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Home : 2001 : Dec : 15

    By Cathy-Dee

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    Even after 9 years of teaching I'm still dealing with this problem. I cringe walking into rooms where the teacher is just so organized. But then I do try to see what they are doing that I'm not. I still have things to figure out

    But these are a few of the things I've done which have helped at least with the clutter on the desk every night.

    - I have one long table in my room (near my desk) which has all sorts of baskets, filing stands, etc., on it. ALL the work the students do goes to this table. So I don't have to worry about work on my desk every night and sorting through it. The only work that ever goes on my desk is work I've put there or if someone's workbook has a page ripped out and needs repair. This also helps with marking as I just take from the table and the kids are actually very good and not putting their work in their desks.

    - I have a basket under my desk where all my current filing goes. So master copies of workbooks, new worksheets, things I need to keep from meetings all goes to this box. I do try to empty it once a month, but even if I don't at least everything is in one place.

    - On my desk I have one filing shelf - 3 shelves and I put all current work there. Staff memos and notes on one shelf, tests and forms on another, and whatever on the third. Again at least I can find it even if I have to look through all three shelves to do it.

    As far as marking, grading, etc., it took me a couple of years to realize that I do not have to mark everything the student's do. Of course there are things that do need to be marked and things that do need to be graded. But some things I do for the lesson, for extra practice, etc., and I don't mark those. I'll walk around and make sure everyone understands what they are doing and that's enough.

    Also for some of the workbooks, things like journals, math workbooks, I have the students put them on the table open and face down on the last page they did. This saves me so much time when I mark them or write comments in their journals.

    I also have one more shelf (Did I mention I love shelves and filing units ) This one used to be for puzzles in our kindergarten room but you can find similar ones in stores like Staples. It has a number of shelves but they do not have a lot of space - perhaps enough for 30 copies of thin booklets. I use this one for all my day-to-day forms - spelling test forms, home reading sheets as well as all my upcoming worksheets, poems I've copied, looseleaf, etc., It keeps these things off my desk and I just move them to our "table" when I'm ready to use them in a lesson. So I can copy enough spelling test forms to last a month or two and save time that way.

    - I also have a few of the larger bins in my room - in these I store units for science, holidays, etc., so that everything I use for those units is in one place. I have 2 others that are long and flat that I store all my pictures in.

    - The new teacher at our school has one of those 5 compartment rolling carts in her room. I just love it so that's the next thing I'm going to get. She uses it for certain workbooks, journals and those sorts of things.

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