Sunday, July 7, 2013

How I Organize for Easy Planning

Last year, I kept as many of my resources as possible, but was simply shoving them in a filing cabinet, organized by month.  With this system, when I needed to find an activity I had used before, I couldn't find it anywhere! I couldn't remember what month I had stored it in, when I had last used it -- anything! If, by luck, I did find what I was looking for, it was squished, scrunched, and all ripped up!  I decided I needed a system that would help me easily locate my resources to speed up my planning process.  So the Drawer/Binder system came into play! I'm linking up to share my ideas with you! :)

I purchased these drawers from Staples, though I'm sure you've seen the rainbow colored ones at Walmart and elsewhere!
I bought three carts -- but I will use my  math cart as an example.  I used Avery labels and labeled each drawer with a common math strand -- Numbers, Place Value, Computation, Time, Geometry, Money, Measurement, and Graphing/Data.  You can sort of see the labels in this low quality, absolutely terrible picture.

I also labeled the spines of 8 binders to correspond with each of the drawers.  Inside the drawers, you will find centers sealed in Ziploc bags. The only things I keep in these bags are pieces for my center, like cards, directions, dice, etc.  I don't keep recording sheets in these bags, because I don't want them to get all crumpled up.  Where do I keep those? 
In the corresponding binders!!!  I put one copy of each recording sheet into plastic sheet protectors in binders.  I start at the beginning and I number each page.  I also label the Ziploc bag centers, so you can match the recording sheet to the center.  See?  T17 on the Ziploc and T17 on the sheet protector.  T17 meaning TIME, page 17 (binder page number).

When it comes time to plan.  I go to the correct drawer, depending on my unit.  I flip through the centers and choose what I'd like to use for the week -- and then I thumb through to find the correct page in my binder to make copies of my recording sheets! Easy peasy! 
*Note -- In my binders, I also keep homework sheets, practice worksheets, etc.  I number them as well -- they just won't have a matching center.*

WHOA, HEY! Heads up!
I'm throwing an awesome giveaway for Kindergarten and First Grade teachers starting TOMORROW!! You will not want to miss out on this -- so many amazing bloggers/sellers donating K/1 items to help you with the upcoming year! Come back tomorrow to check it out! :)


  1. LOVE THIS. My team and I have all been stocking up on those carts to do something just like this! YAY.

    Teach On.

  2. I love this tip! One of my many projects this summer is to organize my stations. I also can't stand for the recording sheets to get all scrunched. This method will work perfect!! Thanks for linking up with us :)

    Fun in Room 4B