Trying to make a plan for organization

Discussion in 'General Education' started by VANewbie, May 8, 2011.

  1. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    May 8, 2011

    Trying to make a list of things I need to organize over the summer and things to buy, new systems to try.

    What are your best organization tips that every teacher needs to know?


    One of the best things that worked for me this year was having M-F baskets for lessons and materials needed as well as M-T homework bins. I just filled the baskets at the beginning of the week and was prepared and not looking around for materials etc...

    Ive heard of the number system to help with filing and stuff but I am not sure how well that will work with 1st graders.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I've been working on getting organized for about five years, but I've really made some great headway this year. :lol: Some of the supplies I'm using to get organized are:

    • File folders (bright colors and patterns, not to color-code but because it makes the organizing process more fun)
    • Erasable labels for file folders
    • Sharpies
    • Label-maker
    • Old, clean frosting containers
    • Rubbermaid & Sterilite clear plastic totes with lids, various sizes
    • Small baskets (like 6x6x6 or so) from the dollar store

    For the longest time I was trying to organize using binders because a lot of people recommend it and it looks so much tidier than other organizational systems. I discovered, however, that for me, a binder-only organizational system isn't the best. I need a place to keep class sets of handouts, readings, and activities, and those are hard to keep in binders. I use a combo system of binders and hanging files. Binders are meant for resources and references for my use. I use them to file all my IEP/504/ELL/etc. information, professional development records and transcripts, discipline records, etc. I use hanging folders to file all my actual class materials, i.e. anything that students will use.

    I use small baskets on top of my desk to hold all the little things that I use throughout the day. I have a basket for pens and markers, one for dry erase markers, and one for binder clips. I used to keep these things in my desk, but I found that I was constantly having to go into my desk to get these things since I use them many, many times per day. It's easier to just keep them in small baskets on my desk.

    As for all the things that I only access a handful of times per year, I have organized them in different plastic totes based on use. I have big tote for all my bulletin board stuff, another for all my special art supplies for a particular project (making coins), one for my plant and fish supplies (I have live plants and a fishtank in my room), etc. All the totes are labeled with my initials.

    I use clean frosting containers to store my bulletin board borders. I cut off a little section and glue it to the outside of the container so that I know what's in it.

    That's all I can think of for now, but I'm sure there's more that I do. I'll post more later when I think of it. I hope some of this helps!
     
  4. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    I am feeling like I am much more organized now, after several years of teaching.

    I keep two color-coded file folder holders- each child has a folder in each one. One for in-progress work and one for finished work. I check all finished work on Friday morning and the kids have a work period to either complete things from their in progress folder, correct work, put work in their Friday Folders, and if they are totally done, they have free choice.

    It's a great system because the reward for getting word done during the week is choice time on Friday :)
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    I have a high school senior coming soon...she is doing service hours and has already fulfilled her graduation requirements, so she'll be with me 1/2 day, back to HS for afternoon. I have already started a list for her...with changing grade levels this past year I've been dancing as fast as I can...it will be good to have some organization help!
     
  6. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    May 8, 2011

  7. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    I would LOVE that too. But it is expensive. I wonder if there is something like that in Target or Walmart. I'm sure it would not be that colorful though.
     
  8. ami6880

    ami6880 Companion

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    I have so much to do this summer! I moved from 2nd to 5th this year so I spent my year preparing to stay in 5th and getting everything organized for next year. NOW I just found out I am swaping with a 4th grade teacher. So now I will spend another year getting myself organized in 4th. I am not upset about switching, just get frustrated when I think of everything I did and the money spent for 5th.

    I did put together a binder of pacing guides and curriculum info along with all the tests for each tested indicator and everything we did so it was all together. I am going to work on putting one together for 4th first thing because I think it kept me sane and somewhat organized this year.

    I also have turn in bins for each subject and homework. This worked well. I have a crate file bin with each subject where I can put copies of what we are doing for the week. I have to admit this did not stay as organized as I like this year. I also threw in odds and ends in the crate that tended to clutter my desk.
     
  9. SwOcean Gal

    SwOcean Gal Devotee

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    When you say M-F baskets- where do you store those? Is it like a standing basket unit that only takes up the space of say one basket on the floor or is it on a cabinet or something taking up table top space?
    I had that, just five bins one for each day, but it was just taking up too much space- then I found those three drawer paper size units at wal mart and bought those for like $6- I got 2 of them so I had 6 paper sized drawers- that I labeled M-F and one labeled extra/to be filed and I have that on one shelf with teacher only tools- looks nice and neat, but I wish it was more spacious for everything I would need for the week or at least the day. Another thing I think of that unit I posted is it looks nice and neat and I think that is the reason I like it, but then again would it be a pain to be opening and closing all the time- would everything fit- so IDK. That is another reason I am yet to invest in it. As much as I do not want to see all the junk in it, maybe I need to see the junk in it for the easiest access and the easiest filling.
     
  10. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    The one I have is pretty much just like the one you posted except it is not colorful at all. It is just clear and the the pullouts are deeper. It also only has 5 pull out drawers. It does not take up that much space for me.

    Now my hw baskets do. They are spread out against a window and I would like something more upright so save space.

    I would love what you posted for math or language arts games. This is my plan for next year. I want the things to be in reach for the students. I have no space now so I actually have to get the games out myself and the students are really not able to choose. I hate it.
     
  11. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I just magazine holders for my M-F files. (I got some nice cardboard ones from IKEA--they were WAY cheaper than anywhere else, and have held up well!)

    I have stacking file baskets for homework--one for each subject. After the kids turn things in, I paperclip the stack together, and leave them in the basket until I'm ready to correct them.

    Last summer, I bought a bunch of plastic containers to roganize manipulatives and extra supplies in my cabinets. You can usually find sets of plastic shoeboxes on wal-mart's website, and they're cheaper than buying them separately.

    I made some progress this year, but will also be working this summer on getting more organized.
     
  12. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    I found a set of 36 for $40 on Walmarts website. I do not need that many...I don't think.
     
  13. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I bought mine in sets of 6, I think! :)
     
  14. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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  15. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    Those are nice. I just get so overwhelmed when I see all of the various types of bins. There are so many to chose from. I guess I need to start packing toward the end of the year to see what I really need.
     
  16. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    They have a couple other sizes/sets on clearance with those--plus free shipping to the store.
     
  17. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    I'm actually going to order a couple of those since they're such a good price. I'll return the ones that don't work!
     
  18. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I use stackable letter trays, I have 9. The 1st 5 I use to put the days work in. . .all the copies I need, books I'm going to read, everything but manips.

    Then the next set I use to hold writing paper, misc. and my to be copied items. I also have 1 on my desk that is for papers to be graded & all the other papers that end up on my desk.

    I too really need to work on organization!
     
  19. schoolteacher

    schoolteacher Habitué

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    I have about 7 clipboards stacked on my desk, and these help tremendously. Before I did this, it would take forever to locate these papers. Each one holds something different:

    • dra levels and tests pending
    • class list to keep track of homework completion
    • class list to keep track of good notes I give out
    • papers to be run off
    • paperwork that needs to be completed
    • class list to record grades (which I then put in the electronic gradebook)
    • checklist that shows which students turned in forms that are due

    No longer do I have to search frantically for the student of the month paper that was due in the office yesterday. It's on the clipboard! And when did I last give Justin a good note? Back in September? He's definitely due for one, then.

    I line them up neatly on the side of my desk. I love my clipboards, lol.
     
  20. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    I like this idea but I would rather have this info in a binder. I may try this. I know where my stuff is located but I have to search through a lot of stuff to get to it. lol
     
  21. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I bought about a million patterned clipboards from Target when they were in their dollar section, but I hadn't decided what to do with them yet. What a great idea!
     
  22. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I have 2 different clipboards that I use also. I like the ones that are different colors. I know that I keep behavior & permission slips on the clear clipboard, centers on blue, etc.
     
  23. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    The binder is student emergency info. My kiddos know that if I pull out the white binder I'm calling a parent. Amazing what that does.
     
  24. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    Oh, the other thing I do, from year to year I use the same clipboard for the same thing. No switching it up for me. It just adds to my confusion!
     
  25. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    I love the idea of clipboards but for me I don't know how well it would work personally.
    I think binders will do wonders for me next year.
     
  26. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    Today I start the long process of organizing my files. This is going to take forever but I am so excited to throw some things out and get organized. I am so ready to get rid of my file cabinet.
     
  27. INteacher

    INteacher Aficionado

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    Caesar, frosting containers to hold bulletin board borders!!! That's awesome!! I might have to make lots of cakes this summer, or just eat lots of containers of frosting :) seriously, that's a. great idea Thanks for sharing
     
  28. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm afraid I can't take credit for the idea. I stole it from someone who posted about it here years ago. But please don't let me stop you from giving me compliments. Feel free to continue. :lol:
     
  29. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    What do you guys use for construction paper storage? I need to find something. I have been looking everywhere online.
     
  30. zoerba

    zoerba Comrade

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    Here's a good one for construction paper - use a binder/file organizer like this

    http://www.amazon.com/Rolodex-Mesh-Stacking-Sorter-Black/dp/B00006IAKG

    It's what I use and it keeps everything organized and it also fits nicely in my cupboard!:thumb:
     
  31. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    I need something for longer and shorter construction paper. We have a variety of sizes at my school.
     
  32. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    The paper mailboxes work nicely, but a bit expensive for me.

    The organizer that zoerba posted also has a long paper kind as well. Don't remember where I bought mine though.
     
  33. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    filing system

    I see these fairly often on Craigslist!

    What would you put in each drawer, tho?

     
  34. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    Maybe center materials.
     
  35. VANewbie

    VANewbie Devotee

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    I am also looking for a filing system on wheels. Ive seen one. It was nice and colorful and kid friendly but I can't seem to find it.

    I would like to use the number system next year and have the filing system available for the students to file their papers themselves.
     

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