If you have been reading for any length of time now you know that I am one of those teachers who loves (teacher) organization (the extra bedroom, aka junk room at my house is another story :). I have mentioned before how I organize novels, spring cleaning my own binders and helping students get organized with student binders. Also, here are all of my posts labeled planning. As with everything, all teachers have their own style with organization. Some have piles all over their desk, but can tell you exactly where everything is. Others are completely digital and their file cabinet is the cloud. If what you are doing works for you, there is no right or wrong way to organize, but there is always room for incremental improvement. As a #deptof1 planning ahead is critical for my sanity, as I teach all levels of Spanish with many preps.
As you know I am all about the binder, so today I am going to share some strategies that have worked well recently when organizing novel and story unit materials. I also have all my files on google drive (which currently needs some organizational help due to not paying attention if I am logged into my personal or school gmail when I create and upload files). As I have previously mentioned, most of my units now are now based on TPRS novels, as well as cultural and storytelling units from Martina Bex. You can see the overview of my trimester 1 curriculum in this post.
After my first year I created an awesome binder with tabs for every textbook chapter, for materials to be saved from year to year. While a great idea in theory, most of it sits untouched as I have moved away from that textbook. Last year I was an organizational mess starting storytelling and novel units, because I had not yet created my trusty binders. It took me until the very end of the year to finally get it together and put reusable materials by unit and chapter, in sheet protectors, in binders, but I am SO glad I did. They are not anything fancy, just labeled tabs on the sheet protectors separating each novel or unit.
|my not so fancy labels for each unit on sheet protectors|
Each section is in chronological order or the unit. The main thing that I keep in the novel binder are reusable activities, such as ordering sentence strips, task cards, and anything that requires effort to cut. If you are really on top of it, these could be laminated, but I have not gotten that far yet. Each activity goes in its own sheet protector, which can be taken out for that day’s plan, and then easily collected and returned for next year. If you are just starting out you can have the first class do the laborious cutting, and then save them for future use. Or if you are really lucky you may have a high school assistant in your room or in the office who is looking for something to do and would be glad to cut.
|small cards with character quotes can be reused|
|ordering sentence strips|
Besides binders, my main organization for novels is a big Google Slide show that has pre-discussion questions, during reading questions, follow up activity instructions and more. I project it each day as we are reading, and also post the entire thing on Schoology at the start of the unit for students to access. This way there is no excuse when they are gone, since they know what we are doing the next day.
|wonderful lesson plans by Martina Bex organized by unit|
|These magazine holders came from the Target $1 spot a few years ago & are great for organizing future materials. I used to have one for each day, but now I like to sort items by level.|
What are your tips and tricks for staying organized?