How Organization Systems Help Save My Time and My Sanity!

School kicked off today and with that, the papers are flying out to students and in to me and time is FLYING! I don’t know about you, but it seems like the first days of school are over within the blink of an eye. Tonight as I am sitting here reflecting on today’s activities, I am overwhelmed with joy and excitement for the year ahead. While I only met my students for 45 minutes today, they already seem amazing and I cannot wait to get to know them better! These are the kinds of moments with my students that I want to enjoy and be mentally present for each day. I know that in order for me to be able to keep my sanity throughout the year, I need strategies and systems that will help me keep everything organized. I wanted to share some of my classroom systems with you so that you can your school year started off right and enjoy those precious moments with your students as well!

Class Materials Bins: This filing system is what I use to keep materials organized for the different courses that I teach. I have one bin for each course, and inside the bin there are 31 folders, one for each day of the month. I use this system in a couple of different ways. First, when I make copies for the day of the month (usually done by the end of the week before), I label each handout with a small sticky note and place it in the appropriate folder. This way, all my copies are ready for the day and I know just where they are. After each class is over, I place the extra copies back into this folder (with the labels still on) so that students who need extra copies know where to locate them. This year, I am keeping a pen and my post-it labels in the bin so everything is in one place.


Grading Folders & Bin: My grading bin sits on a filing cabinet next to my desk. For each class period that I teach, I have an “In” folder and an “Out” folder. All ungraded papers are paper clipped together by assignment type and placed in the “In” folder for the class. As soon as I have graded the assignments and entered them into my Grade Book, the paper clips come off and the papers are placed in the “Out” folder for the class to be handed back ASAP. These folders help me not lost students’ papers and avoid those horrible piles of paper that can sometimes seem unavoidable.


Turn-In Bins: At the front of my room, I have two turn-in bins where students place their work on their way outside of the classroom. One bin is labeled “Classwork” and the other “Exit Slip.” These are the types of assignments that students turn into me on a daily basis. Because I have students sort the papers into these bins, it saves me A LOT of time. I just put a paper clip on and into the “In” folder they go! (NOTE: I do not have a homework bin because I check-in with students and collect homework from them as part of my Do Now/Beginning of Class Routine).


Current Grades Board: This board is updated each week with a new grade report for each class. Because we do not have any grades yet, I cannot show you what this looks like, but will do so as soon as possible. I highlight students who have a C or below and also highlight the grades of assignments that can be redone or turned in late.


Clipboards: Along the side of my room, I have a clipboard system that I use during every class period. Each class period has a clipboard with a list of students. I use these clipboards to take a paper version of my attendance, to track students’ homework completion, and to keep a list of students’ classroom and testing modifications & accommodations according to their IEPs. If you plan to use a clipboard system like this, be sure that your accommodations & modifications chart is not in the open for students to see. I place mine behind my attendance list and use students’ initials to maintain their privacy.


While this may seem like A LOT, these are just some of the systems that I use to save my TIME and my SANITY throughout the year. Because I know exactly where everything is and what information I can find where, I do not have to waste my precious moments searching for lost papers or information.

What organization systems do you use to maintain your classroom sanity? Please share below!

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