I use a basic plastic folder with pockets and fasteners. I like the folder because it's easy to throw in my bag to take home. One day I'll make a cute cover for it, but right now it's working the way it is.
- In the front pocket are usually the resources for whatever investigation in the math book I am teaching.
- In the fasteners are the following tabs: Lesson Plans, Block 1 Grades, Block 2 Grades, and Block 3 grades (I just teach 3 blocks of 7th grade math).
- For lesson plans, I found this template from Jenna Jackson. I only teach 7th grade math this year, and I try to keep all three blocks on the same schedule (if not pretty close). While the categories in the template don't always line up with what I'm doing each day, it usually is pretty close. I love the way it breaks down all the aspect of my lesson (including openers and reminders) and is easy to organize. It's cute and I like the colors. I made enough copies at the beginning of the year to last the whole year, and I just wrote in dates.
- I use a simple Excel file to keep my grades. At the top I put the name of the assignment, date, and number of points assigned. I highlight it when I enter it into PowerSchool (electronic gradebook). Personally, I like having a paper trail of graded assignments in case I enter something in the computer wrong (also, it is easier to bring home this folder than my whole computer when I need to grade).
The system I have found the best for me to organize grading papers is simple colored file folders. Each block has its own color and two folders - one "To Grade" and one "Graded" ("To Grade" is facing me, "Graded is facing outward). When I collect papers, I put them in the "To Grade" folder. This is nice because then I can just throw the folder in my bag when I grade at home. When I'm done, I put the papers in the "Graded" folder. I have assigned students that know (when they have time in class), that when they see papers in the "Graded" folder they can pass those out.
This system I also have to credit a colleague of mine for the idea. Instead of inundating me with papers and cluttering my desk, missing and absent work (work collected not as a whole class) has a bin. Students are taught about this bin at the beginning of the year, and they know whenever they have missing or absent work, they just need to turn it into the bin. Once a week I collect the papers from the bin and update them in the gradebook.
For students who are absent, I like to make sure they have copies of the work passed out. When I pass out work to the class, I will write the names of any absent students on papers, and put them in this bin. Students are also taught this at the beginning of the year, so they know when they are absent to check the bin for any work they missed (again, to not inundate me with "What did I miss?" at the beginning of each class). (As an additional bonus, then I know when late papers are 'Absent' instead of 'Late' - for grading purposes - because it has my handwriting on it.)
More of my systems for daily organization and classroom decor to come!