My friends, sometimes I’m not as organized as I want to be (and I so want to be, I love organization!). I tend to “organize” my stuff into piles of other, like things. And then not really put that stuff away until much later. This drives Daddy Bug nuts, especially when it comes to laundry. (Sorry dude, there’s “organized” piles of clean laundry all over our bedroom as I write this!) Anyhow, I tend to do this my classroom as well, and if I am given co-taught classes again in the fall, I want to be better organized for the other teacher I’ll be working with since we’ll be sharing classroom space.
I came across this idea through Pinterest: Tabletop Organizer. I have, of course, changed it for my needs. I don’t teach kindergarten, for starters, and it’s still a work in progress so I can adapt it better when I’m back in the classroom and actually using it.
Decide how many organizational categories you want in the file basket. Come up with short titles to label each category (I wrote them on a notecard as I thought about what I wanted to keep at hand during my school day). You will eventually label each hanging file folder with a category.
Using a paper cutter (or scissors if you cut straight lines well, I don’t!), cut half (6, in this case) of your tabbed folders in half along the fold line. This will separate the front and back sides of the folder.
Glue each tabbed side (back side) of the folders you cut in half in the previous step to the front of each hanging file folder. I used a liquid crafty glue, not being sure if a glue stick would be permanent enough and too scared to use super glue. Make sure the tab is sticking up high enough so you can see it well in the basket and can label it later. Also make sure the design side is showing so it’s pretty to look at.
Adhere your sticker or decorative element to each tab and label each tab with an organizational category.
Stick the coordinating tabbed folder into the hanging file folder to better contain the papers you will eventually file there. (That’s why it was a good thing I accidentally doubled up on folders!)
- I only labeled four of the six organizational folders I made. I saved them so as the school year starts, I can add more categories as I need them and determine which will be most functional.
- I already have a large pocket folder with all the necessary materials for substitute teachers and will most likely put it in the back of the basket. That way it’s visible and readily available in case of an emergency, a likely scenario with an 18 month old in daycare for the first time!
- I liked that the Pinterest basket had attached plans to the front of the basket with metal rings. I prefer to have my plans in my plan book (and will most likely put it in here when I don’t need the plans in front of me). Even if I had a formal lesson plan, I’d prefer to hold it in my hands rather than attach it somewhere.
- I think I’ll attach my Emergency Folder to the front, depending on how heavy it is with evacuation/fire drill plans and how easily I can detach it. If not, it will probably be stashed in there with the sub folder so the sub has access just in case.
- I liked the laminated To Do List from the Pinterest basket but still prefer my large sticky notepad method. Perhaps I’ll stash the notepad in the basket in front of the folders until I need to add something to it or check something off.