Organizing student papers in the classroom is such a JOY once completed. However, getting to that point takes some work. Last week I talked about organizing all of your other paperwork in the classroom. Check that out here:
This week let’s focus on student papers. Here are a few different types of papers you will more than likely encounter on your teaching journey.
When organizing student papers, you need student information to be at the forefront of all your organization. Some teachers love keeping it all on the computer however, I have all their information in a binder called Student Information. This way I can keep it in my teacher bag that goes home and comes to school EVERY day. Inside this binder is a tab with each child’s name. Behind this tab is the following: student information, transportation information, getting to know you form, passwords for student websites and a contact page (to write down phone calls I make or receive). You may have your own favorite way to keep track of all of this. If not, check out the pack of forms, checklists and activities below.
I also make sure I have strong organization with Transportation. I keep it in the binder, but I also keep it on a clipboard by the door. The form on the clipboard has boxes labeled Bus, Parent, Walk, Daycare, etc. I am able to see all my students on one page using this form. You can also group them by the same bus # or even do some color coding. I also keep a list of names and phone numbers on this clipboard.
Papers From Students
Students are always bringing paperwork to school! It might be information that I need filled out by parents or a note that a parent sends with their child to school (although emails usually take care of parent notes). Kids need a place to put this. I prefer ONE place. I have a Finished Basket where they are to put ALL papers they need to give me. It’s simple, consistent and I check it EVERY day and I keep it in the SAME place.
Finished and Unfinished Work
As I mentioned above, I have ONE basket called the Finished Basket. ALL finished work goes in there as well as notes from home, field trip permission slips, papers that parents filled out and need to be turned in, homework and anything else that is DONE.
The Unfinished Basket hosts…well…uh…unfinished things. I keep this basket in a different location so that there is NO confusion as to where to put all other paperwork. It is on my Centers shelf because that is often the part of our day that is unfinished. I do not grade center work in kindergarten. So if they finish any center work that is the ONE and ONLY thing that can go directly into their backpacks (if there is a paper). When center time is up any unfinished papers go into the Unfinished Basket. When centers start again the next day I hand those papers out at the beginning of center time. Check out this blogpost if you are wondering how I run Centers:
I collect all other unfinished papers (especially writing assignments or assessments). I put those papers in my days of the week drawers and pull them out the next day for students to finish.
Papers To Grade
Anything that is finished that I want to grade goes in the Finished Basket. Later I go through the basket and sort everything. I LOVE that there is ONE place to find everything and I can quickly sort and paperclip similar papers together. All papers that I need to grade go directly into my teacher bag (if I haven’t graded them by the end of the day). All grades go directly into a computer program set up by the district. Sometimes I’m just checking off work too.
I hope this gives you some ideas on how I store student papers. If you have further questions about organizing student papers or any paperwork please contact me or check out my Back To School Resource (this resource gives a ton of information as well).