The Method to My Madness…Suggestions needed

I love organization.  I love when everything has its place and there is a place for everything.  It makes me feel at peace.  However – I am just terrible at it!  My solution this year?  I am trying to create as much organization as I can NOW because I know I won’t take the time once school starts.  Spending hours trolling the internet and typing up cool worksheets is infinitely more interesting than labeling file folders!

So, I thought I would share how I am organizing and hopefully others will share some of their better organizational tips with me.  Because as I said before – this is not my forte.  Yeah, I know only like three people read my blog but ya’ll are great math teachers so…

I make a file folder for each chapter.  In this goes the “planner“, any projects or activities that I would like to do but don’t know which section they will best fit into yet, and a copy of the concepts that I would like to cover.

I make a file folder for every section that I will cover in the book.  All of the great ideas that I find I am actually printing off instead of just saving to my ‘puter (sorry trees) and putting in these folders.  This time around I am labeling with concepts (mult/divide fractions) instead of chapters so I can easily find WHAT I am looking for in the future.

Other random folders in the box are review games, projects, ideas from math conferences.

Ok – that’s all I’ve got for now!  Help!

8 thoughts on “The Method to My Madness…Suggestions needed

  1. Do you have a diigo (or delicious) account? That would be a great way to organize some of the ideas you find online – you could include both a concept tag and a chapter tag (if you know it). Or you could add some tabs to your blog and keep your links there – I just started doing that after seeing Sam’s.

    I, too, have notebooks full of old stuff I’ve done and ideas I have… and I hardly ever accessed them this year because so much of what I do I’ve found online or already have in my computer. I’m teaching a new course next year and I’m not even sure I’ll get a notebook set up. I may just depend on my diigo acc’t and computer to keep me organized.

    Just some thoughts!

  2. Yes, I just got a Diigo account. I have over 200 links in there already and way too many tags. I am a mess! I really love Diigo mostly bc I can access my favs from the different computers in our house. Tabs to the blog? That is a great idea – I will need to look at Sams. I still can’t figure out how to work this blog. So much to learn and do!

  3. I really can’t help you much on this one, because this is my first year of teaching, and I got a middle school job after planning for a high school career. I had nothing to start with and have been making everything up as I go! It sounds like you’re getting a great jump on what you want to do next year (especially since I can’t even figure out how I want to finish THIS year).

    My advice is to not let all of the great ideas overwhelm you. One of my student teaching cooperating teachers ran me into the ground because he always had 5 ideas and I could do maybe 2 of them on any given day. He failed to tell me that you can’t try everything you find. A major project for me this summer is going to be sorting through everything I’ve found and deciding what’s worth keeping/doing again/trying for the first time, and what I can let go of.

    I know this isn’t super helpful, but I definitely understand what you’re going through!

  4. Angela,

    I would love to pool resources this summer – esp for what did not work! LOL! I do have so many activities now. The classes I teach overlap so if it doesn’t work in one I hope I have time to turn it around for the next grade? I have always taught HS or college. MS will be a big change for me. I am very excited – ready to try something different!

  5. I only know you from Twitter by jreulbach, so I’m just going to call you J, if that’s okay with you.

    So, J, I don’t know how you lived so long without Powerpoint but wow. I teach solely from that on my Smartboard. What I did this year was to print out my ppt’s as handouts and that’s what I gave to students for notes. I also kept a copy of it for myself and copy of whatever assignment I gave and put it all into a 3-ring binder. When you print out the ppt hadnout, the date is on it. So I have the originals of what I did every day for the entire year.

    Now, this year I can reuse or even leave it at school in case of an emergency sub. I can pull out what I’ve already done, copy and reuse.

    I also saved all of my ppts on my external hard drive and sorted them by topic. Within each topic, I have the files sorted by the date modified so I can see everything and the order in which I did it.

    These are the only organizing tips I can think of at the moment.

    Oh! And my lifesaver has been this folder notebook where I have a pocket for each class period and more. I plan to have one notebook dedicated to grading, one for a substitute teacher/plans, and one for copies. I LOVE IT.

  6. Hey sis! Well, as you well know, no one is messier than me. It has taken me awhile to work it all out. But after 17 years of teaching, I am actually considered organized by most of my teacher friends. I’ve even shocked a few along the way, since they all thought they knew me. Even though it is old-fashioned, I keep a hard copy of everything in file folders in 3 separate file cabinets – one for each grade I teach (even though some of the papers inside are the same). I find it easier to go to the 3rd grade file cabinet when I’m planning for 3rd grade. I make notes on the front of every folder with the location of the resource (e.g. web addresses, workbook names and pages with publisher info). Next, I put them in the order I teach the concept. Lastly, I keep a rolling file folder cart by my desk with all the necessities for the week. I use hanging folders that identify the grade and put the file folders there. That way everything I need or a sub may need is on hand. Hope this helps…have fun! Organization is a slow process! Don’t panic yet!

    • Wow! I am impressed too!! I love that – ESP the part about the ROLLING small file cab. I teach in two rooms so that would be great! Thanks for reading my blog and commenting! Love ya!

    • Tina,
      Thank you so much for this info! I am floating this year and having a heck of a time staying organized! I need a rolling file cabinet bookcase! I love the rolling file idea! I’m hitting staples this weekend! Thanks for the tip!

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