Thursday, March 24, 2011

Spring Has Sprung. . .Day 4

 {spring cleaning}
I don't know about y'all, but it's time for me to do a bit of spring cleaning!  This week I've set aside some extra time to review, revamp, and reorganize classroom materials!  

Today's giveaway is for one of my favorite materials that helps me to stay organized.  I have one hanging on the cabinet near my desk, and I keep emergency contact information, important paperwork, and files that I use on a daily/weekly basis in it.  This saves me so much time, and it keeps things from filing up on my desk.  I have also seen tons of cute file folders at Target and Michael's for a dollar.  

Filetastic - Black  Filetastic - Royal Blue   Filetastic - Zebra  
If you're interested, just leave a comment with a quick tip that helps you stay organized.  I know some extremely organized teachers who have already shared management tips, but I am always looking for ways to keep clean and clutter free.  This giveaway will end on Saturday, March 26th at noon.  

Happy spring!
-Brooke

61 comments:

  1. Brooke,
    Totally cute! I have a file holder on my desk that houses my mini-binder that I can grab and take to staff meetings, most referred to files and copies, my emergency binder for subs and last years plan book-just in case! I've been blogging for about a month and a half now and I have a few organization posts if you are interested...
    Kelley-3rd grade
    http://randalllearninglibrary.blogspot.com/

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  2. That is so cute! I have a tub for each day-from Lakeshore- and I keep each day organized in there, but I'm always try to be even more organized!

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  3. I totally agree, it is definitely time to reorganize! I do it every year about this time, and it's currently happening in my own classroom. It's torn apart right now (we are on spring break), but it has to get worse before it can get better, right? We recently started a blog, and we will feature some organization tips very soon, so stay tuned!

    http://firstgradefanatics.blogspot.com/

    ~Erin

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  4. I try really hard to stay organized, but it just doesn't happen. I have learned to purge my desk, the top of the filing cabinet, etc at least once a month or it builds up on me.

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  5. I love this! But sadly I have NO tips, that is my biggest problem as a teacher. I never want to throw away and what to keep so I end up keeping EVERYTHING!!!! My big project this summer is to come up with a system that will give everything a place. This giveaway would be a great start.

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  6. I love this give-a-way! I try to always leave school with a clean desk and all materials prepped and read to go for the next day.

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  7. I try to keep all my individual testing materials in a binder seperated by tabs. This helps me with ongoing assessments, with children on all levels

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  8. That is a great idea! I love to organize things. One thing I did this year that has helped me is I put all my theme materials in binders. For years all the teachers around me would keep them in file folders. I did that as well but papers would fall out and get lost. So I switched and put them all in binders. I love it and am sure other teachers have done it for years.

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  9. I love the teacher organizer forms I bought from someone. . .hope I sometime remember who so I can buy them again next year. That notebook is my lifesaver!!!

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  10. I have the same file folders and use them to differentiate and organize my literacy center materials. I would love another one for my cabinet by my desk. It would be nice for copies, emergency information, and the tons of other papers teachers collect.

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  11. I use a communication center to help with guided reading organization. This center allows for me to give instructions, supply students with books, and keep task activity in one place while I attend to any issues that might POP up while students are working independently.

    Here is the link: Lakeshore Learning Communication Center

    Primary Graffiti

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  12. I made the "Command Center" from A Bowl Full of Lemons
    http://abowlfulloflemons.blogspot.com/search/label/command%20center

    I will be having a blog post about it very soon :)

    Jennifer

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  13. The best piece of organizational advice I ever received is "when you think of something you need to do, if it takes less than a minute to do, go ahead and do it." So, if a paper takes seconds to file, go ahead and file it. If it takes a minute to find a book you need, go ahead and find it. This way, things don't pile up on your to do list. It carries over to my home/personal life as well. A lot of things we put off doing really takes seconds to a minute to do.

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  14. Train the students to help from day 1! Also, lots and lots of drawers with labels. I find drawers without labels just get junk put in them....but pretty labels that make you happy....um...make you happy :)

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  15. I can't deal with a file folder for each skill/unit...too much to look through and I can't see the papers. I have one of the monster binders for each subject. I put each skill sheet/activity in a page protector and file it in the binder. Currently, I have the papers filed chronologically. I'm going to buy sticky tabs and file them according to standard. That's on my spring cleaning to-do list!

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  16. Awesome giveaway! I am also in the process of spring cleaning in my room. It's such a refreshing feeling! This past summer I took all of my master copies and put them into page protectors and binders. I definitely plan to divide everything into more binders, but in the meantime, I have one divided by subjects, one divided by themes, and a few other miscellaneous. Page protectors and binders are way better organization than folders, I think!

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  17. Using google calendar is my suggestion to anyone who never has enough space in little boxes on the teacher calendars/planners. It is connected to my gmail account and sends me (and my husband) an email and an alert on my cell phone whenever I have an appointment/meeting/event. Love it! I still carry a really cute journal for my obsessive to do list.

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  18. Our school has these big, flat cardboard boxes that our poster board comes in and I put all of my charts/large paper made resources in these by seasons and then put them above the cabinet until it's needed! It helps to keep everything nice and out of the way!

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  19. I love organization. One of the things that keeps me sane is a file folder box with hanging folders. The hanging folders are labeled Mon-Friday. Then I have folders in each labeled with the class. However, they can easily be labeled with the subject taught too. then all my copies & work for that class for that day goes in that folder. Then everything is there at the tip of my fingers. I can take it where ever I want & if I am ever out unexpectedly my coworkers & sub can find it too.

    Ms. M
    www.msk1ell.blogspot.com

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  20. I have recently started filing what i do weekly in a notebook. Each tab has the week and everything I did that week. I am
    Hoping it will help in the years to follow.

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  21. My new fave is a Mead 5 star flexible binder. I bought one at BJs (of all places!) and hung on to it for awhile before I started using it and now it is my plan book! I went out and found one for Writing and just had to get one for Guided Reading, too. It has plastic binder rings that open one at a time and it comes with 3 or 4 pockets with built-in tabs and some lined and some graph paper. I can tuck word cards in the pockets for reading groups and a list of reading strategies in one of the see through pouches. In my writing binder, I have a section for all my anecdotal notes for conferencing and pockets with articles on writing and advice from other teachers. There is even room for planning, notes, and my own writing pieces for modeling during mini lessons. They aren't as bulky as regular binders and they are more lightweight. They are a little pricey, around $15 for one, but I have found some good sales and got one for $7! Changed my life this school year!

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  22. I know you already know this, but I {LOVE} my organizer from Lakeshore with bins Mon-Fri. In each of the bins, there are folders. My folders are: Spelling, math, theme, writing, workshop, and word work. I love these bins. I REALLY do! :)

    -Rachelle
    whattheteacherwants.blogspot.com

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  23. ALL great ideas!! I can always improve my organization. :). I do try to clean off my desk every night before I leave and thow away anything I don't love or "need". I would love to re-organize my games and center work, but I just don't know how!

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  24. Love this! When I find ideas I like that I would like to eventually use online (usually from ProTeacher or blogs) I save them in folders on my computer - I have a folder for each of the main subjects and then inside those folders I have more folders with topics. It makes it fairly easy to find things I am looking for later.

    dana_m_baker@yahoo.com

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  25. My table top organizer has been a huge help keeping my papers organized! I love it!

    Hadar

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  26. I have a folder for each day of the week. I copy papers and put them in the folder for the day I'm going to use them. I also have a folder in the back of the holder that says TO BE COPIED...anything that I'll need to copy goes in there. Then I just take it to the copy machine with me.

    Jenna
    fancyinfirst.blogspot.com

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  27. Our Extra Crayon Bucket is a lifesaver! Years ago, I made a baggie and a label for each crayon in the 24 pack. I used an open font that could be colored inside. My students colored the labels with the correct color and sorted all our "Lost and Found" crayons into the baggies. We then placed the baggies in a big bucket. I still have the same bucket with the same baggies! Each week, helpers place all the "Found" crayons in the correct baggies in the bucket. When a kiddo cannot find a crayon, he simply goes to the bucket. No questions asked! Lifesaver!

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  28. Looks like a great organization tool! I really feel like I couldn't do well teaching if I didn't stay organized...not that I always am, but I try. I use a paper filing tray on my counter. There are 5 slots--each one labeled for each day of the school week. On Friday I try to plan my next week and sort my papers into the trays so that I am ready to go. This idea really helps me on those hectic weeks. Plus if I ever have to call in an emergency substitute I know that I am pretty much ready!
    Allison
    www.room-mom101.blogspot.com

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  29. I use the three drawer organizers from Sterilite - 1 for every day of the week and the last one for "whatever" - right now it's all sorts of markers! I love these hanging files though - I can envision lots of uses for them!

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  30. Great giveaway! Spring cleaning is something I need to set aside time for! I use one of those standing set of plastic drawers on wheels. I separate my reading group materials into the different drawers and have my pencil caddy and other materials (timer, calculator, comprehension prompts, strategy bookmarks, etc...) on the top. Best thing is, it is on wheels! So I can move it around when needed!
    Thanks!
    ~ Mrs. Mc
    http://littleliteracylearners.blogspot.com/

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  31. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  32. This is great! I LOVE what Kelsey said about making use of those cardboard boxes- I never thought of that and I really dislike my chart stand... would love to get rid of that thing! I also use a hanging file system that is labeled Mon-Fri twice- so I try to have work prepared for 2 weeks in advance. It is also really nice once the students figure out where everything goes and how you like your books organized, etc.- it's so great for them to help out... having a clean room makes me feel (and look) a little more organized!

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  33. Hands down, this is the best organizational tool I use. I have dedicated one of the magnetic white boards in my room as a paper collector. Each student has a magnetic clip with their name on it. When they complete a paper they clip it on the board. With one quick glance, I can see who is finished, who is not, and who forgot to put their name on their paper. The clips always stay on the board so an empty clip means the student hasn't turned in the work. I started using this method a few years ago when I had a student who would either throw his papers away or stuff them in his desk when he didn't want to do them. I wouldn't discover this until I sat down to grade papers after school. I would get so frustrated. This system of collecting papers has eliminated that problem!

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  34. I use an accordian file to keep each child's important forms and any work samples. The file is numbered, and I use the same numbers for my students' cubbies and mailboxes. This file saves me from wasting file folders each year!


    Megan
    http://mrswheelerfirst.blogspot.com/

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  35. I thought I was buying one of those from Target Dollar Spot last year, sadly it was not. It was just LIKE yours, but was not wide enough to put file folders in. So, instead, I use it for a homework turn in spot.

    I also love using magazine files for lots of things. I have gotten in the habit of turning them sideways, for some reason, they seem easier to file in to that way. :)

    Another thing I LOVE is my rolly cart with file bins on the top like this one:

    http://www.eofficedirect.com/PSAF5390BL/Safco-GoCarts-Mobile-File-14-1-2w-x21-1-2d-x-26-1-4h-Black.html?kc=FC&utm_source=google&utm_medium=base&utm_campaign=base

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  36. I love it. Here is the link for my Organizational Tips for Teachers Packet. Sorry, the last comment I posted had a broken link.
    https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=explorer&chrome=true&srcid=0B6xV8CyMKUz4ZGJmZWNkMzktM2U4Ny00NzUwLWIxNjYtOTc3Mzg2NzhjZDgy&hl=en&authkey=CK_mm7oD

    Erica Bohrer's First Grade

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  37. New to first grade and I was having difficulty finding "stuff" to go with all of the new things I would be teaching. So I took our yearly plan for each subject and made a folder for each skill. I put these in alphabetical order in a plastic tub near my desk, so that everytime I found a great idea, game, etc. I copied/printed it and put it in the right folder. Hopefully I will be in first grade again next year so I can use all of the fantastic ideas I have found!!
    Kelley

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  38. I love these! My organizational tip is to make sure make my desk top is clean every night before I leave. I also set out the materials for the next day and make sure my plan book is sitting in plain view "just in case." You never know when something is going to happen. I ended up in the hospital years back and it was nice to know that was one less thing to worry about.

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  39. I use large rolling drawers to store small group math/ reading items in them and station things. In my filing cabinet I use hanging files with file folders in them it helps me find what I need so much easier.

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  40. Mine is pretty no nonsense..I never leave at the end of the day without laying out everything I need for the next day in my daily folder. That way, even if I am running late the next day, everything is ready to go and no last minute scrambling!

    edoennig@diamondwildcats.org
    littlecatskindergarten.blogspot.com

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  41. Great Giveaway!!! I have 5 tubs (a little larger than shoebox size) on a bookshelf near my desk - one for each day of the week. I try to put my week lessons items in them so I'm ready to go...

    :-)Robin

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  42. So many great organizational ideas! I bought 3-drawer organizers for my literacy center activities and materials, one set for each literacy center.

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  43. I have a file cabinet with labeled files with each season/theme we are studying. I also have a file box with each child's work in ABC order in manilla folders. I file their work each week and when it comes time to send home weekly work, I just pull their file. I also use a 3 inch thick binder with tabs to store lesson plans, newsletters, vip notes and grade level meeting notes. I LOVE the zebra organizer

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  44. Great idea, love all the tips. I try really hard to go through my stuff every few months and throw out anything I haven't used in a year.

    sandra.guntorius@gpisd.org

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  45. I would love to win and use this as part of my fresh start in organizing my files! I have files all over and would love to have a system where I can grab and go! Do you have pictures of your area? Lots of great tips!!!

    Thanks!
    Mireya
    yayaagu@aol.com

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  46. I try to organize just a little every day but unfortunately it still piles up! As teachers we just don't have enough time! I LOVE the pocket charts though!
    I have to get one of those!
    tjulch@mpsomaha.org

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  47. I use a notebook for my lesson plans. I hated having to write some of the same things over and over so I do my plans on a template. I put my lesson plans for the week on front view finder binder and our weekly bulletin on the backside. As I finish the week, I file it inside.

    Hopefully I can put a copy on my new blog. :) http://dualkinderteacher.blogspot.com/

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  48. I label EVERYTHING! Binders, drawers, classes.. all of it! I didn't do this my first two years of teaching, but before I started out this summer, I went in early and worked and worked and worked! It took some serious hours, but I have been loving it all year! I teach music, and even took it far enough to color-code each grade level I teach! (Kindergarten - purple, 2nd - red, 5th - blue, and every other grade in between!) Schedules and grades have never looked so good! :)
    - Lindsey

    http://nothinbuttreble.blogspot.com

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  49. I have one of those file holders, too! Actually, I keep a huge (30 pocket) one behind my desk with reference materials, originals, and any other paperwork that I need to access frequently. I think it saves me a ton of digging time!

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  50. I bought dishwashing tubs from the dollar store for each month. In the tubs I keep all of that month's activities - February has Valentine's Day books, Groundhogs Day, Chinese New Year, Presidents Day, Dental Health...along with a binder of all of the papers/activities to go with it. Makes it SO much easier than trying to find all the different subjects within each month.
    Another lifesaver -- a 4 drawer rolly cart filled with supplies that I keep under my computer table. It can be moved if needed, but is right where you need it!
    THANKS!
    Tess
    Tess_Barnidge@yahoo.com

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  51. I have a drink basket caddie that has sat on my desk forever. Each section holds different supplies; pens, colored pencil, scissors, paper punchs, and highlighters, Sharpies, Expos. I have no drawers in my crazy desk, so this keeps everything in order.

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  52. Wow, great tips. I'm so in need of some order in my room - it's tiny and stuff is just everywhere!!!
    My tip is that I have 3 wall mounting file holders - you know the kind that used to be on doctor office doors for patient files -
    In the top I keep my emergency folder in the top one to grab on the way out for fire drills and such.
    In the second I keep copies to be made and lunch cards to grab on my way to lunch (the copier is in the lounge so lunch is a great time to make copies without having to wait in line).
    In the bottom I keep folders for my students that have pull-outs (sped and ell) with folders going home and back each day - they know where they are do they can grab them on their way out the door.

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  53. I love this idea. I am always looking for ideas to organize my stuff or the students materials. I am currently using a notebook( 2") binder that I had made a couple of years ago. It has handles so I can carry it wherever I have to go. I have the students assessments and conferencing work in there.

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  54. I love being organized... I just wish I was better @ it. The best thing I do is have a stacking paper sorter that I keep things in for the day I need them. I need to be better @ putting papers in it and not just piling them up on my back counter. So my intentions are good, but the actions don't always match. I hope the random generator of winners takes pity on me b/c I really want one of those folder hangers...

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  55. I love that organizer! It's such a wonderful idea. This may seem silly, but organization is so hard for me! I want to keep everything and find a place for everything but I don't seem to know where to start!!!

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  56. I am not as organized as I would like to be. The key for me is to have storage items that have a drawer or a lid so that I don't see it all! I label the container or drawer so that I at least know what I'm avoiding :).

    keitadonna at hotmail dot com

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  57. Gosh I'm loving all these awesome ideas everyone has shared! I am horrible at organization.... although I keep my house spotless and clean at all times... I'm horrible at organizing at school and often lose important papers and have to reprint, redo things at school ALL the time! I'm really hoping I can get better organized in time! The only thing that I have really organized good is our reading series materials for HM. I have each theme in a notebook and then have it divided by weeks and all the materials for that theme/week is in that binder. And I have found that my STAR books that the kids take back and fourth from home to school helps keep all their items organized.

    Elisabeth
    www.missdelk.blogspot.com

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  58. I would totally use one of those for all the ideas I have accumulated from all these FABULOUS education blogs, including Primary Perspective! I would reserve one pocket for each month so I have easy access to ideas/activities! Pick me! Pick me!

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  59. I would totally LOVE one of those!! One thing I do to stay organized is I have a tub for each day of the week. Inside the tub, I keep all of my supplies/copies I will be using that day. It has helped me stay much more organized!

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  60. I have the 5 tub organizer from Lakeshore that I use to get ready for my week. I also have tons and tons of binders!

    Stephanie

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  61. Where did you find these hanging organizers? I'm going to do hot pink, green, and animal print in my room next year and these would be perfect!

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