Organizing for Next School Year!

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Pre-K Teacher 1, May 24, 2011.

  1. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    May 24, 2011

    How do you organize your papers for the school year. I need a way to help teachers keep track of the MANY, MANY sheets of paper we have to track during the school year.

    What tracking system do you have in place for assessments, screenings, lesson plans, child portfolios?

    Do you have a ticker file system you have set up for the school year? I'm thinking of giving every teacher a planner and we take part of pre-service to fill it in with all the important due dates. But, then I thought, if they don't use the book, I've wasted money! I was also thinking of purchasing them bankers boxes and setting up monthly files for them to use and we spend part of preservice filling them up with all the things they will have to do throughout the year. I just need your FABULOUS ideas to start the year off right for the teachers.

    We just have so much PAPERWORK that it drives all of us crazy. :( Yes, we have cut it down but if you've never worked for HS you have NO IDEA how much tracking we have to do with the children and families. TIA!:)
     
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  3. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    May 24, 2011

    I'm not familiar with your paperwork, so I have limited advice to give on organizing it. However, I suggest that you give your teachers options on how to organize their paperwork. I am an organization addict, and there are systems that work for me and systems that I hate. For example, I have always had a hanging file folder for each of my students for their assessments and paperwork, and I HAAAAATED it. This year I just recently swapped to a binder with a pocket folder divider for each child, and I love it- I use it much more and it is a great resource for me now.

    If you need all the teachers to be uniform in their tracking methods, of course this won't work. But if you can be flexible, how about coming up with 2 or 3 ideas, presenting them in September, and letting the teachers use and tweak the way that they think will work best for them? This way you will know they are organized and they will know they are using a system that will help them use the papers they need.

    JMHO of course!!
     
  4. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    May 24, 2011

    I agree with the idea of organizing with binders. It has helped me so much. You can just use dividers to keep track of everything.

    TeacherGrl7 can you explain more in detail about your binder that you use instead of handing folders. I have wanted to switch out
    mine for so long but am not sure how to do it.
     
  5. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    May 24, 2011

    I have Mass Amounts of papers from being an AP, Department Chair, History Teacher, and for some years even English and Math. For me it was worth it to buy a document scanner to get an electronic PDF copy of any papers I don't have in editable form (like things I got from other teachers or conferences).

    In my new school we have decided to go completely paperless. Everything will either be on the email client or the servers. I'm pretty sure each department will have its own files to store materials for collaboration. The APs and I will most likely use e-mail to send out messages and keep a file on the server with frequently used forms for staff, admin., and teachers.

    I hate having mounds of paper around. I still like having paper to read large documents, so I will print things if I need them to read. However, in terms of storing documents, I think electronically (with backups of course) is the best way to do so.
     
  6. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    May 24, 2011

    Absolutely! I bought a 1" binder and these pocket dividers:

    http://www.staples.com/Avery-Slash-Pocket-Insertable-Tab-Dividers-8-Tab/product_486149

    I love these because they are translucent so you can see what's in them, and I can put my paperwork directly in the folder.

    I bought one divider for each student- I don't usually assign them numbers, but for this I put numbers on the tabs so I can reuse them year after year without having to make up annoying tab thingies. Then I put a class list in the front with everyone assigned a number.

    In each pocket I put assessments, notes from home, report card copies, etc. I also have notebook paper in front of each child's pocket where I write down my own anecdotal notes and things that happen that I want to track (repetitive lateness, phone calls to or from home, accidents in the classroom, etc.). If I need more paper I can always add it in, and if the folders become too full, which I have yet to personally experience, I can always punch holes in things and put them in the holes. If it ever became really necessary, I could upgrade my binder size to adjust to additional paperwork.

    I hope this isn't too confusing. The system is really simple once you set it up. There are several reasons why it kicks file folder butt for me- it takes up very little space; I can carry it with me if I want to bring it home or to the faculty room to do work during lunch- of when I have to transfer most of those documents to their cum folders!; I have everyone's information in ONE spot so if I need info on two kids I don't have to rummage through the file cabinet for two folders; it's neat.... I could go on and on!
     
  7. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    May 24, 2011

    All paperwork should be burned at the end of the year.


    :(
     
  8. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    May 25, 2011

    We have the binders which you speak of for most information that is kept. They are about 1/2 full at the start of the year and completely full and overflowing by the end of the year!

    I need ideas for child portfolios. I need something that is cheap! I have 30 classrooms. I like the binder idea be it's too expensive for us right now.

    One of our major problems is organization! The new teachers really struggle with keeping on top of all the paper. We can't go paperless. That would be great if we could! The teachers want some ideas on how to be organized and to set up a system.

    How do you set up your system at the beginning of the year?
     
  9. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    May 25, 2011

    Thanks for the laugh!

    I really need it at this point in the year! I feel like I'm drowning in this mountain of PAPERWORK!
     
  10. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 25, 2011


    I keep my lesson plans online and only print them when my admin requests to see them (which is never...). Theoretically, though, I do have space in my master binder for lesson plans. This binder is large, like 2.5-3", and has tabs for Attendance, Grades, and Lesson Plans. Whenever we have a fire drill or something, that binder is the thing I grab because I figure that's the most important thing I have in the event that our school burns down, taking the servers with it.

    If I were organizing a system for all the different sorts of paperwork you mentioned, I would probably go with a multi-file system of hanging folders. Each student would get a hanging folder, and in it would be several file folders, each one for a different topic/type of paperwork. For example, I might have a file folder for screenings, one for assessments, one for samples of the student's work (a portfolio, I guess), and one for correspondence with the parent. It's an old-school sort of system, but for me it would work. Any time I had a conference or anything, I could just grab the entire hanging folder and take it with me--it should hold all the info I need about the child.

    As for a way to organize important dates....I would avoid buying everyone planners. I don't use planners, so it would be a big waste if my boss bought me one. Do you have any sort of online calendar you can use, maybe through your email software or Google? If everyone had reliable access to a computer, that would probably be what I'd recommend--set up a shared calendar viewable by everyone and enter the important dates there. Or, if that won't work, provide hard copies of calendars with important dates using a template in Word. Print it on regular computer paper, and maybe throw it into a pocket folder. People who want to use a paper calendar can feel free to fill in the boxes with all their other stuff, while you won't be wasting money buying planners for people who won't use that sort of calendar.

    Would any of those ideas work for you?
     
  11. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    May 25, 2011

    TeacherGrl your binder sounds ideal. I will be working on this during the summer!!!
     
  12. Pre-K Teacher 1

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    May 26, 2011


    I like the idea of using the calendar on line! Now, if I can get them all trained on how to use the computer! I know, I know! ~sigh~

    I love all the ideas, I think what they are really asking for is a system to put in place. They get the yearly calendar at the beginning of the year with all the dates, yet they still miss important deadlines. :( I hate feeling like a NAG! I am not going to do it next year. They have asked for a workshop on organization. I will share some of your ideas at preservice and others I have found on the web.
     
  13. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 26, 2011

    Wow, I've got to hand it to those of you organizing for next year!

    I'm still buried in Junior letters of recommendation. I still have to Xerox most of my final exams, and part of this holiday weekend will be spent collating them. (I hate having the machine do it; it simply ties up the Xerox for too long a period of time.)

    And of course, I can't begin to plan until I know what I'm teaching next year; I probably won't know that for a week or two yet.
     
  14. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    May 26, 2011

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea! I, too, HATE my file folders for each student, but I haven't come up with a better way. This is it! I'm going to tweak your system a little:
    - Instead of putting assessments into the folders, I am going to clip them in behind. This keeps everything easily at a glance. This also frees up the pockets for lined paper where I can record obersavations and any parental contact that has been made. (I see you clip the lined paper in!) Notes from home will also go into the pocket.
    - I will put class lists to record marks for each subject area at the front of the binder.

    Super idea! Thanks so much for sharing!
     
  15. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    May 26, 2011

    At our school we have a large wipable calendar in the staff room. Every month my principal puts up all of the important dates. Is this possible for you? It really helps me keep up with what is going on!
     
  16. mrgrinch09

    mrgrinch09 Comrade

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    May 26, 2011

    We finished putting together all of our kids' portfolios/paperwork today.

    20 kids worth of paperwork weighed 16 pounds.

    :(
     
  17. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    May 26, 2011


    :eek:
     
  18. TeacherGrl7

    TeacherGrl7 Devotee

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    Jun 6, 2011

    My pleasure. :)
     
  19. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    Jun 7, 2011

    This is why the "one binder" idea won't work for us. We have to track so much stuff. We had 3 different assessments to complete this month alone! One assessment is six pages by itself!

    We are almost to the finish line for the year!:)
     

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