Organization Tips

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by Keling9, Sep 10, 2005.

  1. Keling9

    Keling9 Companion

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    Sep 10, 2005

    After reading and thinking of storage and "useful" common items, I thought I would ask this:

    Do you have any really good organization tips to help those of us who really want to be organized but are organizationally challenged? How do you keep your room so neat? When do you find the time?


    I know I have tons of files, but I am finding that I like having things in binders better. I can easily flip through my "ABC" binder and find worksheets for the letters of the alphabet for my children to do as homework.
     
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  3. cindy lou

    cindy lou Rookie

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    Sep 10, 2005

    I am organizationally challenged as well. I have found that the only solution is to really work hard at keeping yourself organized and spend the time to put things where they belong. One thing I do is keep a small rolling file cart right next to my desk. I have files for each content area where I keep worksheets for each day-or for the week if I'm really ahead of myself! I also have files where I keep a supply of notices I often use for the office and to send home. My most important file is the "to be filed" file. Any originals or leftovers-or things I just don't know what to do with-go in there immediately to get them off my desk. I make myself take ten minutes at the end of the day to put these things in the proper place before I go home. I also make sure I clean out ALL of my files before I pack them up at the end of the year.

    I love your idea aboud using binders. They would be much easier to flip through than my file folders. I never had the shelf space to store them before, but I just inherited another bookshelf from the library. Hmm...
     
  4. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Sep 10, 2005

    These are terriffic suggestions. You'd probably like to browse through the tips section of this site. (I, myself, am vertically challenged.)
     
  5. ctopher

    ctopher Comrade

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    Sep 10, 2005

    Hi, I love this topic....thanks for starting it.

    My goals for this year all involved organization and this is what I'm doing so far.

    1) I keep the files of current topics of study in the file drawer of my desk instead of my file cabinet. This way after I make a copy I can quickly put it back into the correct file. Example....right now my adding, community, and light and color files are in the drawer.

    2) I also keep files in that drawer of forms that I use on a regular basis and parts of centers that need to be copied and replenished.

    3) I started my teaching career using binders, but quickly found that files were easier for me. It's faster to pull a sheet from a file and put it back. And files force me to go through them every once in a while to weed out items that didn't work well or that I have multiple copies of or of things I thought looked neat, but I've never tried.

    4) I also don't let myself leave at the end of the day without cleaning off my desk. It used to look a bomb went off....now I come in the morning to a neat space. The previous poster was right, you just have to take the time....it's totally worth it.
     
  6. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    I have subject files and love knowing that whenever I get to a certain topic I can just pull a file out and find lots of activities, handouts, and background info. I have one drawer of a file cabinet for math, one for language, one for social studies. Each of the main curriculum areas has a file. When I get great articles or Mailbox units, etc., I file them. My geometry file is so huge right now that I have to separate it into several smaller ones. There is also one drawer just for literature study units. In my desk file drawer I have monthly files where I put seasonal activities and even things like holiday stickers and window clings. Before the start of each month I pull it out and plan the fun stuff. The kids' birthday cards go in the appropriate monthly files, too. It really bothers me when I can't find something that I need immediately. I keep current papers in a multi-file thing right on my desk.
     
  7. leighbball

    leighbball Virtuoso

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    Sep 10, 2005

    One thing I do that I learned from the teacher who I did a maternity leave for...

    I use those stackable document bins that you can get at any office store or Kmart, Walmart, etc...I have 5 of them stacked together that I keep next to my desk. I use my handy-dandy label maker (great Christmas present from my dad, a fellow teacher!) and label each one a day of the school week. When I make my copies, I paper clip each set together and place them in sequential order (as in what happens in my schedule) in the "day" bin that I plan to use it. I try to also have all of my lesson plans done by Wed or Thurs of the previous week so I can make all of the copies I need by the time I leave on Fridays...makes things much nicer to come into on Monday morning! :)
     
  8. Keling9

    Keling9 Companion

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    Sep 10, 2005

    I also use the stackable trays for each day of the week....plus an extra one for future copies of things or anything left over. And I love my label maker!!!! I use it for everything.

    Oh, an idea I got from a fellow teacher for student files:
    Take 2 pocket folders and tape them together. Label the pockets, Quarter 1, Quarter 2, Q-3, Q-4. That way you can slide things into their files by quarter and it's easy to determine which quarter you did things (testing, etc.) its' great for Parent-Teacher Conferences.

    I still am using files for different things, but I like the binders (especially for homework type of things) because I am forced to put the originals away right then and there. The files I seem to keep out forever....eventually they wind up somewhere else!
     
  9. jeanie

    jeanie Companion

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    Sep 11, 2005

    Shouldn't there be some sort of Organizationally Challenged Support group? I have been struggling with this... I have vowed that this year I would get it together. One of my biggest problems has always been to get rid of the stuff that is unnecessary... not save it "just in case" I needed it later.
    This year, I have created new files. I decide at the moment I get something new if it needs to be filed... then I either file it in an existing file, or create a new file on the spot, or out it goes!
     
  10. teacher62604

    teacher62604 Companion

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    Sep 11, 2005

    I have files for every subject. I just a different color hanging file folders for each subject, and have them separated by topic/chapter. For example, all my files for Science are in yellow, and I have them separated by life science (chapter 1), etc. Then, anytime I make a copy or come up with something for life science, I put it in that haniging file folder - and the same for every other subject, and each topic. It makes things so much easier the next year, because when we come to learning about life science, everything I need is right in that file. (And the same for every other topic in every other subject). :)
    [​IMG]
     
  11. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    Sep 11, 2005

    Something that has been helpful for me is to go in on Saturday workdays (my school has them once a month). We had one yesterday & I got sooooo much done. My lessons are done until October, I have most of my copies made until then, and my room looks great. I even put up some fall decorations.

    Something else I saw someone do recently was to put a post-it note on the papers she had already used. That way if she needs to review a topic (ex. authors purpose) she knows immediately what she has already done this year.
     
  12. munchkin

    munchkin Cohort

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    Sep 11, 2005

    after reading the previous notes, I felt better about being organizationally challenged to the "nth" degree. ;) The best book I have ever had the privelege of checking out and having to repeatedly paying library fines on(I just LOVE this book, but my memory is not so good) is called "taming the time stealers" by M.C. Gore. :cool: This book goes into detail about every area of teaching, from the physical classroom items to the grading, keeping up with stuff etc... I actually bought this book only to have it borrowed and never returned to me by a teacher that I was subbing for..... :eek: Now , I have to try again and order it. " the excellent eleven" by ron clark also had some great tips. Finally, this summer I came across a Scholastic book at Office Depot called Classroom Management in Photographs by Maria L. Chang. Finally a book filled with pictures, for those of us that are visually challenged and need something more than just words(he he he) :D
    Then I thought about all the wonderful ideas and classrooms that I have had the privelege to sub in and to soak up the good ideas /bad ones that I promise I'll never do.... hopefully. :rolleyes:
    There was one particularly great tip that I got from a second grade teacher in greenville, sc about organizing your students, and parental communication. To see a sample of the notebook/communication idea go see her website at www.teacherweb.com/sc/blythe/madden, then look under Bear Binders.... If you have further questions, go towww.mssmithsroom.com/MOOSE_acronyms.html, orwww.kinderprintables.com www.teachingheart.net/MOOSEbooks.html . Each one of the acronyms spell out a word about classroom management. Each student has a notebook, with 4-6 plastic sleeves/folders that carry notes, homework etc... Just check it out its awesome. I have seen it in action, and I gotta tell you that as a substitute teacher, I 've rarely seen a classroom of better organized little kids in my life! If the kids are organized, then it makes it 100% easier on the teachr to be that way. If I messed up on the website addresses, the school is blythe academy in greenville south carolina... www.greenville.k12.sc.us, go to schools then find blythe academy, second grade, mrs madden and go from there.
    Those plastic file boxes that can hold the file envelope,one for each day of the week, and in those put each day's copies and lessons per subject are great. File boxes with hanging files numbered 1-30 so that you can alphabetize the students papers by their names and have a student helper file papers every afternoon can be a life saver for those weekly hnewsletters/folders that have to go home. Well, that's it for my tired rambling mind... anyone have any other ideas to share???
     

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