Organization tips

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by BES2010, Jul 25, 2010.

  1. BES2010

    BES2010 Rookie

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    Jul 25, 2010

    Hello, I am a new 4th grade teacher. I just wanted to ask anyone if they had any tips on staying organized throughout the year. With all the papers, books, supplies, etc. I am naturally organized and have some thoughts in my head however i just wanted to see what others do.

    My thoughts - I plan on getting lots of binders. A 3 inch for each subject and then a small 1-1 1/2 inch binder. The small binder will hold my weekly schedule/plan and my daily lesson plans for each subject for 1 whole week. Then the big binders will be where I put the lessons at the end of each week with all my notes and stuff. This way if I ever need to go back to something from a specific time of year for a specific subject it is there. Also all of my lesson plans for an entire year will be together per subject and I can reuse them or modify them for the next year.
     
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  3. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Jul 25, 2010

    I wish I had the energy to get as organized as I want to be! I'm trying to color-coordinate my resources, using file folders & envelopes in blue (ELA), red (math), yellow (Social Studies), green (Science), or purple (Health), with the regular manila folders being used for "administrative" files and student information. I don't use many binders, but I have a large one for my plans, and it resides just inside my classroom door, where my P and other admins can peruse it - I keep a "working" copy with me. Most of my stuff is stored digitally - at least everything that it makes sense to keep that way. I have a 500GB USB hard drive that I call my brain, and it goes with me everywhere I go!
     
  4. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jul 26, 2010

    All of my tips for organization are on my site (Clutter-Free Classroom) and in my blog. Hopefully there is something there that can help you. In response to your specific idea I think it's great. I LOVE using binders. I would highly recommend investing in a binder storage shelf. [​IMG]
     
  5. newbie23

    newbie23 Comrade

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    Jul 26, 2010

    One thing that helps me is to have color-coded manilla folders where I place all of the copies I plan on using each day of the week along with a lesson plan for that day.

    Our lesson plans are submitted and stored online but I print out a copy at the beginning of each week to leave on my desk. I make notes on these and place them into a binder at the end of each week.

    I keep a manilla folder for each student (we pass these up with the students to save resources). In it I place any parent communcation (even if it is a copy), actual tests (I ask all tests be returned), any formative assessment results, etc. Then I have something to work from at conference time. I also try not to leave things on my desk at the end of the day. Either paperwork gets pitched or filed but it's too easy to get lost if you let it pile up.
     
  6. teachgrade5

    teachgrade5 Comrade

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    I have a tub of resources for each subject. Each tub has hanging folders and within each hanging folder I have a folder labeled. I put all the teacher resources in it by unit or chapter. I also include any resources I collect in the tub. If I find websites, a flipchart, or have other resources located somewhere else in my room, I will write the name of the resource in the folder. That way I know where to go look.
     
  7. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    Jul 26, 2010

    Whatever format you use I recommend keeping all of your teacher-information - due dates/calendars/appointments in the same place. Some people like to use binders, some a b-board behind their desk, I like to use a monthly/weekly calendar as my planbooks so I keep it all in there.
     
  8. msmullenjr

    msmullenjr Devotee

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    Jul 26, 2010

    I love the desk area. So neat and organized. I think I want one of those corner shelves now. AWESOME!!!!
     
  9. mrs100

    mrs100 Comrade

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    Jul 26, 2010

    I find it easiest to plan my day-to-day things by using day of the week drawers. I bought the Sterilite plastic pull out drawers from Target, and labeled them Monday-Friday, with one as "Extra/Next Week". Then as I'm planning my week, I can put readaloud books, projects, copies, testing materials, etc. in each drawer according to the day. Also makes it WAY easier for a sub to find everything she needs. I also use a large 4 drawer filing cabinet and keep all my materials for the year there. I have one hanging file for each month where I put projects, reproducibles, and things that go with activities for that month, and I have a math drawer, reading drawer and writing drawer. It take a few years to find something the really works for you, so just try something out and tweak it as you go.
     
  10. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Jul 26, 2010

  11. texteacher

    texteacher Companion

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    Jul 26, 2010

    I love the font that you use on all your stuff. What is it called? Does it need to be downloaded from somewhere? I just love how it has that cute look but without being messy.
     
  12. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Hi Tex: I gravitate toward Marker Felt. It's a pretty standard font. I'm sure you could download it if it didn't come with your computer. I use a MAC.
     
  13. texteacher

    texteacher Companion

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    Hmm, I don't have the font but I'll look for it or something similar. I just love it soo much. I've been reading through your blog and it is amazing! Thanks for all the good ideas.
     
  14. BES2010

    BES2010 Rookie

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    Jul 26, 2010

    WOW! Thanks everybody, these ideas are great. I do love that corner shelf you have iheartrecess
     
  15. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Jul 26, 2010

    Wow, I don't now you are able to stay so organized. I try, every year I try. And every year I end up not being able to see my desk and there are piles and piles of papers and worksheets stacked up. My goal this year is to actually use the file cabinets I have in the room this year for, well, filing papers. I dream of being organized, just never sure of how to make it happen.
     
  16. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    My plan was to organize everything this summer. HAH! My house looks like a junk pile! However, I am bound and determined NOT to bring anything in to my classroom this year until it is organized, so I'm hoping to force myself into total organization (or a breakdown, lol).
     
  17. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    Jul 27, 2010

    Clutter is my enemy! When my room starts getting cluttered, I feel out of control.

    I don't have a teacher desk, but instead have 2 rolling carts. Yesterday, I covered the fronts w/ cute scrapbook paper (one stressful thing for me was seeing the stuff inside). Then, I organized everything inside in baskets. You should see it- it is just gorgeous! I used to keep all of my vista print postcards laying flat in piles inside- boy the space I wasted! I will try to bring my camera today to take pics =)
     
  18. passionateacher

    passionateacher Comrade

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    Aug 16, 2010

    iheartrecess, where did you get that binder storage shelf? i have been looking online for hours and can not find one like that! was it expensive?
     
  19. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    That is exactly what I do. :) It has really helped me stay organized each day. I also keep my daily schedule and lessons on a clipboard on my desk.
     
  20. roseteacher12

    roseteacher12 Habitué

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    Aug 17, 2010

    love marker felt! I use it on a lot of school things too!
     
  21. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    PassionateTeacher: I've had that forever and I think I inherited it from another teacher so I'm not sure where it came from. Sorry I can't be of more help.
     
  22. Elcsmith

    Elcsmith Companion

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    Aug 18, 2010

    Is this the same shelf?
     
  23. forkids

    forkids Cohort

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    Aug 19, 2010

    They sell them at Really Good Stuff, but they cost more. It's called a Store More Binder Nook and they range from 2 shelves @ 89.99 - 6 shelves @ 239.99.
    Sorry I don't know how to post a link.
     
  24. passionateacher

    passionateacher Comrade

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    THANK YOU elcsmith & forkids!!! I'm going to try K-Mart first since it's less expensive ;):thanks:
     
  25. passionateacher

    passionateacher Comrade

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    I am so happy I just have to say :thanks: again Elcsmith! I went to Kmart today and found the shelf! It was only $32 with tax. I'm soooo excited since this is the first year I will have my 2nd graders keep published writing pieces in binders. Hope it holds 24 one-inch binders :)
     
  26. Elcsmith

    Elcsmith Companion

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    Do the binders fit in it? I was worried about the depth. If so, I may just go purchase one myself!
     
  27. passionateacher

    passionateacher Comrade

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    Aug 21, 2010

    THE BINDERS DON'T FIT!!!

    I actually came up here JUST to tell everyone that the shelves are too short :(. Unfortunately, I had to build the whole thing yesterday morning and try to put the binders on before I realized it. If only I had done the math!

    I'm wondering if I'll be able to drill extra holes under the first 2 shelves and lower them so that the binders can fit. The only thing is I'm afraid I might crack the wood since it's not heavy-duty.

    I am SO disappointed---with myself, not the company---because it didn't even dawn on me to think about the dimensions. This shelf is just a corner shelf...not a binder shelf. The cheapest binder shelf I could find at ReallyGoodStuff was $79.:crosseyed

    So for now I'm using 3 crates, turned sideways & stacked on top of each other, to put binders in.:|
     
  28. Elcsmith

    Elcsmith Companion

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    I'm SO SO sorry!
     
  29. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Aug 21, 2010

    In my desk drawer I have 10 legal sized folders, each one labeled by month. Everything that crosses my desk in September goes in the "September" folder, if I get a paper about an inservice in November, it goes in the correct folder. That helps with the administrative side of the job.

    Lessons go into folders according to unit. I only have binders for keeping grades.
     
  30. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Is there any way you can turn the binders sideways to make them fit?
     
  31. passionateacher

    passionateacher Comrade

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    Nope! Tried that, but those shelves are just too darn short!
     
  32. passionateacher

    passionateacher Comrade

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    [​IMG]
    Here is the fake binder shelf. Now I'm using it for stuffed animal storage :-/
     
  33. heavens54

    heavens54 Connoisseur

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    I like your room. It is very inviting. Your shelf looks cute with the stuffed animals.
     

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