Sunday, September 16, 2012

MS Sunday Funday- Organization

Today's topic: Organization

I like to think I am an organized person, and I think I was at some point in my life, but if I were honest, I am not now.
This is what my top shelf looks like.

But, this is the rest of it... this is my reality.

I do have bins and baskets for organizing my student journals and workbooks. This works really well actually.

I saw this in another teachers class and I am totally stealing it. This is how she keeps parent info for 100+ students handy at any moment. This stays on her clean desk. Mine, is not as clean, but I know I can do this.

Same teacher... Science teacher... these are her lab tables and she has each seat labeled so students know their job. LOVE this... I know, not Math, but organized!!!! These pictures are obviously from table #2.

Julie, from I Speak Math just shared her absent work hangers from The Container Store. I really like those. This year I started this:

It's a decorated cereal box. When I student is absent I put their missed work in this box and give it to them when they return.
I have been good about writing the students name on their missed work when they are absent. I think after seeing Julie's though, I am going to make more boxes and do one for each class I teach. My children are big cereal eaters, so I have plenty of box choices.

The purple binder from the first picture is what we call our "Wildcat Binder". It's like our bible at school. It holds all data, meeting notes, professional development notes, etc... It uses dividers and it truly keep us organized as a staff. We take it to every meeting we go have. I like that it is campus wide and the expectations are clear for all staff.

Also, this year I implemented the No Homework Binder from Jack of All Trades. SOO doing this next year! The No Homework Binder- when kids dont do their homework, they have to write the date, assignment, and why they didnt do it.  Can show at parent conferences!!!
I made an adjustment to it though. Instead of alphabetical, I did it by class period and it has worked very well. This has been a life saver. My students are totally getting the concept. I have even used it to show parents missing work and unfortunately attached to a referral I had to write yesterday. It has been a great way to organize homework.

I admittedly struggle with organizing things. For example, I haven't quite figured out how to get all the papers back to students that I pick up.  We check homework every day. I pick it up. It sits on my table. Then what??? Do I even need to pick it up if we go over it and they sign when they don't bring it? I have to figure something out.
With so many students I have to get a handle of getting work back to them. I am hoping someone shares a fabulous idea for this today.

Seen these on Pinterest?

Now why didn't I think of this???  And to think, I've been using post-its all this time
 I have the binder clips, just need to label them. I use post it notes right now for everything. They are life savers for me.

For me, I am good at organizing centers for students to work on, but after we use them how I do I store them for next year? This is a huge goal for me this year. We are using a lot of stations in class this year and I want to get a grasp on this.

I am looking forward to seeing other teacher ways to organize your classroom.


  1. I still think you should link up and see if someone has some tips for you! I think you are on your way to getting organized. The binder clips are a huge help for me to keep track of papers. Even if you don't label them, color coding does wonders!

    Ms. W
    Hootin’ Around the Classroom

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  3. I love to be organized too, but I find myself making piles and piles of stuff instead of just putting it where it belongs. :/ We do stations everyday and I have 5 of them. I have a filing cabinet dedicated to just stations. As of right now I just have file folders that I label. Unit 1 - Independent, Unit 1 Problem Solving and so forth. At the end of each week I have been putting the station directions along with 1 copy of the worksheet or game (or whatever I had in that station) in the folder. My plan is to have a folder for each unit, for each station. I guess I will find out next year if it's a good plan or not. But I am always looking for new and better ideas, so let me know if you find something.

    Katie @Sixth Grade Scribbles