3.01.2014

Classroom Organization Update: Make-Up Work


Classroom Organization: Make-Up Work Solution www.traceeorman.com

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My biggest challenge with staying organized is paperwork. Even though my students have laptops and we do much of our homework/classwork online, I still have several students whose laptops are "in the shop" or they have lost their privileges, so I must provide paper copies of the work we do. This includes copies of presentations, bell-ringers, MLA cheat sheets, etc. And students who are absent for online quizzes, tests, and journal prompts have to use the paper copy because our online program locks them out.

It gets to be overwhelming keeping it all straight.

I finally just started using my magnets (click HERE to see how I made all my classroom whiteboard magnets) on top of different stacks. But you all know what happens next: a student lifts the magnet to grab a copy and the rest of the papers fall to the floor. Some students had the foresight to set the magnet aside and hold the papers with the other hand, but—based on their furrowed brows—this was such an inconvenience.

I have stackable trays and paper organizers that I can put on my counters or a table. I've tried this method in the past and have found that I really don't like them. They take up a lot of room and don't have a prominent place for a label. I need a label that shouts to my students so loudly they don't have to ask me every. single. time.
I hate these stackable trays. Click for a better, cleaner way to distribute paperwork.
Clearly, I'm doing this wrong.
Stackable trays don't allow you to display prominent labels. Click to find out my solution to this...
Epic label FAIL on stackable trays.

So as I saw another stack of make-up work fall to the floor, I thought, I need a strap to hold those papers in. 

My first thought was to use a magnetic curtain rod (I use one for my daily bell-ringer signs* and I love it), but they are not close enough to the papers to keep them flat.
Classroom organization: Love using magnetic curtain rod to hang bell-ringers.  www.traceeorman.com
Love my magnetic curtain rod for my bell ringers, but knew it wouldn't work to hold make-up work handouts*.

Then I tried taking a folder and cutting it in half so the papers just go right in the pocket.
Paper load organization fail: My first attempt for de-cluttering make-up work papers.
It was okay until...
That was okay, but they still flapped over, so students couldn't read the labels on the pocket.
Prototype #1 Fail for organizing/distributing make-up work.
Prototype #1 FAIL!
To combat the flapping, I folded a piece of paper lengthwise in threes and secured it with magnets on the sides to keep the handouts from flapping.
Prototype #2 Fail for organizing/distributing make-up work.
Prototype #2 FAIL!
It worked, but it looked like overkill. Like the folder pocket wasn't even necessary. And it wasn't. So I ditched that and just used the paper.
Easy classroom organization for make-up work and other handouts. www.traceeorman.com
Finally! Third time's a charm.

How easy is that? And cheap.

Easy classroom organization for make-up work and other handouts. www.traceeorman.com
Why did it take me three attempts to figure this out?? 
And I really like how "clean" and uncluttered it looks. Much better than the trays. What do you think?

Another installment in my organization journey: managing the make-up paper distribution.
I am making progress with my classroom disorganization problem, my friends. But I still have a long way to go. Thanks for following me on my journey to organizing my classroom!

Mrs. Orman's Classroom ~ www.traceeorman.com


*Bell ringer signs are found in my Bell Ringer Bundle. "Motivational Monday" quote signs are found in my bundle of Inspirational Quotes Classroom Posters.

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I teach high school English in Illinois; enjoy family time, baseball, collecting PEZ dispensers, and talking about anything related to my favorite books. They include The Hunger Games trilogy, To Kill a Mockingbird, the Chaos Walking trilogy, and anything written by Amy Tan.

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