How do you organize your files and units?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by EngTeacher15, Jul 28, 2007.

  1. EngTeacher15

    EngTeacher15 Companion

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    Jul 28, 2007

    Hi everyone. This will be my 2nd year teaching English to 9th and 12th graders.

    I hope to be more organized this year, so I'm looking for some pointers.

    1) How do you electronically organize your files? I have a flash drive, and right now I have a folder for each course. What do you do beyond that?

    2) How do you organize your paper files? Right now I have binders filled with page protectors (e.g. I have a binder that I put all my To Kill a Mockingbird stuff in). I don't know whether I should organize by the order in which I do it (just what I do in order day-to-day) or whether I should have tabs with categories such as background info, study guides, quizzes/tests, etc.

    ANY help or suggestions on what works for you will help! Thanks!
     
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  3. EnglishMiss

    EnglishMiss Rookie

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    Jul 28, 2007

    Well, I'm still figuring this out myself, and my system might get unruly as I accumulate more "stuff"! But here's what I did last year:
    Computer files - Overall I have files for each course, as well as Organization and Administration (flyers, parent contacts, lists of important dates, master schedules, etc. that are worth keeping). Inside the course folders, one class was clearly divided into separate literature units (novels), writing, grammar, and vocabulary. The other class, the lit units weren't as clearly defined I felt, so it was just Literature, Writing, Grammar, and Vocab. Inside were some sub-folders for big pieces that had lots of files (i.e. Julius Caesar and Night each had their own). Then I have a separate folder for "Ideas" - things I borrow from other people, or from the internet, that I think are cool, but I didn't get a chance to use last year - I try to keep them separate for now so I don't get confused about what I did!
    Paper files - pretty similar, I just use as many binders as I need to. Literature has its own, Writing has its own, Grammar has its own, Vocabulary and Organizational Forms and Finals Review and CSAP (state test) Review are all in one binder. Tabs are your friends! (by chapter, by unit, by semester, whatever)
     
  4. deserttrumpet

    deserttrumpet Comrade

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    Jul 28, 2007

    Electronic files
    I have started to make files for certain units. For example, under biology, I have another file titled cells. In there I put all the stuff relating to cells. If it is a big unit I will divide it up further.

    I too am using a flash drive so that I can have documents no matter where I am.

    On another note - my computer is in shop and I have a loaner. On it it has a preview of a program called One Note by microsoft (2007). It looks like an awsome program to organize those who crave it.

    For paper systems I am still trying to figure that one out. I think I may use a combination of file folders and notebooks this year.
     
  5. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Jul 28, 2007

    One binder per unit, everything there in the order than I use it. It contains everything I need for that unit. All the papers are in sheet protectors. At the beginning of each binder is a table of contents.
     
  6. FutureFLTeacher

    FutureFLTeacher Companion

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    Jul 28, 2007

    I think I'm going with something similiar to this...I'm a organzation freak, and I think if I try anything more difficult, I'll just annoy myself...LOL
     
  7. EngTeacher15

    EngTeacher15 Companion

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    That's pretty much what I do now...except for the Table of Contents...good idea!
     
  8. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Jul 28, 2007

    For lesson plans I keep them on my computer labeled by class, year, and term. Each course I teach has its own binder in which I have a dividers labled with the years I taught the course with the lesson plans divided.

    Here is how I organize my computer files.
    -Each course has its own folder.
    -Within each course folder there is a subfolder for each unit that I have, that corresponds to that units binder. I also have a subfolder labeled lesson plans that is further divided by year.
    -I have a word document for each unit saying that lists ideas for acitivites that I already use or want to try using. It also lists where the supplies neccesary for each activity is. This word document is also printed out and put in the binder.
     
  9. Alaskanteach

    Alaskanteach Cohort

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    Aug 11, 2007

    For book units- I put one unit in a binder, and label it.. I usually also have most of it burned to cd

    for smaller assignments, I keep a hard copy in a manila folder in my file cabinet, but I keep an electronic copy for altering purposes..

    I do try to keep a hard copy of everything though, I don't like "losing" things, and also I have found great unit materials online, and then the website closes down or... not good. :(
     
  10. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Aug 12, 2007

    After 6 years, i think I have a system... I have a binder for each unit, which has a table of contents and plan in the beginning. I also have a list of all extra copies I have in the binder, and those extras are in the filing cabinet. I keep all overheads and CDs for each unit in plastic sleeves in the binder. Anything that I didnt use last year, but might use in the future, I keep in the binder but behind a divider, so I know I have options for changing around what I did last year if I want, but it is separated from what I did last year.
     
  11. VA2500

    VA2500 Rookie

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    After 40 years in education, I would highly recommend that you keep everything electronically. I have five 5-drawer filing cabinets bulging with papers, including lesson plans, articles on various topics, pictures for displays, and in some cases materials.

    As a science teacher, I have files in each of the major disciplines life, earth and physical science and each of these is further divided into topics. I now do the same electronically. My rule - if a paper file has more than 1/2 inch of materials I subdivide it. If an electronic folder has more files than I can see on a page of Explorer I ad subfolders. I also am a great fan of Google Desktop because I do not always recall the name of files or what folder they are in.

    I have one file cabinet for teaching strategies that cross disciplines, info on the many bandwagons I have jumped on and off of, philosophies of education, history of education, etc.
     
  12. atieK

    atieK Rookie

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    Aug 19, 2007

    Keeping things electronically is a great idea for quick access and minimizing clutter but make sure you have a hard copy of a lesson or worksheet printed out at least one day before the class. I have gone to school to print a lesson and found that all of the computers were down. I had to quickly rewrite the lesson before the class came in. Also if you keep things saved on a computer make sure it is backed up because if your computer needs to be fixed or cleaned, you may lose all of your files!
     
  13. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    Aug 19, 2007

    I purchased OneNote a while back, and it is a great organizational tool in a lot of regards. One word of warning, though... You are not able to undo like you are in other Microsoft programs, because it constantly saves your work. Just like in a notebook, if you tear out a page, you can't really put it back... Same with OneNote!
     
  14. Terrence

    Terrence Comrade

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    Aug 20, 2007

    This year I am going to start notebooks. I have a huge notebook full dividers for each unit for science. Once it gets too big, I will divide each unit into it's own binder. I have obtained a ton of labs and activities from the internet this summer. I am going to have a separate lesson plan binder. In that binder, I will keep both my science and math lesson plans. It will be divided into weekly plans for math, weekly plans for science, and then daily plans for each subject.
     
  15. Doug_HSTeach_07

    Doug_HSTeach_07 Comrade

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    Aug 20, 2007

    Great idea with the binders. That sounds like an excellent idea.
     
  16. JerseyEnglish

    JerseyEnglish Rookie

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    Aug 20, 2007

    Binders are awesome way for me to organize along with electronically filing my lessons. I created my own electronic grade book and plan book in addition to the ones that I do for the school.
     

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