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Be OCD Like Me

If you’re a teacher, I bet you know how to multi-task like a champ! You have to remember what activity is coming up next while trying to remember to gather make-up work for the student that’s absent while remembering that you forgot to switch class jobs or change the calendar. For some teachers, multi-tasking and being organized comes naturally and for some…they didn’t even know they could until their first day on the job.

This post is all about the best ways to STAY ORGANIZED in the classroom. These are my four favorite things that I have done since DAY ONE and they are still helping today!

Where to Store Your Copies? — Now for most of you, you have a VERY SPECIFIC spot that your copies go every week. Others of you might throw them in the most convenient spot and hope for the best! For the first 3 years of teaching, I kept my copies in a hanging file folder with tabs of the day and/or subject. This year…I decided to CHANGE IT UP! I bought two of these IKEA Letter Trays and set one up for Math copies and one for Writing. I put some Rae Dunn File Folders inside and… Voilà…my new copy system was born! The trays slide out so I can get my copies really easily and it holds all of my papers for both subjects Monday through Friday!

A Classroom Calendar? – Part of staying organized is knowing when things are going to happen! I always knew that the normal classroom calendars weren’t going to work for me because I wanted a calendar where I could put important dates (assignments, tests, holidays, school events, etc.) I had extra whiteboard space in my first classroom and decided to create a Washi Tape Calendar so I could change it out monthly and put ALL the important dates. I found some magnetic letters that could be used for the month names. I also found these school calendar numbers and put a magnet on the back so they could be changed out easily. I highly recommend this if you have some extra whiteboard space because it’s very inexpensive and so worth your time!

Keep Track of ALL. THE. FORMS? – This one is super simple and EASY! If you have never heard of the “Picture Frame-Turned-Dry Erase Board” idea…YOU’RE WELCOME! I used to have paper checklists for all of my different classes and now I can just use one ALL THE TIME! I made an 8×10 sheet in PowerPoint of all three classes put together. I was able to print it, cut it out and put it in the frame like a picture. I use Dry Erase board markers on it and it wipes off REALLY easily! Now I don’t find a million little paper checklists around my room!

Turning In Papers? – My first teaching job was teaching 4th Grade Texas History to FIVE CLASSES. An initial thought was: “How am I going to keep five classes’ papers separate?” I bought two of these letter trays because they had a place to label each tray with a magnet. I printed out the name of each homeroom class and put a magnet strip on the back to secure it to the trays. Four years later…I am still using the SAME TRAYS and just changing out the label to what I need it to be each year.

Please leave a comment with your favorite organization tool in your classroom!

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