How to Stay Organized

Welcome to the Care To Share? sub category to my blog. This is where I'll pick a Hot Topic that others will hopefully give some helpful support and ideas on. It's where you can come and share your opinions with us and let us know what you or your school is doing about different things. It’s also where you can come with a question or problem and see if someone out there has an answer for of what worked for them! So sound off and let’s hear from you!

This month's topic is: How do you stay organized?

I’ve shared my organizational ideas throughout the website, but I can’t remember if I’ve shared these so here goes...

  •  I put seasonal flags up in my hallway. The kind that people fly outside that say Happy Fall, Welcome etc. They're an easy way to decorate the halls. They look great against the wall or I put a safety pin in the two holes, open a paper clip and then hang it from the ceiling by pushing the end of the paperclip under the foam ceiling tile. It lays on those flat metal rods.
  • I accumulated quite a few and didn't know what to do to keep them all organized, have easy access and not get them wrinkled.
  • The solution: I hung a short laundry line in my basement and bought some fat plastic coat hangers at the dollar store, folded the banner in half length wise and flopped it over the hanger.
  • I hung the coat hangers September through June on the rope. 
  • I'm thinking that if you got an inexpensive clothesrack you could do the same thing with POSTERS. Simply clip them on WIRE hangers with CLOTHESPINS. Keep them in chronological order from September to June and then sub-categorized them according to your themes!

Big Books:

  • I kept the box that the file boxes that I bought at Sam's club came in. It's tall and skinny and perfect to hold all of my over-sized big books. I covered it with  pretty contact paper. It slides easily under my desk area at school so it's out of sight. I keep the books in chronological order of when I use them. When I'm done reading it, I put it in the back of the others so that the next book will be ready.
  • These boxes are also perfect for posters.  

Paper Mountain:

  •  Whenever I’m surfing the net or reading my favorite teacher magazines I’m always finding things that don’t go with what I’m working on at the present moment.
  • Sometimes they are months away, or that month has even past. I’d put it in a pile and there it would stay ‘til I had paper mountain!
  • I HATE piles; + I wasn’t “getting around to using” that cute idea because I had forgotten about it and would be hard pressed to find it if I did remember, so I developed an easy filing system.
  • I keep a crate under my desk so that it’s handy. I have 12 hanging folders with manila folders in each one labeled with the months from September to August when I’ll be needing them.
  • I also have a folder for clipart, comics, recipes &  jokes-- things that I use for my newsletters.
  • Now when I come across something I really like,  I simply rip it out of the magazine or print it off from the Internet and quickly toss it in the month that I’ll need it. No more piles!
  • When I’m finally in that month, I take out that file and thumb through my new “ideas” to see what I want to implement for my lessons for that month, then I re-file it for the next time.
  • This system has really kept me organized. It’s fun to add new things each year and this ignites my creative juices.
  • My office stays neat, clean and organized and I don’t have to go through a mountain of paper looking for something.

The other thing that was making paper mountains for me at school was my students assessments, copies of notes home to parents, etc. I had thought each student needed an INDIVIDUAL file. This NOT true. This system works soooo much better and I NO longer have paper mountain.

  • Instead of filing EVERYTHING individually for each child which is labor intensive I just have a few folders. ONE for PASSED assessments and ONE for FAILED assessments. I keep them in CHRONOLOGICAL order with the most recent month in front with a sheet of colored construction paper separating the months. Any child that has failed an assessment gets their name on a new one, so I know right away who needs to be reassessed when the time comes. That folder is labeled RE-ASSESS. I also high light their name in yellow on a check list with the report card standard written after it that they failed so I know who needs one-on-one help with what. When it comes time to fill out report cards, or have conferences I know exactly where my students stand and have only spent a few minutes filing.
  • During the two months when we're having conferences (October and March) I'll collect my students' work for that week. They decorate a file folder that I share with their parents.  That's it for my filing and there's no more paper mountain with student information.
  • Instead of portfolio's I do keepsake booklets that my students work on each month to show improvement throughout the year as well as a keepsake calendar that is an art page each month that the children give as a Mother's Day gift.

Tag! You're it! Won't you care and share with us!

     I just discovered a fantastic NEW site today and I'm adding it to my favorites. She had a great tip for adding a bulletin board to her classroom. So click on the link to see a picture and visit her wonderful site.

How to stay organized. teaching tips, getting organized

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