Posted by Heidi (trying to be more organised next year) on 5/11/02
I am looking to find out what you do/use in your classroom
that you learned over the years, that saves you time and
I'll share a couple of my own to get the ball rolling:
for anecdotal records when I taught Kinders (but it would
work with anyone I guess) I divided the inside of a file
folder into squares the size of small post it notes. I had
a square for each student with their name in it. Then
whever I noticed something I wanted to remember for
reporting, I wrote it on a small post-it and stuck it on
their square. I could easily see who I was lacking notes
for, and it helped me make sure I observed everyone and had
notes on everyone. adapted from a workshop, but I can't
remember who or where!
Happy notes: I keep a stack of small photocopied "from your
teacher" type notes on my desk. I try to send home one
each day (to one student, not everyone!) and sometimes a
few at a time...just little notes like "I noticed Billy
concentrating on his work today!" or "Sarah lent a pencil
to friend who needed it today" things that they might need
encouragement with. Having the notes ready, you can just
grab one and jot a message with the date. They love
What do YOU do that makes things easier for you? I can't
wait to hear :)
One class mngmnt. tip you wish you'd known "back then"?
Posted by frances2 on 5/11/02
Like many other teachers, after years of teaching I have
learned the benefits of numbering my students and giving them
a PIN number to use on all work. This works for all
textbooks, card chart, assignments, math manipulatives,
calculators, and many other things. It has really helped me
be more organized.
Another probably obvious to others who are more organized
than I is to keep a "end of year" and "beginning of year"
list of things to do. I also keep these files with other
things I use at beginning and end of year.
Posted by judy3ca on 5/11/02
Ooooh, I love the happy notes!
*Simple, but...I always type a class list in Excel and run
lots of copies so that I can use them to check off everything.
And I mean everything--I've even stopped using a gradebook.
And I save it in Excel so that it can be easily changed if a
*I have ONE Student of the Day for all jobs. If she needs
help, she chooses helpers. Each morning, yesterday's Student
of the Day chooses one for that day.
*Desks are grouped for four students. We have a weekly table
captain for passing out papers, etc.
Posted by heatherb on 5/11/02
The main thing that I'm proud of is the way I get papers back
to the students. It's pretty basic. I have a file folder box
and every chil'd name is tabbed. When we pick up work to be
graded, I grade it then put the papers in the very front of the
folder in front of the files. I have a File Clerk who files the
papers as needed. Friday, my File Clerk and his/her Assistant
check each child's papers to make sure there aren't anyone
elses papers in their stack. They staple them together and pass
The students have two folders in their desk that stay there all
the time. They all have a blue pocket folder that they place
all practice work in that we have ckecked that I don't want to
grade and busy shets, like crossword puzzels, etc. I hate
having tons of papers to file and I like to keep the graded
work from above seperated from work that's not graded. So I let
them take these papers home on a different day. The green
folder is used to place work in that we haven't had a chance to
grade,work that is unfinished, and makeup work for absent
students. I really don't like it when a student's work is in
the floor or shoved somewhere within the black hole known as a
desk. This keeps them responsible for their not losing their
work. It's been a winner.
Posted by Sue Gruber on 5/11/02
Here's my number one gotta have it! It works at every grade
level! This is the best way I've found to keep myself
organized and handle important papers.
Set up an desktop instant organizer inside a cardboard file
box. Load it up with empty file folders with these labels:
**1 for each month of the school year
**Read later (for all those papers you need to read but just
don't have time at the moment)
**Pending (for copies of the book order, etc.)
**1 for each school day of the week
**Take to office
**Phone calls to make (staple a copy of parent phone #'s
**Notes from parents
I don't let myself leave school until my Urgent file is
empty! Once a month I go through "Read Later" and "File". The
month folders are great if you come across an idea you want
to use next Sept...pop it in the Sept. file. At the beginning
of each month go through that file. Add any other files that
work for you!
Posted by dixie on 5/11/02
I have an office tray (the kind that stack) labeled for each
child. After I finish grading a set of papers, I file each
child's paper in his/her tray. At the end of the week, each
student's papers are already sorted...all I have to do is put
them in the envelope to go home.
My calendar is the type with cute little pictures on the number
cards to go with the month. After trying velcro and other
methods, I discovered an easier method of attaching the number
cards to the calendar. Using a razor blade, I cut a small slit
at the top of each square where the # card goes. Then I inserted
a paper clip, so that part of it is showing. Now all I have to
do is slide the number card under the paper clip...very easy to
change the months now!
Posted by Sara/3rd/CA on 5/11/02
One of the things I use for anectdotal (spelling? sorry...)
records is this:
I have a legal sized clip board and on the board are large
index cards that have each student's name on the bottom of
the card. I use masking tape to tape them to the board in a
stair step fashion, so I can flip them up to write on them.
I absolutely LOVE it because when I'm doing reading groups, I
can make notes while the students are writing and they can't
see what I'm writing because my hand is hidden under the
previous cards. When I fill up a card I simply pull it off,
put on a new one and file the completed one in my "private"
files for each kid. I really like it because I can show
growth over several days and have used it to show parents
what we are working on and what I've noticed happening .
Posted by Barbara Gruber on 5/11/02
I do the same thing with the 3x5 cards taped down stairstep
except instead of a clipboard (which is a great idea) I use
legal size file folders. Also, I put a blank card on the very
top of each row of cards so the info on the top card can't be
seen. This is one of my favorite organizational ideas.
Also teaching kids to put their work in the work basket right
side up with their names at the top. No unfolding, shuffling,
and turning over papers to get them all going the same way.
Posted by Susan on 5/12/02
Before I leave each night I quickly fill out a sheet of
paper that has my daily times on it for subjects, specials,
lunch,etc. I write what I am going to do for each subject
the next day - briefly, but enough if I am unable to come
in. I also have the next day's work out on a front table
with an index card labeled for subject and times on top of
the work. This way a sub can continue with what I am
doing. However; I do have an emergency substitute folder
prepared and it is kept near my desk in a neon orange folder.
It just make sit easier for me on my days and in case I
am unable to come in. I live a distance from where I teach
and this has helped me immensely.
Posted by JenSue on 5/12/02
I also send home "happy notes" each day with one student. I try to
mention a conversation starter for the parents like, "Ask Joe what
he learned about the life cycle fo the butterfly." I use various
note cards or tablets or whatever, and I actually write the names
of each student on each one. This assures that everyone gets a
happy note before I start going through the class list again. It
makes me focus upon something good about a child each day. The
kids always remeind me by saying, "Who gets the happy note?"
I also use an easy check in system. I have library pockets glued
to a poster borad that says good moring. (I actually use this type
of set up for several things.) Each pocket has a name. I have
cards that say HOT and COLD. Children put a card in their pocket.
I know who is hot lunch, who is cold lunch, and who is absent all
at a glance.
Posted by Tina in OK on 5/12/02
I allow students to check out my books. I use the library pockets on
a posterboard, too. When a child wants to check out one of my books,
they bring me the book and their card from the pocket. If they have
one to return they bring it at the same time so that I can mark it
off. I just use 3x5 cards and write small. (We do a 100 Books by 100
Days and often it's hard to find really easy books at the first of
the year so I encourage students to borrow mine.) I give them each a
gallon sized ziplock to take books home in.
I also have one helper for the day. Anything that needs to be done
is done by that person. That person also gets to choose a partner to
read with in the $5 chairs I got at Wal-mart. Woo-hoo!
Posted by kathy/fl on 5/12/02
I've purchased a lot of teacher resourse books through the years as
well as magazines. What I 've finally figured out this year after
after more than 20 years in the field is when I find an idea I want may
to use or, in fact, DO use, I make a zerox copy of it and file it. I
also may make a couple of copies of one idea for cross reference
filing. I have far too many books and magazines to thumb through when
and this is a real time saver.
Also, I purchase The MailBox hard cover yearbook each year instead of
purchasing the magazine because it has an index! (Can you tell
organization is a challege for me?!) A colleague told me the yearbook
doesn't contain everything published that year in the magazine, but it
works for me!
Posted by Barbara D. Martin on 5/12/02
*I post a parent volunteer sign-up sheet on Back to School night.
*I make sure I go to at least one conference a year---even if I have to
pay for it myself.
*I keep a purchase wish list just in case money is found that needs to be
spent in a hurry.
*I make a basic lesson plan form on my computer with times, subjects,
special classes for RSP, etc. already filled in so each week I just need
to fill in the details.
*I collect papers when I take roll call, so they are already in
alphabetical order. (Students come up to the front of the class as their
names are called and place in the pile/s. It takes a little training, but
is well worth it.)