Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Teacher Week 13 - Organizing for Instruction

What a beautiful morning in Jersey! It's nice and cool {kind of feels like a fall morning!}. I even have all the windows open =) Anyway.. on to one of my *favorite* topics - *Organization!*
Okay, so I have 2 main organizational tools that have helped me tremendously and then I have a couple things I plan on making for this year (since I'm always trying to be more organized). But first - two important rules that I think all teachers use:

Rule #1. Label everything (even if you think you'll remember what it was for or where it should be filed.. you most likely won't. So just do it for your sanity!)

Rule #2. Have a place for everything. (This includes things on your desk, things in your desk and all classroom materials. If the kids know where it goes, they're more likely to put it back where it belongs. If you know where everything should be, you'll be more likely to file/grade/copy it before you forget!)

Okay, now onto the organizational tools I currently use:
 Now let me give credit where credit is absolutely due. Although these are pictures of my version of this file container, I originally got the *awesome* idea from Kristen at Ladybug's Teacher Files. Click *HERE* to check out her Monday-Friday Files and even grab yourself a free label for the front of the bin (I had the label on mine at one point.. apparently I need to print out a new one!). Kristen is the best, so if you haven't checked out her blog, make sure you do!

This bin has honestly saved my sanity! I am able to plan everything out and ahead of time and each day, I just grab the file for the class and I {usually} have all the materials I need right there. I always feel so much better on a Friday when my files are full for the following week =)

Now if you are a special education teacher, this is extremely helpful for IEPs! And even if you're a general ed teacher and you have some students with IEPs, this will help you as well! We all know that looking at IEPs can be, well.. overwhelming. There is a ton of important information in there.. how in the world are you supposed to remember 15+ students' IEPs? I know I can't.. so I made this IEP at a Glance as my little cheat sheet.

 In the beginning of the year, I go through each of my students IEPs, write down all accommodations and modifications (since those are the things I will need to know on a daily basis), write the criteria of the student's behavior plan (if there is one) and then "other comments" usually include: medication, any type of counseling or services they require and how often (example: Speech 3x a week), any speech or communication issues, their diagnosis, etc. Anything that will help you understand this student better, put it there. I also check off the services they receive. Then I put that sheet in a sheet protector and put it in my Student Info binder with that student's Goals & Objectives right behind it. I swear to you, this will make your life easier. This was probably the most beneficial thing I did last year (especially when a homeroom teacher, guidance counselor, case manager, LDTC, etc. comes in your room and asks you information about your student and you just met the child 3 days ago..). If you would like to read more about my Student Info binder, check out my original post about it *HERE*

If you would like your own copy of the IEP at a Glance sheet, you can grab it *HERE* for free!
You can also get the Student Info Binder Cover *HERE* for free =)

So that's what I currently use. Here are a few Pinterest finds I would like to make before school starts to help me stay organized...

If you got through that whole post, THANK YOU! Can you tell I like organizing? lol Okay, see you tomorrow for some teacher tips & tricks! =)


  1. I need to make a weekly files bin! Thanks for sharing my sub tub pin!

    Lesson Plans & Lattes

  2. Love this! I will definitely be using the IEP at Glance sheet! Thanks for the great ideas!

  3. You have inspired me to get more organized! I am a special ed teacher in CA. Laura

  4. “Label everything” and “Have a place for everything” are truly great tips to share, keep, and follow when it comes to keeping your files organized. Save yourself from the headache cluttered files can bring you. There are different ways of organizing. Looking for what works for you best will make things a lot easier for you. Thank you for sharing yours with us!
    Ruby @ Williams Data Management


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