Organizing Anecdotal Files

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Organization is the key to keeping your sanity while teaching. Today, there are more students than ever in classrooms and teachers need to keep up with more and more information.

One year, my administration required teachers to keep anecdotal data on students who were constantly interrupting the learning process. Keeping up with that and student assessment of learning, I thought I would die.
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Organization Takes Time

Finding no-brainer organization tips that work for your class can be difficult and can take some time to find.

And quite frankly, you may not have time to even think of how to become an organized teacher.

With holidays around the corner. Here are a few tips you can do with little time, especially if you are one of those lucky teachers who have the entire week off.

However, if you have 2 or 3 days off, you still can implement these ideas.

One year, my administration required teachers to keep anecdotal data on students who were constantly interrupting the learning process. Keeping up with that and student assessment of learning, I thought I would die.

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So, I created this file system.

I used a file folder and placed 5” x 8” index cards in the insides of the folder. I wrote each student’s name on each index card.

You may also use 6” x 8” Postit notes as well.

When the card of a student was filled front and back, I would replace it with a new one and file it in my desk files for that student.

The file folder stayed inserted into my teacher’s notebook along with my lesson plans and other important papers.

When a student was disruptive, I would immediately know where the file was located and was able to quickly document the incident.

One year, my administration required teachers to keep anecdotal data on students who were constantly interrupting the learning process. Keeping up with that and student assessment of learning, I thought I would die.

Here are other organization tips I would use:

  • Check student parent contact information every 4 weeks. Progress reports would be a good time to remember to update parent contact information.
  • Number students according to their number in your grade book and have them place that number on their paper along with their name, date and other information.
  • Organize worksheets and lesson plans on a flash drive AND back the data up on an external hard drive. (Not doing this can really ruin your day.)
  • Mark original copies in a copier friendly yellow highlighter. When you get to the last original you will not mistakenly use your last copy. Reinventing the wheel wastes time.
  • Use one notebook to hold everything you would need each day. For example the notebook should contain your lesson plans, parent contact information, student anecdotal data file, faculty meeting notes, worksheets and answer keys, etc.
  • Create multiple copies of your student roster. A list may be requested and the only you have is the one on your electronic grade book along with student information. You need just one clean student roster with just student names.
One year, my administration required teachers to keep anecdotal data on students who were constantly interrupting the learning process. Keeping up with that and student assessment of learning, I thought I would die.

Staying organized is essential to the success of student learning and teacher productivity. GRAB THE DREAM!!

Dr. Genola Johnson has over 20 years in education. She is the Executive Director of Georgia Educational Learning Consultants, Inc.
One year, my administration required teachers to keep anecdotal data on students who were constantly interrupting the learning process. Keeping up with that and student assessment of learning, I thought I would die.

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