Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Taking a Second Look at the To File Basket

I love to be organized. However, the switch to 1st grade has made organizing a little tricky! The idea of knowing that I had papers in messy stacks all over the room was driving me crazy! It has taken me about half the year to get my filing groove back and I wanted to share the system I came up with. 

This crate was the key to my success! It started out as that adorable, totally organized idea floating around on Instagram. I made a folder for each day of the month and was supposed to stash all the papers I needed on any given day in there. Well....that was a beautiful idea and it really spoke to the organizing nerd in me, but it just didn't WORK for me. That isn't how I plan...

I already had a good system for organizing the papers I was going to use with my students, but I needed a way to sort the papers I wanted to keep for next year. I went back to the drawing board and came up with a different way to use the same crate and eliminate my old "to file" basket. 

I used paper clip tabs and washi tape to make temporary labels. Those labels correspond with the lesson numbers in our reading series. After I make copies for the week I just slide the master copies down in the file and my filing is done! 

This is much easier than the old "to file" basket that would overflow with papers! When I started sorting out the papers by week or topic I had a hard time remembering exactly which week I had taught each skill. This system solved that problem.  When we finish with a reading unit I pull out all the folders from that unit, hole punch the papers, and put them in my binder. 

In the back of the crate I also have a file for all the holidays we will celebrate at school. I love having such easy access to all those folders because who knows when I'll find a great Halloween idea in April?! Having them out in the open means I'm much more likely to file it now than pile it up and lose it! 

Last but not least is a file for all the love notes from my sweeties. 

How do you file papers in your classroom? 

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