Teacher Organization 

There are so many things that go on in the classroom and so many things that you as a teacher have to keep up with that it can become overwhelming. These ideas will hopefully help you stay organized!

 Teacher Notebook
Do you get a great idea in the middle of a lesson and then forget it later on? Do you have a hard time remembering to do certain tasks? Keep a small notebook or pad on your desk or in your bag.  Therefore, when that great idea pops up or you need to remind yourself to do something later, the notebook is within easy reach and you can jot down your thoughts.  Review the notebook either in the morning or at night.

 Class Checklists

I like to keep multiple copies of a small class checklist to keep tabs on papers, assignments, or any other type of record keeping.  It's a great way to see what student are missing their papers or assignments.  I have used the checklist for field trip forms, running record evaluations, emergency cards, etc.  Here is a copy to use for your classroom......make multiple copies and keep in a drawer or some place handy.

 Parent Communication

Communication with parents is important, but when you have a lot of students, then it can be very overwhelming.  Here are ways that I keep parents informed of their child's progress throughout the year as well as providing organized ways for two-way communication. (*For copies of the following examples, go to Printables and look under Management).

1. *Class Handbook: On the first day of school, students are given class handbooks that parents are to review with them.  In the handbook the class rules and procedures are explained. 
2. *
Weekly Progress Reports: On Friday, students take home their Friday Folders in which there is a Weekly Progress Report. The teacher fills out the report and the parent signs it.
3. *
Behavior Letter to Parent: If a student has displayed disruptive behavior during the day, then a letter is sent home informing the parents about the behavior.  The letter is signed and returned.
4. *
Parent Conference: This letter requests a conference with the parent. On it is the teacher's available time. The parent is requested to choose a time for the conference and return it to the teacher.
Daily Report: This is used for students who have repeated disruptive behavior and with whom the parents have had a conference with the teacher.  It is usually part of a plan of action agreed upon by the teacher and the parents.  It keeps the parents informed of their child's daily behavior and it is sent home every night to be signed.

A note about organizing your parent communications:

It is important that you document a child's behavior, and communication that you have had with parents in case of future use.  Sometimes parents do not receive letters sent home or you may need them for the Child Study Team or any other conferences. It is difficult to make copies of parent letters or any other documentation for reasons such as no copy machines, no time, etc. Carbon paper is a great solution to this problem.  When sending a parent letter or conference slip home, use carbon paper and two copies of the page being sent home to create a copy for yourself. That way, you have copies of all your documents in case you need them.  

 Grade Book
For easy grading, give your students a number according to their last names (alphabetical order). A student (the paper manager) organizes the students' work according to their numbers (remember to teach students to write their numbers on the right-hand corner of the paper).  That way, when you are recording the grades, you can do it quickly.

 Desk Trays:
Desk trays are helpful in so many ways.  Here is how I use desk trays to organize my desk. Each tray is labeled:

For Office
To Be Graded
To Be Filed
Notes from Parents

Whatever paperwork I have to do or is done can be quickly put onto one of these trays. Then, when I need to find a paper, I know where it will be.

 Lesson Plan Book:
I look over previous years' lessons to prepare for the following year.  If there is a lesson or activity that I found to be successful or there are some changes I want to note for the future, then I "post" it in my lesson plan book. I buy the sticky notes with lines, make notes for the next year, and place it on the box with that particular lesson. That way, I can easily find it for the next year and it won't be forgotten.

Keeping reproducibles organized can be difficult and hard to keep up with.  Therefore, I use folders to keep them categorized and organized. Also, they are helpful when I want to reuse them for the following year. Here are some other tips for worksheets:
1. Be specific with your categories, such as "Weather" instead of "Science".
  2. Leave at least one copy of a worksheet you've used inside the folder.  That  way, it will be your master copy for next year.
  3. Any extra copies you have, put into a folder/basket as EXTRA WORK.  If students finish their assignments early, they can go to the basket and get extra practice on their skills.
  4. Use a file holder (I like vertical file holders) to keep handy the folders you will be using that week.  They're in your view and easy to get to when it's time to pass them out.  Also, I keep folders with copies of daily reports, spelling sheets, and homework charts that the children can get to by themselves.

 Lesson Plan/Grade Book:
I dislike it when my lesson plan and grade book become worn on the corners. To solve that problem, I buy a plastic document holder (they have nice ones at Staples, Office Max, etc.). I place my lesson plan book and grade book in the plastic holder whenever I'm not using them or when they are traveling with me. It helps keep the wear and tear out of them.



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