Paper Management

Discussion in 'Elementary Education Archives' started by km3, Jan 17, 2007.

  1. km3

    km3 New Member

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    Jan 17, 2007

    I'm a 3rd grade teacher. This is my second year, and I find myself struggling with the same problem I had last year...keeping track of all the paperwork! In-class assignments, homework, morning work, book projects, timed tests, spelling tests, other papers that kids turn in to me, etc...getting them graded/scored, recorded, handed back (either to mail-boxes or to kids to correct and re-submit)...I've tried a few different organization systems that didn't work out for me. I need something simple, straightforward, and easy enough that a parent or aid could help out without requiring a lot of explanation.

    Does anyone have a system that works really well for them? I'm always willing to try something new until I find what works for me...please let me know your thoughts!

    Thanks!
     
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  3. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Jan 17, 2007

    Try this:

    Get a series of stackable trays or a literature holder (looks like a box with rows and columns of shelves). Brightly label them. Then when it gets semi full, transfer it to a binder.

    Train your students to put their papers in the right tray.

    With your binder, if you are like me and won't punch holes, get those colored dividers with slash (diagonal) pockets. You can take it out of the binder and carry it when you need it. You can add papers to the colored pockets without having to punch holes or get more organized than that.

    IF you organize by students instead....

    Give students their own slash pocket divider/folder. Assign each group (according to something that makes sense) their own color. Give them (ex.) 5 folders each to put in their own hanging file. Label them with their name and the category. They can put the papers away themselves. You have access when needed. Some things like ungraded work will still need a tray.
     
  4. Lotte

    Lotte Companion

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    Jan 18, 2007

    Here you'll find some management ideas too, with pictures from the classrooms.

    http://www.mspowell.com


    Good luck! This is the site I'll use myself when I get my classroom back.
     
  5. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Jan 18, 2007

    One thing that helps me is doing a quick check of certain work - easy math sheets, coloring pages, writing out spelling words, etc., things that don't need to be perfectly corrected - and just putting a sticker on it to indicate you have reviewed it and it is "ok." I do the check as the kids finish and they know if a sticker is on their paper it goes in the mailbox to go home.

    Everyone has a mailbox where all their daily work goes. At the end of the day I don't have stacks of papers waiting to be passed out. If I do have a stack that I have taken a closer look at - like a spelling or math test - I can give the stack to the paper passer and he can put the papers in the mailboxes for me.

    I do end up with some stacks of stuff. Not everything has to be "graded" to be of value to the child. Not everything has to be passed back either - some is just practice stuff that can go in file 13. I have to say I am going to look at the website mentioned. Paper work is a major challenge for me every day.
     
  6. lteach2

    lteach2 Cohort

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    Jan 18, 2007

    What I did for my students was laminate a bunch of file folders with their names and "Class work" put on it. As we did any work during the day, they put all their assignments in there. At the end of the day, I would just collect the folders and have a nice, neat little stack. It was also a lot easier for me to check and see if anyone was actually missing anything.
     
  7. loves2teach

    loves2teach Enthusiast

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    Jan 19, 2007

    Okay...

    I know that this probably will not work with the younger grades, but this totally works for me.

    I have students abc my work when it gets handed in to me. I give them a sheet w/ all the kids names, and then they put it in order. They then put a post it on top with the people who have missing papers.

    I then know right away who is missing what. The abc part takes about 2 minutes, and is considered a privilege in my room to do :) I can then either grade it, or stamp it (I made a homework stamp at vista print, and a group work stamp at vista print as well). Bonus for me is that it is easy to put into my grade book, and it is easy to pass out to return for take home folders.
     
  8. January_Violet

    January_Violet Comrade

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    Feb 16, 2007

    Stackable trays for the students to turn in the work. For grading, a color coded folders for each subject, or one big folder. Once you get all of the papers for that assignment, staple them together. Also, for the work that you are going to disseminate that week, get a file to put by your desk and have the sheets in there.


     
  9. Research_Parent

    Research_Parent Cohort

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    Feb 16, 2007

    Office stackable inbox trays, (for students to put their work into), and folders to sort paper recording (by student name or subject), a student roster to check off student's names for handing in, recording, and returning.

    I also recommend using the magazine rotating towers for paperwork needing to go out to students for the week (keeps copies of worksheets for students) and binders for worksheet planning (this maintains master copy for you).

    Good luck in finding your own organizational way!
     
  10. teachingmomof4

    teachingmomof4 Groupie

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    Feb 16, 2007

    I would also say that stackable trays would come in very handy when students are handing in work. I go through the students' work quickly (abc order as someone already suggested) and can tell quickly who is missing what assignment. I then write it down and those students have to finish that assignment.

    I also try and grade things as they come in. I know it can be tough but getting things graded allows me to have less of a paper trail as well as gives the kids immediate feedback to either make corrections or reteaching as well as "good job."

    I tell my students if the paper has a star, sticker, smiley face, or stamp, it has been graded and I don't want to see it anymore. Take it home and show mom and dad.:love: They look for those stickers and stufff.;)
     
  11. January_Violet

    January_Violet Comrade

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    Feb 17, 2007

    Do you grade every paper? Though I have been teaching a while, I have a problem with letting papers stack. What do you grade and what gets a check?

     
  12. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Feb 17, 2007

    I toss some repetitive practice pages, things that are old and were only partially completed, sometimes papers that were on the wall and are now old news, etc. I send home work only on Fridays, attached to the school newsletter, so I know my 'in' basket will be cleared out every week.
     
  13. JenL

    JenL Comrade

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    Feb 17, 2007

    i teach first so i am in a slightly different place but i taught third and sixth before and have done relatively the same thing....it works for whatever grade with little modifications....
    in first i have an in and an out box.....some things....coloring pages, quick addition facts pages, things we have done together the kids turn into the in basket but then i put it in the out basket without really looking at it. things i need to grade i put in a file folder to be graded then i place in the out basket to be passed out. i usually only pass out once or twice a week. i keep my grading easy too....i put everything on printed class lists and keep them on a clipboard i have a class list for each subject.
    for the other grades i have taught i had those stackable file sorters that are just two high so an in and an out basket for each subject then different file folders to take home for each subject. it is easier for me if it doesn't get all mixed together for recording purposes.
     
  14. teachingmomof4

    teachingmomof4 Groupie

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    Feb 17, 2007

    I don't grade everything. Some things, I just tell the kids to take home right away. Some things can be graded quickly (spelling tests, math timing sheets) Some things that get turned in get thrown away; I just want to make sure they know what they are doing.

    I try and grade things right away but if it's not the same day, it is the same week and goes home at the end. When I was doing a practicum, the teacher was 2 months behind on grading papers. I don't want to get that far behind.:eek:
     
  15. January_Violet

    January_Violet Comrade

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    Feb 17, 2007

    :eek: I'm almost there. LOL...some stuff can just get a check. I just bought bins this morning. I know it's late in the year but will immediately implement next year. :D
     
  16. lteach2

    lteach2 Cohort

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    Feb 17, 2007

    Always the easiest thing for me was to have a file box with the hanging files with a child's name on each one. I would grade 1/2 the papers and my assistant would grade the other 1/2. I would give them all to her and she would file them under each child's name. Then on Thursday afternoons, she would stuff their weekly folder and then they'd take them all home on Friday. We never got behind that way.
     
  17. cutNglue

    cutNglue Magnifico

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    Before you do ANY new changes, ask yourself what is currently working, what doesn't work, and what your normal routines/habits are. Sometimes new changes don't fall through because they aren't good ideas, but because they go against the person's natural tendency. I find this out in a heart beat everytime I waste extra time staying late to organize my classroom and my teacher's system and realize that what works for me, doesn't for her.
     
  18. LovetoTeach

    LovetoTeach Rookie

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    Feb 17, 2007

    I am also a third grade second year teacher. I also use student mailboxes. I collect all papers and then they go into my "to be graded" file. I usually carry this file back and forth to school with me. Once they are graded I put them in my grade book and then they are either put directly in the mailboxes or passed back and reviewed. I do not grade everything. Some things I just "look at" and put it in file 13, some things I "look at" for completion and then put a sticker or a check mark on it.
     
  19. January_Violet

    January_Violet Comrade

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    :D Thanks. I use File 13 as well. I use to feel guilty about it but now, I don't after reading other responses.
     
  20. Mama P

    Mama P Rookie

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    To: ITeach2--I love your idea about the folders. That sounds like something I am going to try. That would really simplify things. Thanks for the idea!!
     
  21. Miss Kirby

    Miss Kirby Fanatic

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    Feb 18, 2007

    Okay because of you guys I just labeled an expandable file folder with "To Grade," "To Enter in Gradebook," "To Enter Online," "To Pass Out," "To file." However.. if I need to enter them online I can pass them out anyway, because I just take the grades out of the gradebook. So maybe I don't need that spot..... but anyway.... I feel slightly organized thanks to you guys.
     
  22. LovetoTeach

    LovetoTeach Rookie

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    Thanks. I use File 13 as well. I use to feel guilty about it but now, I don't after reading other responses. [/B][/QUOTE]

    January Violet -
    I know what you mean, I did have some guilt at first. I thought that if the students completed something I needed to grade it. Now I realized that some things are just for me to assess their progress and they don't need to receive a grade. Very liberating!!!
     
  23. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Moms and teachers do have trouble throwing out masterpieces ..... then one day you have to face reality.
     
  24. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    I toss the occasional math or spelling review after looking them over, but this year I have a mom who has actually called me two or three times to inquire about her son's spelling homework from last Tuesday that wasn't returned in that week's Friday folder! I have told her that not every piece of work is returned but she doesn't get it.
     
  25. ctopher

    ctopher Comrade

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    I assign every students a number that corresponds to their number on my online gradebook. Students know to put their name AND number in a circle on their paper. This way I can quickly put all of the papers in order and it takes seconds to enter that way. Students can also put the papers in order quickly without having to think about the ABC thing. The number are also useful for lining up, and 100's of other uses.
     
  26. nancyb

    nancyb Companion

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    Feb 18, 2007

    This addresses just a small part of the paperwork problem:
    I started having the kids KEEP THEIR WORK ON THEIR DESK until I see everyone is done, THEN and ONLY THEN does it get collected! (I used to have kids put their work in the Completed Work basket as they finished, but some would stuff it in their desk, throw it away, lose it, etc., then I'd have to figure out who was missing what assignment in my gradebook, locate my master copies, recopy stuff, give it back to them, etc. etc. etc.) Not any more!
     
  27. teachingmomof4

    teachingmomof4 Groupie

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    That is why I have started going through the assignments , as they get finished. It only takes a moment and those that were not going to turn it in, quickly learn that I will check and that they won't get away with not finsihing.
     
  28. ctopher

    ctopher Comrade

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    I've found that I always make 2 or 3 extra copies of everything when I make my copies for those that lose it, don't hand it in, and for those that just don't put the effort into it the first time. Also works great when a parent asks for that note or newsletter again. Students figure out quickly that Mr. M is armed with a new sheet if they don't do their best work the first time. I have no problem walking up to a student and sliding what they are working on off of their desk and handing them a new one. I then ask them why they got a new paper and they always know.
     
  29. nancyb

    nancyb Companion

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    Feb 20, 2007

    Good idea, I'll start doing that. Guess I'll need to find ANOTHER organiztional method to deal with that stuff! (Any hints?)
     
  30. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    Feb 21, 2007

    I also do the name and number at the top of the page. They are each assigned a number by abc order on the first day of school and it goes on EVERYTHING. It has saved me hours of time - the kids can get the stack in number order, ask for missing papers, and file papers in mailboxes, all by number. I know asap who has not turned in their homework and follow through immediately before even taking attendance. I recommend doing everything with a student number. Entering grades, filing out report cards, all that stuff is much faster if done by number order. Plus, if everything is labeled by number in your room, you avoid spending the time year after year putting names on everything! (Of course, you want to put some names on things, but it does save so much time!) :)
     

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