January 29, 2013

Get Organized! {storing and turning in work}

In our classroom, everything has to have a "home".  A bin for this and a basket for that.  Before teaching, I never thought I would be so *googly eyed* over colorful storage containers?! Crazy right...or are you the same way?

Last year was my first year of teaching and I HAD to come up with some genius way of organizing how students pick up papers, turn in the papers, and know what to pick up next.  I didn't want one BIG bin for them to turn in their papers...because to me, sorting=death! There are so many more things I would rather do than sort papers, are you with me!?

After one expensive bank account depriving trip to Lakeshore, I came up with (what I consider) my genius plan!

Here are the 3 things you will need:
1. colored stackable sorting trays      2. magnetic colored pockets      3. colored trays

Each day we have 3-4 jobs.  This is what I call their skill work or practice pages.
Job 1 is red.
Job 2 is yellow.
Job 3 is green.
Job 4 is blue.

Each morning, I display what the students will be working on in the magnetic pockets next to our calendar.  This gives them an idea of the work they will be completing that day.

Each job they are to complete can be found in the colored tray, each tray holding a different set of papers. This is where the students will pick their papers up from.  They then return to their desk to work on it. 

When they are finished, they will turn their papers into the colored stackable sorting trays and head back over the the colored trays to pick up their next job.

*** What makes this system uber-important are the color codes. Most of the time the color codes help the students answer their own questions.  If they forgot what job they are on, they can look up at the magnetic pockets to find what paper they just completed.  Whatever color the pocket is would be the same color stackable tray they would turn it into.

This system takes a bit of training at the beginning of the year.  But around mid-year, the students are able to move from one job to the next at their own pace. I rarely get the following questions: "What do I do now?   Where do I turn this in?  Where do I get my paper from?"  I promise you, the training is SOOOOO worth it! And the best part is, everything is already sorted for you! {PTL}!!!!!

How do you manage tasks like these in your classroom? I would love to have some other ideas to play with or try to incorporate into mine!


  1. This looks like a great system. Those basket just need to be bright colors! :)

    Adventures in First with Mrs. Key

  2. Where did you get your stackable trays? I have looked everywhere for colored ones! Thanks.