This weeks job was to catch up! It was nice to feel on top of things for once rather than like I was trying to keep up with the projects.
I spent the "catch up week" labeling my recycled "bubbles" I use to organize a variety of materials. See Post. My shelves look less cluttered and this eliminates the problem with having containers match and being the right color. They are clear so students can see what is inside and they fit well on the shelves. I chose labels that fit what is in the bins, but when they change seasonally, students still know what to put in there.
I got my scrapbook wall art board done! I made a checkerboard pattern of the scrapbook paper, with each child's name on the top left and bottom right corners of the paper. I put two students to a square because I have so many students, but when picking which students to put together I put students I typically get art from and students I don't typically get art from together. Students give me work and they can choose if the work they like is one they want to replace the one on the board or not. If they replace it, the old one goes into my "love book" (a binder with page protectors to put students work in--another great idea from Clutter Free Classroom). If they like their old one better, I put the new one in the love book. It is filling up quick and looks great, but keeps them organized and helps them make choices as well.
I am so excited my Thirty-One bag came in! I ordered the organizational tote and the file holder. The file folder holds the hanging folders and the file holder fits right in the bag! It has made a great bag for conferences with my assessment binder in there and all student files with me. It looks much more attractive sitting next to me at conference time than a stack of files. I can pull the file holder out for storage and continue to use the bag. I love having the flat bottom on the bag!
I had conferences this week and then we had a snow day on Friday which was a no school day but a conference day. Now I have to make up conferences on my own time, but I digress. I came up with a very cool system for my conferences. I stand a non-lined note card up so it is taller than wide. I whole punch the card with 2 holes on the left hand side. The student's name goes on top, meeting date and time on the bottom. I put them in my assessment binder in chronological order, and then I put a post it note on the card that NEXT. The post it note covers up the data for the next student so when I give the conference there is no privacy problems. It also marks where I am so I can pull the tab when referring back to the card. The cards have a bullet point for strength, weakness, strength. I put any notes at the bottom. I found the system to be very successful, efficient, and quick. If you need a better explanation, please let me know! I love being able to help and share ideas that work (and don't).
I have been making sure to leave my desk clean at night and do a clean sweep of surfaces at night when I can. I love having someone tell me ideas that help make me an organized, more efficient teacher. If you haven't started, now is the time! Make your Classroom Clutter Free in 2013!