Organization/System!!!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by montgm, Oct 2, 2007.

  1. montgm

    montgm Rookie

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    Oct 2, 2007

    hi, I am a first year teacher and going crazy trying to find a system that works. I have 19 students in 5th grade. They switch for math and reading. I have special ed. for math and reading. I JUST HAVE SO MUCH GOING ON I NEED A GREAT ORGANIZATION SYSTEM THAT WORKS/1 ANY SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE GREAT!
    THANKS
     
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  3. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Oct 2, 2007

    In terms of organizing what? Papers, lesson plans, materials???
     
  4. montgm

    montgm Rookie

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    Oct 2, 2007

    organization

    In terms of organization with morning work for the kids, my reading group and handing in and handing out work, math.....etc. Its more of knowing where the assignments and handing in work is. I need some sort of system that works!
     
  5. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Oct 2, 2007

    What about getting those large white dish tubs from Target for each class. Then, use colored folders and lable the folders (homework, class assignment, etc). Place each set of folders in each tub. So, for reading group, you will use the green folders. Math will be yellow folders. Your regular class will be red folders. Etc. Does this make sense. I'm very tired and I'm not sure I did a good job explaing that. Basically, just get one tub for each class you teach, and a set of file folders that are in different colors for each class you teach. I use tubs because I can not only place all of my file folders in there, but I can also place the books that I will be using in the tubs. So, all materials for each class are in one tub.
     
  6. Miss Starr

    Miss Starr Companion

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    Oct 2, 2007

    I think that the first thing to organization is slowing down. I am back in the classroom at a new grade level after being a reading specialist. At the beginning of the year I was always rushing around and forgetting things as I tried to keep pace with the other teachers. As I slowed down a little I am better able to get all the materials passed out, collected, and keep overall track of my lessons. I am also finding that I find more time to fit things in and keep up with the other teacher too.

    I have five folders labeled Monday, Tuesday, etc. I put all the copies in these folders for the week so that is all set to go each morning. If I dont get to an activity I just bump those sheets back a day.

    I have a bin on my desk that I just dump all the loose papers, extra sheets, used lesson plans, etc. into. I have scheduled into one of my preps to do filing. On that day I just dump the bin and file away into a filing cabinet. That way also if I have a kids lose a sheet or is absent I just have them look in the bin to find a copy of what they need.

    Mailboxes for the kids are also useful because then you can pass back work and file notices without having the kids actually be present. They just have to take everything out of their mailbox at dismissal.

    Hope this helps. Believe me it is tough and I am no where near as organized as I would like to be.
     
  7. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    I also have that bin next to my desk for those loose papers, notices from office, etc. That's a VERY GOOD IDEA to schedule into your shcedule filing time. I need to do that.

    I also have an extra paper bins form my kids. Anything that I pass out, if there are extras, gets put into the extra paper bins. After a month, I dump it all.
     
  8. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Oct 3, 2007

    Great ideas!

    Having mailboxes for the kids has saved me! If your kids are responsible enough, you can have a bin next to the mailboxes and have "mail delivery" be one of the jobs. So you just have to put graded papers, office notices, etc. in the bin and one of the kids passes everything into the mailboxes. I have the kids in ABC order and everyone has a number on the mailbox and a number on every piece of paper they turn in so this makes recording grades and passing out papers much faster.

    The bin for papers to be filed is great. Sometimes it takes me a while to get to the filing, but it is all there waiting and not scattered all over the place.

    This year I am trying something new. I have collected the boxes that water bottles come in, labeled them, and I'm using them for everything. Graded work, work to be done today, work to be finished, extra work for extra time, fun stuff they can get for themselves if they have free time, homework, etc. You can stack them crosswise on top of each other. It is like the metal basket idea, but free!

    Good luck! Organization is my biggest challenge and I keep learning new ideas from other teachers - like this post - that help me so much. The greatest organizational tip I ever got was to assign each child a number. The number is used for everything, even lining up (I immediately know who is missing), and saves me tons of time.
     
  9. montgm

    montgm Rookie

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    Oct 3, 2007

    in the tubs do the folders stand up?
     
  10. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    I know when I subbed one of the 5th grade teachers that had kids rotate had hanging folders in her room. I think you can buy a standing frame & then the kids had folders. I think she just put in the front the teacher's last name.

    I had 5 slots on my desk to hold for each day's work. It worked well. I also had mail boxes we would put the work either on top of or in front of the mailboxes ( a lot of the upper classes I subbed in had them as well). I also just used a cardboard box (I think from a book order) to throw extra papers in. The kids loved it. If they got done with work, free time, or indoor recess they could use the backs to draw on or redo the work (which some did)!!!
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Oct 3, 2007

    Love the ideas!! I'm glad someone posed this question.
     
  12. corps2005

    corps2005 Cohort

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    I switched up the way I organizer turned-in homework. At first, I just had them place the homework in a bin. Now, I have a drawer in my filing cabinet labeled "Homework." Each student has a hanging file folder in there. Whenever they need to turn in homework, they put it in the filing cabinet.

    I've been thinking about adapting that as a way for organizing classwork too. Perhaps I'll do this one by Groups to make it faster for the Table Managers to file the papers.
     
  13. Peachyness

    Peachyness Virtuoso

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    Meh... not really. :D Books hold them up, or they slump over. BUT they are all in one spot, organized and ready to go. I put all of my worksheets, homework assignments, handouts, etc in the folders for each day for each subject on Friday. So, as I go through the week, as I'm getting ready to go, I just pull out the folder. Simple and easy. Also, this is my first year in fifth (after having taught kinder), and I am actually leaving on time!!!! because of how organized my system is.
     
  14. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Oct 3, 2007

    Now that gets my attention!
     
  15. montgm

    montgm Rookie

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    Oct 4, 2007

    I am a little confused, I wish I could see a picture!
     
  16. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    Oct 9, 2007

    I have used the larger magazine holders to hold folders for classes. I also organize all my teacher books in them. I have science in one, reading in one, or two or three, all my monthly ones in one. I bought about 20 of the big ones on clearance one year and LOVE THEM!!! I can see everything and nothing falls over on the shelf. They are also easy to move. I can grap one for all my resources for the month and take it with me. I love those things and they look nice on my shelf.
     
  17. montgm

    montgm Rookie

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    Where do you get the larger magazine holders? Are they the file folders? Kind of confused, but it sounds like a great organizational tool!
     
  18. mrachelle87

    mrachelle87 Fanatic

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    They are in the office aisle. They are hard plastic rectangles that set on the short end. The open end is cut at an angle. I have seen some made out of cereal boxes, but I use the heavy plastic kind. The cost less than $4 a piece.
     
  19. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    I am a second year teacher and organization is my major goal for this year. Like you, I have tried MULTIPLE different things. Not all work for me. My number one suggestions is if you have not been an extremely organized person in the past, don't try to be extremely organized. At first I tried to put everything in clear sleves, wirte the standard it met etc. Maybe I will do this later on... but it was too much too soon!!!!!

    Slow down, and find something that will work for you right now! At least that is what I had to do!

    These are things that have worked for me...
    Color coding! Color code everything! Different subjects.... different classes etc. Students can have a different colored folder or label for the different subects. You can also keep your worksheets that are unused or you are finished with in a hanging file of the subject color. I didn't have enough time to file the used worksheets away how I wanted it the first year. So I created just subject files. This way you know you have the worksheet, but you don't have to spend your limited time filing it right away. Later during the summer I separated them and created topic folders.

    I have my students turn all assignments (for all subjects) into a hanging file folder with their name on it. It makes it more bearable for me to grade and to hand papers back, I just hand the whole pile from the folders.

    I have work in progress folders that the students keep in their desk. Since some students finish before others they can have designated option activitites. The students that do not finish by the end of the period, put work in their "work in progress" folder. We have ketsup days, and times where students who have unfinished work, have extra time to complete it.

    I also have a "Put Away" tub. I agree to stick to a schedule to put away these materials. If I didn't they piled up way to fast and easy!


    I also have a hanging file for each day of the week (Monday-Friday) In each I have a labeled manila folder with each subject I teach for the day. (Ex: Spelling, Math, Reading, Science, Morning work) In each folder I put the worksheets that I will need for the lesson. This has helped substitutes find the materials easier.

    I also use mailboxes. I tell students throughout the day to put items in there that they will have to take home.

    Assign classroom helpers! I don't know how well it would go over with fifth grade.... but assign paper passers... assign a cleanup crew... assign classroom mangers (to help you with anything!) I can give my students praise for helping and that is enough! Only the younger students will scrub an entire floor for a skittle!!

    Well, I hope this long winded response helps! I went through the same thing last year!
     
  20. firstgradeteach

    firstgradeteach Comrade

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    Oct 9, 2007

    I just bought some this year and love them! I use them to separate the books I use to differentiate my center groups. I just carry one at a time to the copy room!
     
  21. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    Oct 10, 2007

    depending on the size of the tub, and if the sides are squared,yes.

    Walmart has the crates that are actual filing crates. They have the small tracks on the sides and you can put hanging folders in them.

    Use a different color hanging folder for each class/subject. A different filing crate per period. Number the hanging folders with the child's name/ number.
    Make a seating chart for each class by placing the child's number on a small colored index card/ or shape and tape onto their desks . This will help remind the child to put their number on all their papers and enables student helpers to file papers quickly. Works well with all age groups.:2cents:
    If you put each classes seating chart on the small post its and place the post-its/stickynotes in the seating arrangement you are currently using, then place each period/class sheet into a plastic protective sleeve for easy reference. Using the post-its/sticky notes makes it virtually painless to change your seating arrangements as needed with simply moving the postit/sticky note to the desired location. Move the "offending" desk/student after school is a cinch if you don't have to redo an entire seating chart .:up:
    Make sure you have atleast 4 copies of each classes Numbers posted around the room, and tape it above your filing crates so that you and your "helpers" can file quickly. These lists are handy for substitutes too. (believe me, it has saved my sanity for the past five years of subbing) By doing this, it will also help you post your grades in your grade book, taking roll call etc.:2cents:
    Roll call/ HW turned in: Using popsicle sticks with the childs name on it + 3 cups. When entering the room the child puts her/his stick in the correct cup, HW done, No HW. (ABC or more if needed) This should be place by the correct classperiods filing crate.
    If they don't have their HW, they must sign a preset up notebook stating the reason why, date, and signed. This enables you to have a running record that the child didn't/did do their HW. I always tell my students that they will get 2 points of per day being late. After a week, it goes as a U/A= D and a note is sent home with a copy of the student's signed "no HW" note notifying parent of their child's grade. This works for older kids, but younger ones tend to still need a note going home/ or phone call.
    On your desk/workarea Have a file system labeled Monday through Friday. :woot: Place your copies/work per period. Either color code by using different colored paper per class, or file folders.
    Have a "box" that holds the extras. So any student who is missing worksheet, goes to this box and picks up the extra sheet needed.
    Lunch count Using a large paper plate divide the plate into however many lunch choices your school has + a "brought Lunch" slot. Using clothespins with their names on them, let each student make their lunch choice as they come in the door. P.S. this also serves as attendance made easy. Just record the absences on your normal roll sheet and move on.
    ATTENDANCE Make sure you have an extra class list for your substitute to send in for attendance,always!! Most school districts do NOT allow subs to enter attendance on the computer, yet require their contract teachers to do so.:down: Front office people can be very nasty when they don't get their attendance lists "sent" in on time, and tend to take it out on the substitute. If the office people are on top of things, they will provide a print out for the sub to use, but I have only experienced that in 2 out of 150 schools I have worked in as a substitute. Some teachers do this on their own, but it is getting exceptionally rare for me to see this much needed item for a substitute.:blush:
    This is an exceptionally long note, and I apoligize if I have put you to sleep. These are just some ideas I have seen work in the 150 schools I have worked in over the past 5 years.:2up:
    Good luck. Check out Harry Wongs book , it has ooodles of stuff that continues to amaze most people for years.

    Good nite,
    Munchkin
     

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