As a former cart teacher, some habits have stuck with me over the years. I learned to be very efficient and organized.
Problem: I needed a way to organize student notebooks and work that I can easily take with me if needed.
Solution: I bought crates to put hanging folders. I have a crate for each class period, color coded of course! I put any extra handouts in the main folder for absent students. Each student also has their own to put their notebooks, projects, and assessments.
They like it because:
~ They can quickly find their folder
~ It keeps all their past assessments so they can study at the end of course
I like it because:
~ I have a record of their work and progress
~ I can easily take a crate if I wanted to
~ Easy to change folders when students switch at the end of courses
~ It takes up less space in a classroom (less than a whole shelf or file cabinet drawer)
~ I pass them on to other language teachers if a student leaves me
How do you organize student notebooks and work?
Ahhh, I love that…I have folders too, but never thought of hanging folders-duh! That would be way easier…I am trying something new this year too. It’s a “while you were out” binder for absent students, and I have a page for each day where I jot down quickly what was covered in class that day. I did this at my old school and it worked great. The new part this year is that I got one of those Thirty One hang up organizers (you can find them elsewhere too) with 4 pockets. Perfect since I have 4 classes, and I’m going to put their missed assignments/worksheets in each pocket. We shall see! =)
I love your ideas on your website. I was wondering if you could help me with an issue. I am teaching 6 Spanish classes grades 1-6. I have one file crate for students to place their unfinished / finished work, one file per student. Also, I want to have one crate where I put all of my lessons, activities, cultural projects, etc., so that I can refer to for every class. The only problem is… I do not know where to start. I have all of my information, but I do not know how to organize it. Can you please help me in finding the most efficient way to organizing. Should I organize it by class? By topic/theme? Also, do you have any example pictures to refer to?
Wow that’s a lot of classes! When it comes to my own lessons/activities, I have a large filing cabinet. I have a file for each theme or topic and I keep them in alphabetical information. To show pictures of this, I’ll need to do another post. I’ll add this topic to my list. Great topic. Anyone else have some ideas?
I am just reading your post in January of 2014!! I teach five different Spanish classes daily, intro to Spanish through Spanish 4. One thing that helps me stay organized is to color code the different levels I teach. When I first started teaching, I taught six different classes and my desk and file cabinet were awash in manila colored folders. It was difficult to find what I needed quickly. A few years ago, I decided to color code my folders. I assigned a different color to each level – beginners red, level I blue, level 2, green and so on. Each unit that I teach for that particular level goes into that color folder. It helps!!
As far as the week’s lessons, try a large, rectangular, plastic storage container with hanging folders- also color coded – Mon-Fri (and anything else you use daily). Keep it on a table near your teaching area.
I use the same system, only my students grab the folder when they come in the room and those that are left are my absent students. It’s an easy way to make sure they have what they missed if absent, because I can put it in their folder with a little note. I also make sure to glue a manila envelope onto the front cover so they can keep writing utensils and other little papers with it. They loved the system!
Love it! Hadn’t thought of the hanging folders either — and I have 6 classes to organize.
I also keep a journal in which I write our daily activities, the names of absent students (it is a fabulous resource when kids (or I) need to cross-check any unexcused absences), and then I put any missing work in the journal with the student’s name on the handout. I write in the journal at the start of the day based on what I laid out the night before. It is a great way for me to get my brain focused — and a final check to be sure I have all my materials ready to go. (With four different preps I need something to keep me organized!)
Four preps? Wow!
Let me start by saying you are fabulous! I absolutely adore your blog, and can’t thank you enough for sharing your thoughts! I have been having students use 3-ring binders for years. I’m really going to try to cut back on “handouts” this year, and have thought about giving each student a paper notebook to take notes in, instead of all of the handouts. Then the notebooks could be kept in the crates. Is this what you use? What types of things do you have students do in their notebooks? How do they keep them organized? I feel like I’m right on the verge of mixing things up for the better, but just can’t find my vision.
We don’t use the notebooks a ton because I use Edmodo for their warm ups and projects. I encourage them to jot notes (new words, culture tidbits, ect) in the notebook. Sometimes I tell them to cut out something and tape it in there (Magazine ads, sorting activities).
How do you use Edmodo? I’m thinking of using it this year. Do you have a post on that? Thanks!
I use it for everything. I almost have a paperless classroom because of it. A post is coming soon!
Vanessa – Edmodo is fabulous for World Language teachers – so easy to post the day’s work for absent students to download and I cannot tell you how much I have learned from joining the World Language group. Worth every minute of your time checking it out.
Not a folder/crate idea, but I thought I’d share in regard to organization for absent students. I picked this up from a Spanish teacher I observed: make a calendar out of poster board with boxes for the dates big enough to hold a post it. Jot down the day’s objectives/assignments on the post it and stick it in the box. Then a student can pull it off, look at what they need to/get, and stick it back. Perhaps the designer tape on small squares of paper/note cards could work as well.
Please, please give me more! Our entire World Languages team is on carts and between two campuses, and I know we’d all like more tips on organization on a cart.
Since you have so many levels, it makes sense to organize by “theme.” This you can easily pull for the other grades and assess if it’s age appropriate. With language learning, it is most of the time:)
What a wonderful idea! I have two crates in my room in which I try to cram folders for kids from all six classes (four different preps). I don’t know why I never thought to do this before. Wonderful tip!