January 2, 2016

Using File Pockets to Keep Student Work Organized!

Staying organized saves me lots of time!  

This is what I've been using this year, and I have to say, I LOVE it!
Keep reading to see how it works!

Here are the basics:

One file sorter for each day of the week.
One file pocket for each assignment.

For each assignment, I put a blank copy of the assignment along with an attached class checklist in the front of the pocket.  As students complete their work, they know to turn it in behind my copy. I usually even have a fast finisher "get it started." The student finished first grabs a checklist and staples it to the extra copy and places it in a pocket. The students then turn the papers in number order and check their name off the attached checklist.   Click here to download a free Checklist Template!

Why have one for each day of the week?

Having a week's worth of organization helps me keep up with all the students' work, absent work, late work, and more!  Once the entire class has completed and turned in the assignment, I remove the stack from the pocket.  All the papers are together! Any late or absent work has already been notated on the checklist. The checklist is attached to the original assignment, so after I collect the papers,  I usually complete this copy and use it as a key!

Here are some details:

I put all extra copies in the file folder.  When students are absent, they know exactly where to go to find their absent work.  They know to grab whatever is in each pocket for the day!

Turning in student work this way is great for several reasons:

1. Kids always know where to go to turn in work.
2. You know immediately which kids haven't turned in their work.
3. The work is in alphabetical order so it makes putting grades into the grade book quick.
4. You can annotate the checklist with things like "absent" or "late".  Click here to download a free Checklist Template! I can also annotate things like "no name", "too sloppy" or other anecdotal records that I might otherwise forget.
5. I leave the student work in the pocket until everyone's work is completed and turned in.  In this way, I never have miscellaneous papers floating around.

I also use hanging file holders to interact with individual students!

Each student in my class has their own pocket.  Inside the file folder, I keep the students' weekly parent communication card. You can check out my $1.00 product for parent communication here! It is easily available for the students to grab and mark or for me to. Any other papers get placed outside of the folder. 


I'm a big believer in students correcting their mistakes on their work. Each afternoon, I place any student corrections in the pockets. Students can grab their work easily when they see it in their pocket.


Students turn their homework in this way each morning. I can instantly see if any students did not turn in their homework, and because the conduct card is located in the same pocket, it's very easy to mark the missing homework on their parent communication card. 

Fast Math

My students perfect their multiplication skills via my Fast Math program.  It's difficult to keep up with lots of students because each student works at their own pace in a completely individualized way. I use these pockets to quickly communicate to each student about what work they need to complete.

Why Use a File Pockets System?

  • It's organized!
  • It's much quicker than passing out papers to students or placing on their desks
  • It builds routine which creates better classroom management

I'd love to hear some of your favorite classroom management or organization systems! COMMENT BELOW!


  1. I love this! I totally love anything that has to do with ORGANIZATION!!! Your set up is so cute!