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Organization for Teachers

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Messy filling cabinet? Always losing papers and books? Here are some ideas from organized PTers!
Staying Organized
Posted by:Gardenut #113425

The important thing is to save a copy of everything as you go.

In my file cabinets I keep all Math, Reading, Language Arts, and Morning Work. I keep all my extras in large binders. I fill them with page protectors and index separaters--The first section is labeled BACK TO SCHOOL--I include all notes, copies to be made etc. I make a list of things to do to get ready-then when the time comes I simply cross them off! :) I also jot down notes to my self such as get goody bag contents and postcards to send to new students. Then I have sections for Themes and Holidays- which include samples of the activities. I can make copies through the protector, so they don't get dirty--being in the protector, I know it goes back in the binder.

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Classroom Organization
Posted by:sj #52932

NOTEBOOKS--I have one 1" notebook I labeled my "Handy Book". Everything in it is in a plastic sleeve. I keep transparencies I use often, such as handwriting lines and a clockface. I keep copies of poems and jingles that I use often. This book is where I keep the "old standbys" that I wouldn't want to stash in a file cabinet because I use them every year and throughout the year. I have another 1" notebook I labeled "Lesson Plans". I also use plastic sleeves in it to store the pages that I must refer to over a period of time, such as duty schedules, library schedule, class roster, scope & sequence chart. I also have a copy of the grade-level objectives (TEKS, in Texas), this week's lesson plans in a plastic sleeve, and as I put in each new week of plans I remove the old ones from the sleeve and hole-punch them and...

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my organization system
Posted by:Brooke #111056

My fellow teacher is also super-organized, I am less so. I understand your issues. I can tell you how I tend to the ones above which I have managed.

I have a manila folder for each child that holds notes on their IEP, signs and returns and anything miscellaneous I may need to refer to later with a parent or team. Filing here is really easy because they're beside my desk and it truly takes seconds to file those things away. In my left hand bottom draw I have a notebook for faculty meetings. I take notes but in five years I've never looked at them again. I started throwing away faculty notes because someone else will always have them if I need them. However, I have sense enough to know if the principal has a pet project, start a file on those...

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Posted by:mandyg #111063

Ok, I *try* to be organized, but I can't say I do it ALL the time. I am working on this. I keep telling myself, one day. I am a lot like you: I put it off until I think I will have more time (which never really happens).

I have learned to have a place for everything, so even if the paper is not neatly filed I know what general area to look.

Student information:
I have a large clear, plastic file box with a lid. Inside are numbered hanging file folders. Each student has a corresponding number. Any student information (notes, IEP, tests, work samples, parent communication) gets dumped in the front of the box. Occasionally during bus call I will haul the box out and file everything.

Student info I use often:
I keep a...

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Posted by:NCP #111058

I am the super organized one! Here are my solutions:

I too have worksheets copied in advance. We have to put our copies in to be copied, so I have to do them in advance. I have five magazine file sized plastic buckets I have labeled as M-F. They sit on the top of the bookshelf behind my desk. I place books I am going to read, worksheets I an going to use, or samples I am going to show in these buckets. I also have a file folder in each bucket to put stuff for the following week behind the current week. I also have a small hanging file box next to these with files for: copies to be made, current units, book orders, sub folder, attendance slips, nurse passes, etc.
As for faculty notes and forms, I have a staff binder I place these...

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Sometimes it works, sometimes..... Well
Posted by:Gloria #111062

I have a file folder for each child in my homeroom. I put every note, important paper, test score, iep, etc.

I have a large folder for the other 2 teachers classes that I teach 1 class per day. It is all mixed together but at least I know where to look for anything for those students.

I have a large hanging file for each subject for future papers

I have file cabinets for each subject that I keep units, supplemental materials, reference, etc.

I also have subject files for everthing that needs to be filed. I sometimes am too busy to file at the moment, so I place those papers in those files and get to them when I can.

I have just started putting tests/answer sheets in clear page protectors that I will...

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Here are a few
Posted by:Mrs. G #111154

1. I label file folders for each day of the week. When papers are copied I place them in the folder for the day of the week I will be using them. I place them in a paper tray on my desk.

2. As soon as I grade and record papers I place them in a file folder to be handed back at a later time. This way I can get a lot of papers off of my desk that aren't necessary. ( I place this file folder in a paper tray some where else in the room off of my desk)

3. Notes and forms- this is an area that I am still working on. I try to take care of any notes from the administration as quickly as possible so I can throw them out. All test results that we have are on a county database and in the students cum...

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Posted by:Cathy-Dee #32301

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...

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Posted by:Kathy #49189

Organization is definitely NOT my strong point--either at home or at school. So I "steal" every good idea I find!!!

I have discovered having plastic bins for my teaching units helps a lot because then when I find something for a unit I can just stick it in the bin and it will be there when I need it.

I'm also developing notebooks where I place worksheets/ideas I use for the different units. When I teach the unit, there are the worksheets right there!

Hope these two ideas help!

Note: I would agree with the other two suggestions as well. Unless it's for a specific unit you're teaching, if it's on the Internet you can probably find it again. I have also stopped saving all but the "cream of the crop" ideas. At this point, I have so many "ideas" I could never implement...

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Cathy's organization
Posted by:Judy #15487

At an organization workshop I once attended, there was one really good tip: Buy one of those oblong crates that suspend hanging folders. Label the folders Mon, Tues, Wed, etc, and subject labels. When you make copies ahead put them in the folder for the day you've planned to use them. If no day is yet assigned for the task, use the subject folders. You could also have folders for general topics such as graphic org, committees, forms to be completed, etc.

I'm a piler too yet this one idea is very useful to me. Good luck!!

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work smarter
Posted by:bamateach #114136

Here are a few things that I do to help my mess:

1. I set aside one day a week (Friday is my day) to stay late, clean, plan, run copies, grade papers, etc...
2. I have a paper tray on my filing cabinet for items that need to be refiled. This is my worst organizational thing. When the tray gets full I have to file it.
3. Give each child a red pen. Anything that is not being taken as a grade book grade - grade together.
4. Bins, Tubs, and containers! Get lots of them and organize your stuff and label the tubs. I just organized my friends cabinets. Her craft cabinet was the biggest best improvement. I used shoe size boxes with lids.
Again the biggest thing for me that makes the most difference is the 1 day that I stay late and devote to...

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This I can help with!
Posted by:kitty11710 #114154

As a teacher who has only been teaching a couple years, I get excited when I can post a reply and help another teacher. Organization is one of my strong points.
1) I have a file folder rack on my desk with a folder for each day of a week. If I run things off ahead of time I place it in the folder for the day I am going to use it. This way all I need is the folder and the lesson plan and I am ready to go. There are also folders in the rack for To Be graded, and for later use. Those are just items I didn't get to use in lesson, but would like to use another day. There is also an "extras" folder which I try to empty about once a week, saving any homework assignments in my filing cabinet for make-ups.

2) Next to my desk is my filing cabinet....

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Posted by:SC #114155

I also put a filing tray on top of my filing cabinet, and when I have a spare moment (ha!) I file what I can in that amount of time.

I have a little plastic thing that holds letter-sized hanging folders on my desk. I keep a sub folder in there, along with letter-sized forms I may use during the day. I also have a folder for each day of the week, so if I run something off to be used on Friday, I put it in Friday's folder.

Each student has a cubby. When I grade their papers, I file them away in their cubbies to take home at the end of the week.

I have a cabinet right next to my desk that holds my teacher's manuals, any resource books I use frequently, and supplies I may...

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Posted by:SusanTeach #114160

Mine is similar to others. I get pretty stressed if I'm not organized - that's the anal side of me. Here are a few ideas:

1. Have a table set aside that is for all your paper trays. Have one designated for each subject OR day of the week. All your copies go in those trays for the week. Make those copies every Friday.
2. Have another tray for "office". That's anything that needs to go to the office. Then when you have your planning time, you just grab everything in the tray and head up there!
a. Copy anything that goes to the bookkeeper or secretary (sometimes they lose things!), and keep a manilla file with the copies. Put the original in the office tray to get turned in.
b. If you have something that needs to be copied (worksheet),...

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Other ideas
Posted by:teach4TX #114171

I also do many of the above ideas, but here are a few others. (Long)

First, buy lots of hanging files & file folders and then some of those file boxes from WalMart that have lids w/ handles. (They hold hanging files perfectly!) They're on the isle w/ the shoe box containers.
Then, label one crate/box w/ "Extra Papers" and inside it put a hanging folder labeled w/ each day of the week and one folder labeled "memos". When you pass out assignment papers to students, have a student put any leftover papers in the folder for the day. Any left over notes to be sent home from you, office, PTO, etc. go in the "memos" folder. This really helps when you have a student who is absent or the occasional student who loses an assignment or form. These students...

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Organizationally challenged
Posted by:tweet #114263

I have been teaching 25 years, and I still am just HORRIBLE at STAYING organized. I have lots of good ideas and great intentions, but I am not good about follow-through. My desk is the school joke because it gets so piled up. In fact, my previous principal took a picture of it one day and put it in the yearbook!!! All my former students remember me by the messy desk. I'll have jr. high kids drop by for a visit (we are a preK-12 campus) just to see what my desk looks like!!! They get so excited when they can see brown!( the wood grain top)

That said, I do have good organizational tips. My first is color code. I color code all subject areas. That way I can see at a glance if something is blue, I know it's something for math, etc. I put all the work for...

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Posted by:Sharon D. W-L #53751

Well I'm still working on this one myself. However, so far I've been keeping binders by the month. We usually teach various themes and topics around the same time each school year so I have one or two large binders for each month. They are not perfect but they are better then these files and files of stuff. I hole punch EVERYTHING or if you have to use large envelpoes and hole punch these to store samples of things in for the month. But the envelope goes into the binder. This is especially useful for craft samples if they fit. You can also do up unit boxes if you prefer. I often have a few of the plastic shoe box size ones for craft samples that I want to hold on to and for flash cards , mini games etc.

As for the magazines you could make...

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Posted by:kimberly #15523

I have been struggling with this for five years. I THINK I have found my solution. I hope so because I have tried everything.

The file folders didn't work because I would lose papers, give out my original. So I hole punched and put in binders. The pages ripped out. My solution although somewhat expensive has helped me so far. I bought page protectors and more binders. I put all my originals in the page protectors. When I need to copy I just copy through the protector. Downside is you have to manually place the page on the copier. But I haven't lost my originals since. As soon as I get back to my room Iput the original back in the binder (which I leave open to that spot) and put the binder away.

As for all the crap we accumulate because we might need it...

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Posted by:LLK #79351

This is a strong area for me so I hope I can help.
1. First analyze what your storage is like. Do you have room for file cabinets , or will your cabinets or cupboards or bookcases hold binders?
2. If you are using file cabinets:
Take your language arts and divide into English areas....nouns,verbs, sentences, paragraphs, 6 traits into individual traits, etc....using file folders put your stuff in them alphabetically. For things like sentences, by that I mean larger areas of study, I use expandable brown files and put inside of them individual files of particular sentence vs fragments, punctuating sentences, etc. That way I can pull the large expandable file.
3. If using binders, it is a bit more difficult. But it works the same. Use a binder for parts of speech and divide it into...

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Posted by:Jennifer in OK #66827

I use the three year rule. If I haven't used it in 3 years, I trash it or put it in the lounge for others to use.

I'm in a new site this year (transition) while our new school is being built. I took only what I needed and kept as much in boxes and in the one closet I have (I used to have 4!). This makes it easier on me to repack at the end of this year. I realize now that there are things that I could've left behind, but who knew at the time.

I don't like a lot of clutter, so I have things organized in 2 file cabinets. One holds all my teacher resource books that I have bought. The other has my hanging files, color coded, and labeled for quick easy reference. Other teachers who I allow to freely borrow (only 1 right now) always...

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Classroom Organization
Posted by:StephR #141873

I am out-of-control organized. Anally so. I can't stand when my classroom is a mess. So everything has a place. Anyway, here are a few ideas that may get you started:

* I have a chart posted that shows the student exactly how their desk should look. They must keep the desk looking like this before they are allowed to go home. The first few times they have to stay after school to clean their desks are enough to make them keep it clean.

* Kids must clean the classroom daily. We do a 60 sec. clean up. Basically they have 60 sec to clean the floor. They are silently moving around the room picking up trash.

* On my desk I have File trays. "to be filed", "to grade", "for review". All student work that needs to be filed or graded gets put in...

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Posted by:gloves2teach #114495

My biggest help last year was

I bought one of those plastic drawer things. It was a smaller size with 6 drawers (each drawer was slightly bigger than a sheet of paper). I labeled each drawer with a day of the week and the last drawer with Next Week. Then as my aide or I make copies I can file them directly in the correct drawer for that lesson. If I was really on the ball and had stuff for the next week it went in the last drawer. The drawers were nice because they were big enough for books, project paper, etc that I might need. I also was able to keep things in the drawer that I use each week. For example, I used Mad Minutes in math. I copied a bunch and filed them in the correct drawer-addition on Monday, subtraction on Tuesday, etc. I...

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good rules for organization
Posted by:teachfla #141879

I am known for my (rather anal) organization. Here are some tips that have helped me:

1. Those plastic stackable trays are great. I have one for each day of the week and an In Box on top.
1A. Invest in lots of plastic dish pans. They are cheap, they stack, they fit books and folders perfectly.
2. Color coordinate everything. In my world, pink is reading/LA, orange math, green social studies, blue science, and yellow my stuff (like parent communication, common copy masters, etc.) All of my masters for everything are sleeved and put into binders labeled by color. The colors are grouped together. I can find anything in under 30 seconds.
3. Touch papers as little as possible. Get your mail from your mailbox and file immediately. (Ex. Most flyers go into...

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Posted by:apple annie #141880

I don't know what grade you teach, so I guess your system depends on that. I teach second - all subjects, but only 22 kids. We send all graded papers home once a week to be signed. I came up with a much improved system this year. I have a box from Office Depot that looks something like a milk crate, that holds hanging folders. I have one set of green folders labeled #1 through #22. After I grade and record a set of papers, I file them into each students folder, or I leave them on top of the box and the aide who comes in does it for me. I keep the box on an old flat top student desk I found in our school storage closet. It just sits right next to my desk.

When "signed paper day" (Tuesday) comes around, I just pull each student's set of...

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Posted by:conolley #144455

Organization is certainly not my strength, but I've had to work on it quite a bit since I've had my own classroom. Here's a few things that have helped me:

-I found an old file file paper sorter (kind of like the ones we use for handing back kids' papers, but about 1/2 the sz.). I have one shelf for each day of the week that I put in the copies for that day. The other shelves I use for papers to grade, work in progress, and files for units we're currently working on. I found mine in a storage closet and it works perfectly.

-I have a basket on my desk that's my mailbox. If the kids have things to bring to me in the morning, they know that's the place to put it. I try to go through it in the morning to check for notes...

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Organizational Tips
Posted by:ConnieWI #144456

Here are some organizational tips I have found helpful:

--There is a table near the door where students enter the room. On that table are tongue depressors with the student's names, and three containers labeled hot lunch #1, hot lunch #2, and cold lunch. As students enter, they place the tongue depressor with their name in the correct container. From this, I am able to do lunch count and attendance (tongue depressor is not in the container, but still laying on the table).

--There is a table in front of my desk. On it, I place several baskets. Each homework assignment goes into a different basket. Thus, I can just count the papers and figure out whose work is missing. Then I can paperclip the assignments together for correcting. Students then place their assignment folder in a basket on this table....

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