onto the dry-erase boards? I was thinking of getting some to throw my erasers and markers in.
     
  5. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    My large board is magnetic. I don't have a smaller one for myself. I do have a class set of individual white boards (really turtle-waxed showerboards) for student use.

    I do only have one turn-in basket. I don't bother with alphabetizing anything. I know a lot of teachers on here swear by it, but I find that it actually takes longer for me to do that. Instead, I just place the graded papers in front of my computer and enter grades with my right hand while flipping to the next paper with my left. I just use the arrow keys on my keyboard to navigate through the class gradebook. It takes seconds.

    Oh, and I do plan to get one of those magnetic locker baskets. I had used the metal eraser shelf at the bottom of my board, but it would always get all gunky with marker flakes or whatever they are.
     
  6. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    I found when I was entering all the grades on the computer...it took me forever to scroll around if it wasn't alphabetized. And I have about 1 dry erase board for every 2 students. Wal-Mart ran out of the $1 ones before I could get more....Should I still turtle wax these? I haven't hit home depot yet for the showerboard.

    Have you seen the dry erase erasers with the handle? It's like a small squeegie. Those things are so nifty. I wonder if there's a way to design a big eraser that erases more at once.
     
  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    If it's marketed as an actual dry erase board, there's no neat to turtle-wax it. The turtle-wax is just for showerboards (which aren't designed to be written on).

    I haven't seen those erasers, but they sound neat. I let my kids use washcloths, and they seem to work fine although they look pretty ugly after one or two uses (even though I bring them home and bleach them). I get the 20-packs of washcloths from Wal-Mart for about 3 bucks on sale.
     
  8. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    ooo that's a really good price for washcloths.....is there a benefit to those as opposed to regular erasers?

    I don't know if Wal-Mart has those "squeegies" I'm referring to, but I know Target does.
     
  9. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    No benefit other than pricing. :)
     
  10. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    I have two of the three drawer plastic carts to help organize my desk. I have a teachers desk and at an L angle to the desk I have a table, which I put my carts under. One drawer is just for turned in pass slips, copies of referral forms, etc. One for post it, one for writing utensils, one for empty file folders etc. I got a file holder at my local teacher store with files that say do today, do tomorrow, etc to keep that kind of stuff organized. However my turn in trays etc are by the door, just like suggested by Harry Wong, so it is a kids sefl help center, turn in trays, work to return to students trays and a box with files of blank worksheets for kids that missed a day can find their own missing assignemtns, also a stapler and hole punch. That way they can do it themselves and I spend less time getting stuff for them. The stuff on my desk is for me and a kids hands off zone.
     
  11. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Oo...which section is that stuff described in with Harry Wong? I like the idea of a hole puncher and stapler on a table just for the kids.

    Yeah, I've learned with summer school how annoying it is for kids to come around to my side of the desk and start touching whatever they want.
     
  12. wldywall

    wldywall Connoisseur

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    Ummm, give me a sec, looking it up... okay part of it, section C, pg 91 and the rest is well I cannot find it right now. it is in the seciton where he talks about giving students a tour of the room. But by arranging the room wehre they can help themselves and making your desk off limits, you maintain a level of respect for you.
     
  13. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    well said...
     
  14. ~mrs.m~

    ~mrs.m~ Comrade

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    I have a table lined up against the left side of my desk (and my desk facing the the classroom. I have six classes and have a stacking basket for each class to turn in papers...and six return baskets too. They are part of what I put on the table next to my desk.

    I don't alphabetize papers but I record their papers on a blank roster that is easily printed out from our computer gradebook...that way when I enter the grades I can do it very quickly. I have my students ALWAYS put their first name and last initial for easy recording. I had 165 students last year and I just can't stop and try to think of their last names everytime I record a grade.
     
  15. h2omane

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    not sure if this is an option, but One of the teachers I have met used a portable cart instead of a desk. without the desk you have more square footage.

    on one side she had all pockets for all the handouts, and textbooks. on the other side she had varioous smaller pockets for pens, pencils, markers, rulers, etc. etc.

    not only was it super organized, everything was at her fingertips all day long.

    She was a teacher who believed in "not parking at the teacher's desk", and was more of "stand until the kids go home" kinda person.

    I kinda have the same philosophy, but I need some sort of "sitting" furnishings when I'm teaching full time. I'd also have an extention cord strapped on the side to attach projectors, overheads, or anything else electronic.

    just a couple of points to ponder.
    not sure if they make sense, it's 3:22 am and I'm a wee bit tired.

    Mr. Skinner :D
     
  16. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    I use one of those picnic organizers where you put utensils and napkins to organize most of the supplies on my desk. Also have 2 baskets for trading sharpened/unsharpened pencils. Besides my lesson plan book, and my basket to hold papers I am grading- that is it :)
     
  17. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    I don't have a desk. As a K teacher, I'm kind of jealous sometimes of teachers who actually have time to sit behind a desk! I didn't even have an adult-sized chair in my room until this year and I hardly ever sit in it. For organizing, though, I have one of those tall towers with drawers. I put assignments in it that I've already run off, with each drawer devoted to a subject. On top of the tower I have tape dispenser, staplers, marker, pens, etc. My lesson plan book sits on top of a shelf next to it which is right by my main teaching area. I have just a double stackable tray by the door that I put things in that need to be copied, small books that need to be stapled, etc. And I have a dish tub on a student-accessible shelf for "completed work" to be turned in. I have another (shorter) rolly-thing (the technical term) with drawers that I keep a few other essentials in that would probably typically be in desk drawers.
     
  18. michelleann27

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    I have a desk. But, it contains a smart board part and computer for grades. I have a huge calendar on the desk and photos of my kids and husband. And on the edge a orgainzer that holds my printed copies for the week in each folder labeled Monday-Friday. I have my students persoanl files in the desk. And my desk has to be in the front because of the smart board. I only sit at my desk during planning time. I have 1st-6th periods of teaching 8th grade science and the end of the day is free for other things like grading papers, planning acitivites, etc...
     
  19. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    This idea sounds very cool. Can you explain the cart in a little more in detail? Are you talking about the small box kind that teachers typically drag around the school campus as if it were a piece of luggage? Or are you talking about a cart that an overhead projector might go on?
     
  20. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    You have an actual "Smart Board"? Oh those things are sooooooo awesome. I've talked with my principal and I'm hoping to get one in the spring or next fall.
     
  21. shasha379

    shasha379 Devotee

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    Sponges work great. I got a few packs from Family Dollar and cut them in half. One side of the sponge has sort of a brillo surface, and the other side is soft. The brillo side does not leave behind the marker specks. They lasted all year.
     
  22. michelleann27

    michelleann27 Cohort

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    Yes , I am very proud of it to. It just takes up alot of room on the desk and the classroom. I put in an order to have to hung up so maybe be the time i come back from my last trip of the summer it will be hung.
    :D
     
  23. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    On top of my desk I have a small desk calendar, my computer monitor/keyboard/mouse, a desk lamp, a document camera, a picture of me & DH and one of the dog. Oh, and a small fountain. I've also got a plastic desk cover so I can slide papers under it and have them out of the way, yet still see them.

    All of my drawers have small baskets, medium baskets, and drawer organizers. One drawer has hanging file folders.

    There is a two-drawer cabinet (legal size) and a metal bookshelf beside my desk. All of my teacher's guides and some file folders are in the cabinet. The shelf has more small organizers and letter trays as well as my stapler, tape, note cube, baby wipes, sanitizer, tissues, and some lotion.

    I don't use any magnets on my board . . . well, with the exception of magnetic paper titles. I also don't keep any dry erase markers on the board. They're in my desk drawer. I clean my board with baby wipes or plain water and a bar towel. I don't use my board all that much as I have a SmartBoard that I use most of the time.

    I absolutely MUST be organized to function. I make sure that I always put things where they go, too, which helps me a lot.
     
  24. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

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    I have old laundry caps in my desk to hold small items. They are free and they work.

    I also have cllipboards attached to the wall next to my desk to keep various information that I need.
     
  25. paperheart

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    I have not conquered the messy desk yet. I am trying to do so this year. I don't sit at it, but I do want it to be organized so I can find what I need.

    I am going to get a Staples Apprentice, hopefully. Here is a link to it. http://www.staples.com/webapp/wcs/s...atalogId=10051&productId=130525&cmArea=SEARCH

    It used to be cheaper. I am hoping for a sale or maybe school money to get it. Anyone know of anything similar?

    I am also going to get one of those bill payer things with slots 1-31. I'll use that to file paperwork with a deadline. I have two trays already that I'll use for papers I just need to read for my referrence and the other tray for papers to file away. I want to keep the "to file" tray empty most of the time by filing papers right away, but it will still be there for the times when that isn't possible.

    I currently use an embroidery floss container for keeping small items like tacks, paper clips, batteries. Its great.

    I plan on keeping papers to grade and record grades in some sort of box with a lid, color coded by class. I want the lids because it will make the room look neater and I can stack them to save space.

    Students have their own supplies on a table so they stay away from mine.

    Oh, and one thing that does help me keep papers from being everywhere is having a deep tray that is a catchall for any loose papers without a home. I put all extra copies here and students who have lost theirs can get another one.

    This year, I plan on having a sweater organizer hanging in my closet. Last year, it was wasted space, but I am excited about this year. I think I am going to use one shelf for each day of the week and put the materials needed for the day there.
     
  26. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Oh, another organizer that I love is organization station. It's hanging behind my desk. Each pocket holds up to 35 full-sized sheets of paper. The labels are laminated and I write on them with wet-erase markers.

    Organization Station
     
  27. srh

    srh Devotee

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    Sevenplus--I teach Kinder, and I use my desk for HOURS every day, just not DURING CLASS TIME!! I can't imagine functioning without a drawer with my files, a home base for my laptop, and organizers holding my daily and weekly essentials, not to mention phone messages that are taken while I'm in class, etc.!

    Did you just get left out in the furniture assignments?? Gosh, I would be asking for a desk if I were you! It saves on having to keep a million other contraptions around; plus, it gives me a sense of belonging, as goofy as that may sound! (It's also a great place to put that flower or small gift a student may bring in!) :-D
     
  28. srh

    srh Devotee

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    When I look at the price of "teacher store" organizers, I cringe!! I am forever looking at things in WalMart, Lowe's, Home Depot, etc., wondering how I can use something other than for its intended purpose!

    My latest find was something at WalMart to store my magnetic letters. I've been looking for over a year! But for a frugal $2.97, I found a great tackle box with 24 compartments. It has a tight-fitting flip lid, and by combining a couple of those seldom used letters, I got 'em all in. I'm so proud!! I use this every week for tutoring, and it is SO much easier to grab letters quickly now. During school, I will probably set it in a literacy center.

    Keep your eyes AND mind open for "new uses!"
     
  29. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    Jul 16, 2007

     
  30. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Excellent advice! It's amazing at how teachers are able to Macgyver everyday items into remarkable classroom supplies.

    (Did you all like how I just totally verbed that noun? I love the English language!)
     
  31. ayotte04

    ayotte04 Comrade

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    OMG...you SO verbed that noun. You kick butt Cassie!
     
  32. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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    lol ya'll are silly. i'm planning on using all those wonderful teacher's mugs that you get. i'm not a coffee drinker so i'll find uses for them all over my classroom. the first one being to hold my dry erase markers upside down so that they are always fresh with ink :)
     
  33. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I do that, too. I LOVE looking finding other uses for things.
     
  34. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    ICE CUBE TRAY!
    I saw a neat idea for organizing rubber stamps on your desk. Another thread mentioned it so I tried it and...wow...it looks great! An ice cube tray!! Yep! So easy! Would work for paper clips, staples, rubber bands, push pins, etc...too!!:)
     
  35. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Mine was about $40. I had the school buy it for me. I couldn't find them very cheap. I'm sure something else is out there.

    I just don't really have a need to attach things to my board with magnets. I actually have some really cute, colorful ones that I've never used!


    The main reason is that I'm allergic to them. I get hives when I'm around them much, so I keep them up up and use them sparingly. When I left them out the kids wanted to write on my board--which I hate--and then I had to erase more stuff which gave me more hives.
     
  36. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Ima Teacher, please explain something for me -- what is a document camera? Are you talking about a small scanner? I plan to have family pictures on mine as well -- after all, it is "our office," and we will spend between 1/3 - 3/4 of our lives there!
     
  37. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Another small item storage idea

    I can't take credit for this one -- I read it in a magazine -- maybe Southern Living, anyway.... If you have wooden shelves on your wall (or can hang them) screw the lids from baby food containers firmly on the UNDER side of the shelf. Then fill up the (cleaned out and de-labeled) jar with paperclips, rubber bands, push pins, loose change, etc. and Voila! They are all up, organized, and out of your way! :D
     
  38. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Sometimes document cameras are called "Elmos". It's basically like an overhead projector, but it projects whatever you have under it instead of just transparencies. Mine is hooked to my computer and projector. It projects, takes digital photos, and digital video. I just got it last year, and I LOVE it!

    [​IMG]
     
  39. WindyCityGal606

    WindyCityGal606 Enthusiast

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    How much do these cameras cost and where can you get them?
     
  40. shasha379

    shasha379 Devotee

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    I have one. I LOVE it too. I'm not sure how much it costs. Every 3-5 teacher got one from a grant. I don't have much on my desk. Just a desk calender, a mug with red pens, a picture, a rubbermaid paperclip/pen organizer(I keep pens and pencils I find on the floor in it), a plastic apple which holds rubber bands, and a box of Kleenex. I have a table next to my desk which holds: my laptop, scanner, document camera, printer, and a organizer( for nurse passes, lunch count, ice cream, and afterschool program).
     
  41. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    I'm not sure how much mine cost. I had looked at other document cameras a few years ago, and the least expensive one was $500. I'm not sure if they've gone down any or not.

    We got ours through a partnership with a university. They gave us 17 "Smart" classrooms with all the bells & whistles.
     
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