Wednesday, September 6, 2017

A Favorite Organization Tip

Okay, so I'm very tardy with this submission for the #MTBoS Sunday Funday Blogging Challenge.  Life is busy this time of year; I'll chalk my tardiness up to that.  But I do want to share a tip that I implemented last year that has really helped me stay on top of organization.

In the front of my classroom, underneath a skinny table, sit 5 crates with hanging file folders in them.  I have one crate for each of my five classes.  Each student has one hanging file folder.  I tell students that the folder is a one-way mailbox.  Anything that I need to give to them, I will put in their folder.  It is the students' job to "check their mailbox" and take out anything that is in there.  I make it very clear to students that the folders are not an extension of their locker and should be empty a majority of the time.

How have the crates helped my organization and time management?

Handing back papers can now be done outside of class time. 
I no longer spend precious class time handing back papers.  Whenever I finish grading tests, quizzes, etc., I simply take the papers and drop them into each student's folder.  When students come to class, I will pull that period's crate off the floor, set it on the table, and when students enter the room between periods they grab their papers.  Yes, the occasion student walks into class right as the bell rings, but s/he can quickly check their folder and get to where they need to be without too much time being wasted.

Absent student work.
I used to be terrible at keeping track of materials for absent students.  Now, if a students is absent for class, I take a copy of any materials handed out in class and put them in their folder.  Students quickly learn the expectation of checking their folders when they return from an absence.  Directions for this process can be written in substitute teachers plans as well.

The crates sit on the floor at the front of my room.

Each period, I pull the appropriate crate up and place it on the desk.
Students know their folder should always be cleaned out.