Most of the ideas I'm going to share I got from Pinterest last summer. Some worked really well, and others would be considered an epic fail.
No Name Board
I can't even begin to describe how this simple board has saved my sanity. All I do is clip the no name papers to the board. No more trying to play detective, having to ask each class if it belongs to one of them, and somehow keeping up with the paper until it's claimed. I can't believe how simple, yet truly helpful this has been.
Teacher Desk Organizer
I love, love, love my teacher crate. I have a file for everything I could possibly need during my day. It makes it super easy for me to put something where it goes as soon as I get it and avoid large piles of paper on my desk. I made the mistake of putting it on the side of my desk at the start of the year. Since it was out of sight, out of mind, I rarely used it and had the dreaded pile problem. However, once I moved it to the front of my desk, I have been so happy I made it.
Days of the Week Organizer
I did not want to pay for a simple container with the days of the week on it, so I created my own. I have really enjoyed having this. I can put the supplies for each day in the correct box and have my whole week ready at my fingertips. One problem I have been facing is I don't always fully clean it out from the week before so sometimes the containers get really full.
My Teacher Binder
I like so many of you decided to create a really cute teacher binder for this year. I have super cute labels and dividers between each section. However, unlike many of you, I have HATED my teacher binder. First of all my two inch binder has probably three inches worth of "stuff" in it. I also rarely have the time to put each new thing in it's spot, so it just gets shoved in the front. Then I have to sit down and spend at least an hour reorganizing the thing. Also, I have such a hard time finding things that go in multiple categories. For instance CRT and Gates scores, did I put them under Student Info or Assessment Info? I finally gave up lugging the thing back and forth about February.
Even with all my trials and tribulations with my teacher binder, I will not be giving up on it. I brought it home to clean out this summer and spend some time perfecting my system. A few things I have learned to help those of you who decide to create one.
1. Limit the scope of the binder to only things you really need portable. Did I really need the master copies of each assignment and the answer key in my binder? No! I should have never put the master in it and removed the answer key when I was finished with the grading.
2. Create categories that are clearly defined and be consistent. Don't put one set of test scores in one section and the next in a different section. You will drive yourself mad!
3. Organize it EVERY DAY. Do not wait until you have an inch of unfilled papers in the front to organize it. Otherwise you will spend more time looking for what you need.
These are just a few new ideas I tried this year to solve a problem/problems I had been having. I'm sure I'll be looking (stalking) to try to get some new ideas for next year!