Monday, June 2, 2014

Classroom Organization - Part I

One of the biggest challenges that I have faced as a teacher is finding a way to organize all of the papers that I have collected over the years.  I have tried filing cabinets and milk crates and have found that it is still hard to find the papers that I need quickly.  So last year I decided to jump on the binder bandwagon and I am LOVING how organized it keeps me.  Now, I may have taken this a little over the top, but this is what works for me.  Hopefully you can find a way to fit it to your needs.

I'll start with my math binders since I just finished those this week.   My school district creates a 'scope and sequence' for us to follow.  It tells us what standards to teach and when.  Last year our math scope and sequence had 6 units, so I had 6 binders.  It worked perfectly...that is until they changed the scope and sequence and now there are 18 units.  There is no way that I can have 18 binders just for math and still have it be an effective system.  So after many failed attempts I decided to create a binder for each group of standards.  We use the Common Core standards so I have four binders, one for each standard.  My binders are: operations and algebraic thinking, numbers and base ten operations, measurement and data, and geometry.

The front of my four math binders.

Within each binder I have every worksheet that goes within that standard set.  For example, within the measurement and data binder there are worksheets for measurement, time and graphing.

Here is a closer look at the inside of the binders.

A) The first page of each binder is a page of the Common Core math standards (this is something that I just printed off of the Common Core website).  This allows me to have quick access to the all of the standards.

B) I have tabs that divide the different standards.  These are just Post-It tabs that I found at Wal-Mart.
I somehow found a way to print on them (that took a lot of trial and error).  
In my measurement and data binder my tabs are:
  • Standards
  • 1.MD.A.1
  • 1.MD.A.2
  • 1.MD.B.3
  • 1.MD.C.4
These tabs are from a different binder, but you can see what I am talking about.
C) Finally, I went through all of my worksheets and put them under the corresponding tab.  That way, when I have to teach a standard, all I need to do is flip to that tab and there are all of the worksheets!

If you look back at the tabs I just listed here are examples of what I have under each:
  • Standards Tab - all I have under this tab are the list of all of the Common Core standards for math
  • 1.MD.A.1 Tab - Under this tab are all of the worksheets for this standard (ordering three objects by length and comparing two objects indirectly by using a third object)
  • 1.MD.A.2 Tab - Under this tab are all of the worksheets for this standard (measuring length using non-standard units)
  • 1.MD.B.3 Tab - Under this tab are all of the worksheets for this standard (telling and writing time)
  • 1.MD.C.4 Tab - Under this tab are all of the worksheets for this standard (graphing)

Now I have all of my worksheets together and organized and they are easy to find.

Organizational heaven if you ask me  (:

I will post about my reading binders (which are a little more intensive) as soon as I finish them.  Please let me know if you have any questions about these - or if you need me to clarify anything.

Do you have an organization system that works really well for you?  I'd love to hear about it!


  1. So I'm making my covers for math just like yours, except for kindergarten standards! Now I wanna see your reading ones! ;)

    1. Yay!! And as for my reading you go!!! I hope this helps :)

      Classroom Organization Part Two