What have I started....

Discussion in 'General Education' started by LinzerCastle, Jun 12, 2008.

  1. LinzerCastle

    LinzerCastle Rookie

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    Jun 12, 2008

    Last year, I struggled with keeping all of my files and teaching resources organized. I had been keeping everything in hanging file folders by subject and then had them sub-dived within the hanging folders by topic/chapter. This system didn't allow me to find what I wanted or even to know what I had.

    Two days ago, I decided I would take all of my files and place them in binders using plastic sleeves. I thought this would allow me to see what I had and discard what I never used. I was on a roll at first, but am now feeling very overwhelmed :confused:(which is what I was trying to avoid). So far I have a binders for each subject, one for teacher resources, and one for monthly projects. However, I still feel like I need to organize within the binders (if that makes any sense).

    Obviously, I am hoping to get my organization system in place before the school year begins, but at this point I feel like just putting everything back into my files.

    I know this frustration has been posted before, but I would greatly appreciate any input that you may have (considering I am stuck in the middle of the project). Do you prefer binders or folders? If you use binders how do you have them organized?

    Thank you in advance!
     
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  3. Teaching Grace

    Teaching Grace Connoisseur

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  4. RainStorm

    RainStorm Phenom

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    Jun 12, 2008

    I avoid storing things in binders with plastic sleeves because you have to take them out of the sleeves in order to run them through the copier, and then slide them back into the sleeves when you are done. It just takes way too much time.
     
  5. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Jun 12, 2008

    I prefer electronic, hence my website. Can you invest in a scanner and start putting stuff onto your own site? I absolutely love my site-I can find anything in about 2 seconds from any computer. Well worth the time.

    If you really want binders, though, I think you're on a roll. If you have a binder for Social Studies, then get tabs and make one for each of your sub units (N. Americans, Government, etc.). Same for math (Addition, Subtraction, etc.). Have a binder for monthly activities.

    Check out my site for binder and tab ideas. Each major button would be a binder for me, and then the little tabs when you click on the big tab would be my tabs within the binder (does that make sense?

    I know it's posted above, but it's www.realclassroomideas.com.
     
  6. Calalilys

    Calalilys Comrade

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    I would do what Jem suggested with getting tabs to section your binders. I would get the largest binders that you can find for each of the subject areas so that you have a lot of room and won't have to worry about getting a larger binder later on. I also wouldn't put the worksheets in the plastic sleeves because it'll just take more time than necessary.
     
  7. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    I tried the plastic sleeve thing and I found it to be a big hassle. The things that I took out of the sleeve never found it's way back into it.. Now I just hole punch my papers. Instead of dividers, I just use the small Post-It notes.
     
  8. terptoteacher

    terptoteacher Connoisseur

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    Jun 13, 2008

    Our reading curriculum is divided up into themes. There are 10 themes. Each theme has 3 weeks worth of work: week 1, week 2 week 3. I put 2 themes in each binder. In each binder the weeks are seperated by plastic dividers (ones with pockets) In each week section, I place all transparencies, spelling lists, supplemental activities, vocab lists, high frequency words, take home books, parent letters etc. I even copied the student workbook incase future budget doesn't allow for student consumables. I put the pages in order according to the teacher's manual for day 1-5.


    Before I did this, there were 2 or 3 teachers manuals and several other books to refer to.

    I don't have binders for math or science since there isn't much extra paper stuff for these curriculums.
     
  9. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    I second Jem's idea about scanning. I'm in the process of converting everything I have to electronic files - if I could go back in time I would have done this from the get go.

    I'm not uploading anything to a site, just organizing to put on a portable hard drive.
     
  10. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    Jun 13, 2008

    I third the scanning idea. If I had a good scanner I would do it in a heartbeat. I don't, and I'm a disorganized mess (yet somehow everything seems to come together, but only after a number of headaches.)
     
  11. Proud2BATeacher

    Proud2BATeacher Phenom

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    What kind of scanner are you guys using? My scanner only does 1 page at a time and it will take my whole life to scan everything that I have.
     
  12. ancientcivteach

    ancientcivteach Habitué

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    I have an HP All in One. It is the first one that scans pretty quickly although it only does a page at a time. The software allows me to scan a page to pdf which is also cool.

    This is what I do - I brought home my "tub" of stuff for prehistory, my first unit. Yesterday I finally opened the tub ( ;) )and took out the first book. Set my laptop up on my table, set the book to the first thing I wanted to scan.

    Hit the button. Save. Set up next page.
    Load the washing mashine. Start it.
    Hit the button. Save. Set up next page.
    Empty the dryer.
    Hit the button. Save. Set up next page.
    Fold the clothes.
    etc, etc, etc

    I've found that its a great chore if you are having to walk by the computer anyway. It's slow, but I've gotten one resource completely finished! I figure if I do a little every day, I could probably scan in everything for my first quarter this summer.

    During the school year I've tried to scan individual lessons as I've planned on Sundays, so some of it is done.
     
  13. ~~Pam~~

    ~~Pam~~ Companion

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    Jun 13, 2008

    Everything I have is on a thumb drive categorized by the unit it is used in. This includes: unit plans, Powerpoint presentations, project instructions, samples of student work scanned in, etc. I love have everything available in an easy to transport media. I got tired of lugging around binders while planning with cohorts or to take work home. For some, it does take a little adjustment to not have physical papers in your hand.
     
  14. educator

    educator Rookie

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    I have an HP6310 that is several years old. It allows me to scan as jpeg (for photoshop editing) or pdf (for retrieval and printing) directly onto a flash drive. This is convenient, as I don't even have to have the printer/scanner/fax/copier connected to my computer.

    I can then take the documents from the flash drive and file them in folders, and I also have the option to have the scanner at school and just take the pages I need on a flash drive rather than hauling a tub of paper around.
     
  15. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    I'm using our copier at work, which allows me to put papers in our top copier part and scan them, like you might copy a packet. It runs it through the copier just as if it were going to copy, but it just e-mails the document to my computer. My husband said you can purchase these for your home in a smaller format. I'm not sure how much it would cost, but binders and tabs add up, too, so it might be worth it.

    I have to get moving on scanning my files in, as I'm only here for another few months before school starts! My goal was to get everything in my files scanned in before school started. I'm a-wasting time!
     
  16. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    I have one of those all in one printers at home that we can also scan. It's a bit bulky. I was wondering do you keep a scanner in ur classroom as well? I'm thinking that if I end up getting a Macbook that I can purchase a scanner that is 'lite' & use it in the class. I suspect that there would be too many restrictions using the pc at the school (they are getting all new equip this year).

    I like the idea of creating ur own website for organizing ur files. This would make it easy for me to access from any where & not have to always carry a portable external drive. I do carry memory sticks but again I would have to take the time to look through all I have in them -- may become time consuming as I keep adding directories & files....
     
  17. Trice2006

    Trice2006 Rookie

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    I think I am going to use binders next year. This will allow me to see what I have...I tend to forget things that are in my file cabinet until after the fact.
     
  18. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Virtuoso

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    I do all of it . . . binders with plastic sleeves, file folders, and electronic.

    I didn't, however, do all of that at once. I teach six units per year, and each unit has one or two file drawers. I put my books, a binder with lesson plans & master documents, and file folders with copies in each drawer. I do a little bit at a time. It's easier than trying to do it ALL at once. I also make electronic copies of everything.
     
  19. snickydog

    snickydog Groupie

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    I have an HP all-in-one with a scanner that you can feed many sheets into at once, although a problem you might run into is saving each page as a new file. They aren't too pricey.... I believe mine was about $150 a year ago.
     
  20. bonneb

    bonneb Fanatic

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    I switched from files to binders a few years ago and love the system. Everything is at my fingertips, all the binders are labeled and on shelving right beside my desk. It works much better for me than the files - I also would just forget what was in there.

    I spent several weeks getting everything moved to binders. Just keep plugging along! You will get to the end, I promise!
     
  21. sevenplus

    sevenplus Connoisseur

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    I went from files to binders and then back to files. The electronic stuff sounds pretty impressive, though. Just too time-consuming for me right now.
     
  22. lovemyjob

    lovemyjob Rookie

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    I'm updating my papers too and putting them in binders. I found as I was going through my cabinets I had double, triple sometimes quadruple copies of things. I put my mine together by subject, for example math, and then tabbed pages for each unit; I didn't do by topic (we use everyday math) because it is constantly spiraling so my tabs are a variety of skills for each unit. I actually condensed three file cabinet drawers (multi subjects) to just one. Not too mention I did trash stuff I havent't used in the past 2 years (kinda like your clothes in a closet :) Scanning them would be a space safer but not a time saver- I wouldn't remember what file was what and I would have to click and visually see each worksheet or lesson.
     

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