Hi, all! Hope your summer has been fantastic so far! We have been out for 2 weeks, and it has been busy, busy, busy! From VBS to lacrosse camp--in addition to play dates with friends and trips to Mimi's pool--my children have managed to keep the days FULL! So much for the lazy days of summer...
To top it off, I decided to start the summer off by cleaning out the most daunting cabinets and closets in my house...YIKES! The good news is now I am finished, but it looked a bit touch a go for a few days there! I mean, really...who needs that many nutcrackers in their china cabinet?!
Add that to a few pieces of furniture that I painted, and I feel like I have earned a gold star for productivity! LOL
My fellow peaches and I wanted to share a few ideas with you for how we keep ourselves organized throughout the school year. There are so many papers, notes, files, and learning materials to manage from August to June, and I LOVE seeing what other people are doing to keep things running smoothly in their own classrooms!
I am going to share 3 tips of my own for staying on top of the paperwork mountain...
1) Find a system that works for YOU!
Not all of us think the same or work in the same manner. so developing a system that works for YOU will really involve thinking about how you work and think best. Don't be afraid to try something new, abandon a system that is not working, or modify something you are doing already in order to make it work a little better.
2) Once you have developed a system, put it into practice.
Here are just a few examples of the organizational strategies I use in my own classroom. For my teaching and instructional materials, I keep all master copies organized in binders by unit of study. I love large binders like these with clear fronts so that I can slide in my own cute cover (like this one I made for my SS Maps and Globes unit)! Then I store these binders in chronological order, so they are ready when I need them!
I try to make all copies for instruction 1 week to 2 weeks in advance. This means I need a system for managing these handouts/learning activities until time for use. I use inexpensive mop buckets like these that I purchased from the dollar store. Copies and activities for the current week/day go inside the buckets; lessons for the next week go under the buckets.
Other things need organizing too, so don't be afraid to label, label, label! Library books, signed papers, homework folders, etc. Labels have truly been the key to keeping things in my room on track!
3) Dedicate a bucket, file drawer, or tub to things you need to address but cannot get-to immediately.
As much as I love my binders, my buckets, and my tubs, there are days when I cannot come up for air, much less file things where they go.
I keep a milk crate like this under my desk for just such items. Things I need to file, miscellaneous papers that come from the office, notes in signed papers that need further attention, magazines my fellow teachers want me to look through, ideas that I jot down on sticky notes...those all go in the crate. Then, when time permits, I go back to these items and put them where they belong. Having a crate like this keeps my desk from becoming cluttered and gives me a safe place to keep these things until I have time to come back to them.
In honor of today's organizational linky, I wanted to share my classroom calendar set with you, available for a limited time as a FREEBIE in my TpT store.
Be sure to download yourself a copy! Here's to a fantastically organized 2015-2016 school year!
Also, if you want to see more about how I keep things running smoothly in my own classroom, there are TONS of classroom management and teacher resources also available. See examples of these by clicking HERE.
Be sure to check out the other great blogs included in today's complete linky over at The Primary Peach!