Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Flash Freebie and Some Of My Fav Organizing Tips!

Organization is my ongoing epic struggle.  I am always trying new tips and tricks to keep my day running smoothly!  Here are some of my favorite tips!

Tip #1 - Every Day Answer Keys

There are certain Answer Keys that I grab on a daily basis or weekly basis that I want easily accessible.  For example, our Math Minute and our Grammar Warm Ups are exercises we do nearly every day and correct together nearly every day.

I printed off the answer keys out of the books and put in page protectors.

 I labeled them on the side and stuck them in a file folder.  Best thing ever!

Tip #2 - Supply Organization

I have seen this organizer on several Pinterest sites but decided to try it a few months ago after finding a freebie label download at  Now I think this is one of the best things I have done to stay organized.  My desk is no longer cluttered and I can always find everything I need.  Amazing how the littlest things can be the biggest help!

Tip #3 - Staying on Top of Make Up Work and Corrections

This is probably my biggest organizational struggle as a 4th grade teacher.  How do I keep track of corrections and make up work?  It's not so bad right now, but wait until cold and flu season!  So, I have been using this system for a few years and it works great for me!

Any time a paper needs correcting, I put that paper in the student's "Catch Up" File.  If a student has a make up work, that also goes in the student's "Catch Up" File.  Both students and myself can easily see at a glance who has work that needs to be done.

Click on the link below for a FREE download of the sign.

Tip #4 - Sending Papers Home to Parents
Loose papers in desks is one of my biggest pet peeves.  Each child has a mail folder and all papers that need to be taken home are put in these folders.  I also have two students whose assigned jobs for the week are "Paper Passers".  They pass back corrected papers into the mail folders.  Every Friday, students clean out their mail folders and put all papers in their Friday Folders.  Parents know to expect these folders.  After parents have seen corrected papers, they sign the Friday Folder and send back on Monday.  We actually do this as a school which is very helpful.
Here is my mail system.

Tip #5 - Keeping Track of Parent Communication and Student Info
I have tried keeping a binder (but I didn't like the extra steps of 3 hole punching everything and opening the binder - time is limited!).  I tried keeping File Folders but then I have to relabel each year.  So now I use an expandable file folder like the one below.

 I folded back the cover so the files just lay open.  I labeled the expandable file with student numbers that can be reused and I placed in my desk drawer.  Student papers and info can be slipped into it in seconds which helps me stay much more organized!

Tip #6 - Helping Students Remember Names
I think I got this idea a long time ago from somewhere but can't remember where.  However, it is the best idea EVER!

Provide students with highlighters near the turn in station.  Have them highlight their name and number before they turn in papers.  If their name isn't on their paper, they will remember to write it so they can highlight.  
(I mounted this to a book end so it will stand on its own above my Assignment Station.)

Click on the picture below for a link to a FREE download.

Tip #7 - Student Homework Helpers
I have students mark who has homework turned in right away in the morning.  They go though each assignment and check off an a pre-made student list those that turned it in on the list.  That way you know right off the bat who has late work!

Tip #8 - Supplies
I believe it is important for students to have the necessary supplies at all times.  I have a Supply Center where I keep everything the students might need throughout the day that is not necessarily something they would keep in their desk.  It makes life easier if they know to look in the same spot for everything.

This is a new product of mine that I am excited to share.  My kiddos love playing games to review and practice concepts.  Some of them were struggling with contractions, where to put the apostrophe, and what letters remain in the contraction.  This Bingo game will help!

Laminate the cards for durability!

This Contractions Bingo is my Friday Flash Freebie!  Click on any of the pictures above to download this Freebie.  But hurry, it's not free for long!


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