August 3, 2015

Get Organized!

It's Back to School Time...Time to Get Organized!

I'd like to think I'm an organized person.
But I'm not.

Well, at least not naturally. I definitely have to work at it!

I have found that if I have a plan to get organized, I can stay organized. I get a little overwhelmed at times getting started though. That's why I've taken this summer to get on top of things. Well, one thing- MATH.  I thought about what bothers me in my class, and one of the things that really bugs me is the stacks of papers I tend to collect. I know why I collect stacks, and it's not that I'm one of those people that has tons of piles, but knows where everything is. I just don't know what to do with the papers when I'm done with them, so I lay them in a stack. (No Judge Zone here, right?!)

Now, I will have no excuse! I have made binders, page dividers, and even hanging file tabs to help me create a place for everything. It was pretty easy, and I happily invested the time to make my year go much more smoothly! You know what they say,

I originally thought about just organizing by the TEKS, but in the end, it didn't seem like it would help make putting things in their proper home easy enough.  I ended up organizing by skills. There were a lot of skills- 90 to be exact! I created a way to easily and inexpensively label all of my hanging files by skills. I even color-coded them so that related skills would be easy to find. But, I wanted to make sure that when I was finished with an activity, worksheet, or test, that I would put it back where it goes. I knew that the only way I would put it up was if it was quick and easy to do.  Thus, I created the activity labels.  

Hanging File Tabs by TEKS & Skill
Activity Labeling System
The activity labels are just the skill and the TEKS that the activity covers. I will stick it to the back of the worksheet, and when it is time to file it away, I can do it with no thought or time! I can also stick it to my center activities storage boxes, task card stacks, or whatever!

I was starting to feel better about my organization!

But, then I remembered that most of my papers go in binders, not files. :(

Well, I had to get my binders organized and set up so that putting things back into the binders was painless.  I created covers and spines for my binders, but then also created binder divider pages to go in the binders. I used the same 90 skills that I had used for my hanging files and created tabs to go on them so that my sections were easily accessible.

Fat binders for my big categories and skinny binders for my little categories!
The page dividers have a lot of info on them, and the tabs are just made from mailing labels!
So, now I'm all ready to stay organized!  You can get organized too!!! You just need some mailing labels, cardstock, and a little time! Use the return address labels for the hanging file tabs, and use the the mailing address labels for the tabs on your binder divider pages. I just opened up word, clicked on mailings, and then clicked on labels.  I typed in my skills on the labels and printed them out.  It really didn't take too long at all, and now I can save tons of time throughout the year! HOPEFULLY, THEY WON'T CHANGE THE TEKS TOO SOON!!!

If you're lucky enough to teach 4th grade math in Texas, you can just get my stuff that I've already created! Click here! 

Good Luck! I'd love to hear some of your organization tips! Please leave a comment!

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