I had these rainbow drawers last year, but I didn't really know what to do with them. I tried a few different things, but nothing really helped me stay organized. (My poor class last year - they were total guinea pigs!) This summer I got the idea to make them mailboxes for my students. I could use them to return work or pass back all those papers that come from the office.
My plan has been working perfectly. Kids empty their drawers every day before they go home, so everything gets home in a timely manner. I even have kids that fill the drawers for me. The fewer daily tasks I have to deal with the better.
One new item in my classroom is this hanging file organizer. There are actually three of them around the classroom. The rainbow drawers have worked really well for returning work, but how to I give kids work they missed when they were absent or extra practice on a specific skill? Using the rainbow drawers didn't work - the kids would just take everything home and nothing came back.
I actually looked all over the internet for something like this and couldn't find anything - I think I was using weird search terms. I found a blog post on how to make your own hanging file organizer and went to Office Max to get file folders. Well, what do you know, right across from the file folders was this handy organizer. So much better than I could have made myself!
So far it is working like a dream! Kids come and get work when they need it and nothing is lost as so often happens when I set things on their desks.
My final organization idea for today has to do with Engage New York Math. Our team is using this program for the first time this year, so it is learning time for everyone. A teacher I met from another school told me her team had turned all of the problem set pages into a workbook for their students. Unfortunately, she taught fourth grade, so we couldn't just use hers :(. It didn't take too long and it has been great for keeping the kids organized with their work. Plus, it can travel back and forth to school for homework when necessary.
Well, that is it for now. Please feel free to share your favorite classroom organization tricks - if you can't tell, it is one of my favorite subjects!