Taming the Paper Monster

This video shows a quick tip for how to organize student desks and folders.

Separated by colors, students will be able to tell quickly where their work is and be able to put it back into the proper folder.

It also enables the teacher to be consistent and fair instead of students comparing folders with one another.

How to organize student desks and folders: Students will be able to tell quickly where their work is and be able to put it back into the proper folder.

Prefer to read the transcript of the video? I have it listed below.

Transcript of video:

“Hi everyone. Charity Preston here again from the Organized Classroom Blog. Today we’re going to talk about taming the crazy paper monster from all of your students’ papers, all over their desks and all in their binders, all disaster area.

I’m going to show you a quick and easy trick that I’ve used in the past and it seems to work fairly well.

It keeps it a little bit more under control.

What you’re going to need are two things. The first thing you’re going to need are labels.

Now I have Avery brand. Walmart makes them office supply stores, make them in a generic brand, whatever you need.

I get the two by four labels and then I also get the one by two and five, eight labels. They come 300 labels in a pack or 30 labels per sheet as what those ones are. I use the big ones and the small ones.

Other thing that you’re gonna need are two pocket folders and a variety of colors.

You’re gonna need as many colors as you need for your classroom, so you need to base that on how many subjects you have.

So maybe you’re doing reading, math, science, social studies and writing, so you might need five different colors. If you teach all seventh grade math, but you have different sections, you might need a different colors depending on how many sections that you have.

I buy these at the beginning of the school year when they’re a penny or 5 cents a piece at the office supply stores and I buy enough for an entire class at however many I’m going to need that year plus probably five or six extra ones as well.

Mine are folders with the metal brads in the middle. They don’t have to have the brads, but I like them for having the option to place page protectors or important notes securely inside that are easily seen. It’s up to you. Your own personal preference.

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Once you have your class sets of folders and your labels, what you’re going to do is for each student you’re going to make labels for they the small labels, about a half a page for each student, so the top half would be one student.

The second bottom half would be at the other student.

Just make about 12 to 16 of them so that way it’s all the same name.

I’m there and I do realize that students can move out, students can not show up.

So I wouldn’t do tons of this before you actually see the bodies of students and if they do move out, it’s a small price to pay for being organized. Right?

Hey, so once you have a half sheet, I would actually cut it myself. So that way each student has the half a sheet.

You’re going to peel one of the labels off with the student’s name and on your folder up in the top right hand corner, you’re going to put that student name.

Okay. Then with the other labels, the large labels, you’re actually going to put your heading.

I have math, writing, reading, homework, independent study, seat work, whatever you want to use your folder scores, what the bottom one will have.

This folder is going to be writing. I’m going to pull this off and I am going to stick it right in the middle.

You’re going to do this for your class set of writing. All the writing folders would be blue in this instance.

So your students will know, Hey, when you say get out the blue writing folders, they will all have the same folder. They will get out. It won’t be different.

They’ll all be the same and they’ll know exactly where to put the papers. At the end of the class, you’ll always have your students put their work inside their folder and they can store all of their folders right inside their desk.

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They’ll have their name on it.

It won’t get mixed up with anyone else’s.

And if they get ruined or lost, you have your hands on another set.

The last thing I do is when I’m finished with my labels, (you’re always going to have extras and I would actually make extra sets from when you have students that move in), put them right inside of a folder, aptly named labels.

Stick them in your files. You have them for the next time when you need them.

Okay, well hopefully this was helpful and I hope you have a wonderful day. Bye.”

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~Charity

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