Saturday, March 7, 2015

Organization Tip- Binders Galore

I'm linking up with Ideas from Outside the Classroom to share some organization tips! 

Throughout my career I have experimented with different resource organization strategies.  I started out with a big box that I threw everything into (I don't recommend that strategy!) and I progressed to monthly theme binders (I used to teach Kinder and it worked for me!) and now that I'm settled into first grade, I've changed it up again.

Now I have my resources in binders according to curriculum strand.

I created these binder covers and labels and I've really been enjoying how my teacher area looks and functions as a result!  I liked making my own because then I could get as specific as I wanted to, such as with my Sentence Building Through the Year binder.

 Each curriculum area has its own color, so it's super easy to find my admin, science, math, social studies, and language arts resources in seconds.  I also have monthly/thematic binders (the colorful binders shown in the bottom of the "before" image).  I work much better with binders than with file folders.

The beautiful thing with this method is that my teaching area ACTUALLY stays this neat.  I take the binder out, remove what I need, and pop the binder right back into its space.  I'm on year two of this system and I still love it as much as the day I started.

Something that I discovered by accident is proving to be a handy organization tool for me!  At home we have a bunch of slightly off-white printer paper.  I tend to print most of my masters at home, because I have time to search for just the right printables, and that is also where I create my own.  Now that I have been doing that, I've been loving that I can quickly separate my masters from the student copies.

I used to use a yellow highlighter to mark off my originals, because in general the yellow doesn't show up on subsequent copies.  I might occasionally still do that if I happen to print something at school, but for now, I'm loving my new system!

I have WAY more resources than are shown in the above images, but I've been slowly purging.  As I buy more digital resources, I'm finding that I need fewer of my old resource books.  Are you finding the same thing?

I hope you've found this tip helpful!  Let me know in the comments below if you have any organization goals that you hope to accomplish before school starts again!  It's never too early to plan :)

Make sure to check out the other organizational tips via  Ideas from Outside the Classroom!

*This is a re-post from an earlier blog entry

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