I begin my terms by introducing myself to my students as an extremely unorganized person. Although I appear to have it all together and be quite strict, it is because I am deeply connected to specific procedures to keep me on track. I tell my students that if they tell me something I will forget it, and if they hand me something I will lose it. I touch absolutely no paper from them.
Everything goes in to the “In” folder and goes out in their personal folder, which is color-coded by class. I keep a stack of bright scrap paper next to my file for students to write notes (Please update a grade, I’ll be gone next week, etc.)
When I take papers home, or to an air conditioned room on a day like last week, they are separated into three clips. My clips are large binder clips with typed labels and clear packing tape.
- Check: Items that need my feedback.
- Record: Items that go straight to the grade book, like formatives or bell work, or items that have been checked and need to be recorded.
- Return: Papers that need to be sorted into student folders. This is on my task list for students who are not using work time wisely. 🙂
I find that these three files, in combination with an “In” file for each class and a personal file for each student, keep all of my things in order.