Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Organizing the Paper Overload

Do you get overwhelmed by all of the paper we deal with every day? I know that I do! I have to find a way to manage it so it doesn't pile up around me! I can't stand piles of papers everywhere. (I am a little OCD when it comes to organizing!)

My answer: this $25 cart from Sam's Club!

It has been an answer to prayers when it comes to paper! I used to have a slotted file holder on my desk to hold everything... but then it was all still on my desk! I had to try and look over it when visitors would come in my room. I just didn't like it.

My cart has been great! I have a separate drawer for each topic that I used to have a folder for.

My drawers are labeled like this:

-Important Papers-this is for anything that I need to save and have on-hand. I keep notes from my principal, log-in information,  and any important documents that need to be at the ready.

-To Be Filed-this is where I keep any extra copies at the end of the day, handouts, originals, etc that need to be filed, but I don't want to take the time to do it right then. I then spend the 15-20 minutes needed to file them all about once every week or two.

-To Be Graded-this is where I keep all of my papers that need to be graded. As students hand in papers to our folder system, I paperclip them and put them in this drawer. When I am ready to grade papers I either take the whole drawer out or grab the stack and stick them in my teacher bag to take home.

-Grades to Enter-this is where I keep papers that I have graded, but have not had time to enter the grades yet. I will often grade a few, stop, grade a few more, stop, etc. So, this is a central place that I can keep those random sets of papers until I am ready to enter them into our online gradebook system.

-Monday through Friday- This is where I put all of the copies, teacher books, supplies, etc that I will need for that day of teaching. When I prepare my lesson plans for the next week I file things into the drawers as I find and plan for them. When I get my copies back (we have to send off our copies to a central office to be made) I file them into the appropriate day's drawer. Also, anything that we do every week (like on Mondays we always do a vocabulary foldable) I can keep those in the Monday drawer at all times.

Upcoming Weeks-the bottom drawer is then for anything that I plan in advance and know that I will need in the coming weeks, but not sure what day of the week or when exactly I will use it. It is copies of lessons or tests that are coming up soon. I can then go through the drawer and pull those when needed to put in the appropriate day of the week drawer later.

I also have a file holder attached to the side. I picked it up at Mardel. It is the perfect size to fit the side of the cart. I have a variety of folders in it that are handy to have close, but that I don't use everyday like IEP's, Referrals, Testing Info, etc.


What's New in Room 202 said...

My laptop cart for the SMARTBoard has become my dumping zone for papers this year. Every time I look at it I get annoyed. I actually have the same cart with the colored drawers that you have posted about here sitting right beside my desk. (Got it at a yard sale for $5.00) You have motivated me to move the drawers up next to the laptop cart and take control of the mess. Thanks for sharing, Stacy @

Vanna, The Crafty Teacher said...

Awesome! So glad you could make use of my system. It has helped me tremendously!