Monday, January 6, 2014

Welcome 2014! Linky Party - Day 5 Organization

I am connecting with bloghoppin' for their New Year's Linky Party and today is about ORGANIZATION!! Yippee!

Some well used Organization strategies in no particular order:

I have managed my centers this way for years - and if it isn't broken, don't fix it!
Each child has a tag with their name - first name in the Fall, last name after Christmas and sometimes even phone numbers by the end of the year.
They put their tag under the center icon they choose - most often each center can have 2 friends. It is easy to switch everything around if I need to. This pocket chart is a calendar pocket chart that lets me have 14 choices, 2 friends at each.

My goal is to get the center tools I need for each month listed and into binders/tubs. I tend to just grab what I need at the time and then it doesn't always get put back, so I have trouble finding it for next time, or remembering if I have used it with the current group of kiddos.

I have made great leaps in how I manage assessments LARGELY due to ESGI software. If you haven't checked them out, click {Here}. I am not receiving anything for sending you to their page, I just want to share a great tool. It has eliminated LOTS of paper lists and checklists and lets me access the data at home or school easily! And the reports are awesome.

Something new for me this year is the BRIGANCE Early Childhood Inventory. So far I haven't found the online tool very helpful at all, especially compared to the ESGI tool. 
SO - here's a GOAL - spend some time deciding what type of organization techniques would be best - I wonder if I can create some ESGI tests to use with the Brigance.

I have gone from boxes/tubs that held all my materials to file folders in a file cabinet to BINDERS and page protectors. I have to say that BINDERS win - but I am a little OCD and couldn't deal with the visual clutter of random binders - so I had to made labels that coordinated :O) So now I love how it looks, BUT IF I DON'T FILE things away - then it really doesn't matter.

I thought I had a photo of the OCD version of my BINDERS :O) - but I"ll have to take it! And no school today since the temp is -27 and the windchill is -50. So here is a shot of the "in process" to give you an idea of the labels.

And don't be alarmed when I say 'file once a month.' I have a spot defined for where things go when they need to be filed. I love drawer sets like these and use them for EVERYTHING! So one several of the drawers hold the materials that need to get filed back into the binders.

I really struggle with which way to lean when it comes to my calendar and lesson plans. I have both a paper and a digital source for each. I use my computer like it is attached to my arm, so digital seems to make sense for me. However, I feel less connected to both items when I don't write things down on paper. I think the kinesthetic act of writing really helps my memory and processing. We are required to post our weekly lesson plans on the school website, so I have to have a digital copy of plans. But I really really miss my old handwritten plan book. Part of it is the time it takes to format the plan document on my computer. I'm just a little lot OCD and have to have things look just so. I feel it would be a better use of my time to just write them and scan, so…
The Goal is to either create a tool that is easy to use on my computer for plans or just go back to a hard copy. Hmmmmm. Maybe a PDF that I could format blank, then print and scan. 
I use 2 sets of rubbermaid drawers to house my materials for day to day use. As I plan the week I pull the things I will need and tuck them into the corresponding drawer. This works great for me - and is helpful if I have to be gone. As I empty the Monday drawer I can begin to tuck things back into it that I will need for the next week.
The Goal is to dress them up a little bit with some new Silhouette Cameo labels :O) The drawers have been in use for so many years, that they look a little bland.

They look a little like these - the ones in this photo I actually use for each student table to hold the things that we need on a day to day basis. Markers, journals, science journals, extra supplies, etc.

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Happy Teaching!