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How to Organize Classroom Papers and Teachers Files

  1. School issued: Create a separate space for resources you don’t use but must keep.

  2. Purge a. keep b. donate c. recycle

  3. Use Binders to Organize Teaching Resources. A great, but simple tool for classroom organization and management is a 3-ring binder. They are perfect for organizing your teaching units and lesson plans as well as for creating student portfolios, collecting documents for your housing meeting notes, evidence binder and about a million other things. Binders are ideal because they offer the flexibility to move papers around as well as adding and removing them as needed. They are durable. You can add addition pockets for sorting, holding pens and other tools and best of all you can customize them by inserting your own cover and spine.

  4. To organize lesson plans get a large-size three-ring binder with index dividers for the different sections and plastic sleeves to hold permanent documents you won’t have to change. (If your school administrator requires that you use a particular kind of lesson plan book, you can still put this in your binder so all your information stays together.)With this three-ring binder, you can create a customized lesson plan book that meets the specific needs of your classroom. It should contain everything related to planning for your academic day, including a classroom schedule, school activity calendar, weekly group lesson plans, individual student plans, and support services schedules. For easy reference, create a title page for the front.

  5. Student work: a. Plastic dishpans. Put them on a bookcase to hold finished work for each period or subject. They work well because they easily fit regular-sized pieces of paper without bending them. b. Folders in file boxes. Try putting these out on your bookshelf as well. As your students finish papers, they can file them in their own folder so you can grade them at the end of the day or during planning time. c. Plastic pockets. These can be hung on the wall to store completed student work. If your class is small, you can hang a separate pocket for each child. d. Hanging nylon file pocket holders. Readily available in school supply catalogs, these holders are a good way to hang folders where students can easily reach them. e. File crates. Fill the crate with hanging folders for all the different school periods or subject areas. As children complete assignments, they’re in charge of filing their own work in the folder. This creates a convenient portable system for you! f. File folders labeled with a To Do side and a Finished side. Have one of these for each student. As students complete papers in the To Do side, they place their completed work in the Finished side. Color code the folders for easy student access and have kids place them in a predetermined location for you to grade.

  6. Create one master Classroom Information binder to include all of your students. This is the most user-friendly and most portable, as you can take it on field trips, emergency drills, and so forth. Your binder should hold

  7. School contacts: phone numbers and names of staff members back at the school

  8. Roster of students

  9. Addresses

  10. Phone numbers

  11. Photo of each child

  12. All types of permission slips

  13. Medical information

  14. Emergency card information

  15. Create individual binder notebooks that contain detailed information on each student, including:

  16. Student photo

  17. Permission slips

  18. Medical information

  19. Address

  20. Phone numbers

  21. Emergency card information

  22. Bus information

  23. Copy of the current IEP or summary sheet with goals and objectives

  24. Copy of the current eligibility

  25. Copy of the current psychological assessment

  26. Copy of the current behavior intervention plan or treatment plan

(Remember to keep these in a locked file cabinet to protect confidentiality.)

  1. Break up with paper Make digital files as much as possible. On your computer, create a folder and name it with this school year. Then, within this main folder, create a separate folder for each type of resource you would normally save as a paper file.

  2. Use Technology. Look for tech tools that simplify necessary work in your classroom and help reduce even more paper. There are dozens of free resources for teachers. Use them!

  3. Store Items Where They Are Used. Created work zones, place all necessary materials in (or near) each. Keep subject areas together.

  4. Store teacher materials out of sight.

  5. Utilize Help. a. volunteers b. teammates or paraprofessionals– Collaborate with colleagues. c. students

  6. Take Pictures. Once your room is organized, take pictures of seating arrangements, center set-ups, etc. Post those pictures so that students remember what each area should look after working in it.

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