Classroom Organization: Lesson Plan Materials and Resources

A time saving tip for getting your classroom resources prepped and organized!

How tight would you hug me if I could help you to save lots of time prepping your teaching materials resources this year? What if I told you that I could save you time? #cantbreath
My teaching buddies would often make fun of laugh at my craziness. 
I have to fess up. I was the annoying teacher photocopying her Valentine's Day activities in December. I was the OCD teacher who had a label, binder or folder for EVERYTHING. I was the goofball who color-coded my lesson plans.
Do you know someone like that?
My friends might have gotten a good laugh out of this, but the truth is that my crazy organization usually saved me tons of time.
I regularly left school at my contracted time and almost never came in on a weekend or break. I carried a tiny teacher bag because I didn't cart home papers and projects. 
Home is for family time.
So how dow did I do it? How did I meet the crazy demands of teaching and still prioritize my time with family?
I am going to share the number one routine that I feel saved me the most time and helped me to be a prepared and less stressed teacher. It's a three step process.

Step One: 

Make copies of the resources that you know you will need for the entire quarter.
I am supposed to be telling you how to save time, but the first thing I tell you to do is a ton of work. Give me a chance to explain...
If you take the time upfront to get a bunch of your copying done, you will open up time in your schedule the rest of the quarter. This means you will be able to go home early more often.
Here are things that I always had ready for the entire quarter:
  • spelling lists
  • vocabulary lists and assessments
  • grammar notebook activities, task card recording sheets and assessments
  • book club printables
  • math facts
  • math assessments
  • math center recording books
  • bell work
  • holiday, science or social studies activities that I knew I wanted to do
That is a ton of work!
Do you have a teacher that you can team up with? Maybe one of you can do ELA and the other can do math and holidays?
Are you allowed to have a parent volunteer do some copying? I had a volunteer who came in for 30 minutes once per week. She was able to get tons done for me and it was a very small commitment for her.
Having all of these weekly materials ready to go will mean that you don't have to have a melt down when the printer or copier breaks, the copy line is two miles long on your break or you have to have an unplanned substitute day. You are ready to go!
I promise that this is the hardest step and that it gets so much easier from here.

Step Two:

File all of your copies into weekly folders.
The worst thing that you could do is take all of those stacks of papers and pile them on to your desk, shelves or tables. That will stress you out every time you look at the pile! Plus, you will waste time trying to find what you need.
The solution?
It is simple, Put the papers in folders labeled by week. 
Organizing all those papers into weekly file folders!

Step Three:

File the papers for the next week in daily drawers before you go home on Friday.

So if next week is week three, you will take everything from the week three folder and put it in the correct drawer. I will put my spelling lists in the Monday drawer and my grammar assessments in the Friday drawer, etc.
It will be so easy to find what you need each day and you don't have a ton of papers piled on your table.
Organize your daily classroom papers into drawers with labels!
What do you think? Are you going to get ahead and get organized? I am rooting you on!

A time saving tip for getting your classroom resources prepped and organized!

Have a Not So Wimpy week!