Maybe the easiest and most important thing you can do to get organized is to tackle the piles of papers and resources in your classroom. Don't look at me like you don't know what I'm talking about... you know them. One of the things I use to keep my centers organized and ready-to-go are magazine file boxes.
I also use these to store my seasonal picture books at the top of my classroom closet, but you don't want to see those ones... they aren't labeled nicely like these and are mismatched sizes. Gasp!
The labels in the image above are part of my Guided Math organization resource, which you can find HERE.
Now that we've got the piles taken care of, we need to be sure that no important meetings or deadlines are missed. My FAVORITE way to stay organized is with my Erin Condren Life Planner. Not only is it amazing for documenting all the important parts of your day, it is beautiful!! I mean, just look at this:
How can you NOT smile when you look at that?! I've chosen the vertical layout which gives me three sections for each day. I use them to separate Home, School and TpT & Social Media.
I purchased these great printable (and editable!) sticker templates from AllAboutTheHouse on ETSY. I love how they dress up the inside pages.
You can take a look at all the Erin Condren planner options HERE. (This is a referral link, earning you $10 off when you use it!)
Now for all that paperwork that flows back and forth between school and home. I have a couple of organizational solutions for this issue. The first involves courier bags from the dollar store. Every year I provide one of these to each student:
Every handout and notice that the school sends home gets zipped into this sturdy little bag at the end of the school day, emptied out (hopefully!) at home, and any return communication comes back the next day inside. There are
Another duo of amazing resources for keeping your parents involved in what goes on in the classroom are with the Seesaw and Remind apps.
I use Seesaw primarily as a means to collect a portfolio of student work, but you can easily connect parents, giving them a window into your classroom. Parents receive a notification whenever their child adds something new, and can even leave comments for their child to read! If you haven't checked out this FREE app service, you'll find lots more information HERE. You can also read more about how I use it in my classroom in this blog post:
Remind is an excellent two-way messaging system that I use for my classroom notices, whole-class reminders and private messages to individual families or small groups. This app uses text messaging and/or email, but families never see your personal information and you never see theirs! This is also a FREE service, and has made staying in touch so much faster and more convenient! Check it out HERE.
While we're on the subject of student work, another fabulous way to get organized and ditch the piles of paper is to go digital. Yes, paperless is the way to be! For the past three years, I have been using the iDoceo app. It is not free, and does have a bit of a learning curve, but I absolutely love how I can store all of my student data.
Click HERE or on the image above to take a closer look at the different ways to input grades, marks and data, and check out my series of blog posts about using iDoceo4 here:
For all of my subject planning, I'm using Planbook. For me, the biggest advantages that planning with this platform has over using the iDoceo app is that I can create templates for my subjects and can plan either on my iPad or on a computer (iDoceo is strictly an app). I followed Ladybug's Teacher Files' awesome tutorial for customizing my subjects.
At only $1 a month for a subscription, the service is a steal, but guess what... I have an EXCLUSIVE offer for you! You can get 6 months free on a new subscription with the code: free6Beattie
Finally, don't minimize the help of older students in your school. If you can find the right students for the job, they can easily take care of some of the more routine tasks you might have. My student helpers support my students at lunch, place school notices into my students' mailboxes (so they'll make their way into those communication bags I mentioned), prepare the book orders each month, sharpen the pencils each week (read more about how I organize that HERE) and even take care of emptying my recycling bins. I train them at the beginning of the year to be able to do all of this independently, and I don't know how I'd make it through the week without them!
I hope you've found something helpful in this post. You might also be interested in the suggestions I have for organizing independent centers in your classroom in this blog post:
Be sure to check out some of the links I've included, and follow these Pinterest boards for tons more organization inspiration!