Getting Things in Order (Keeping Track of Student Papers)

It's another beautiful month of Bright Ideas!

And I'm sharing a little system that helps me get things in order every day. Namely paperwork. Because we all know how quickly paperwork can get out of order, don't we? 

Especially those quick-to-accumulate student papers!

I know there are so many wonderful ways to organize student papers out there, but here are the steps that really help me keep track of everything from my students:

1. Number and Highlight
My students record their class number in the top, right-hand corner of each assignment. They also highlight this number (to make it more visible):

2. Order the Papers
A student collects all of the papers and organizes them in number order. This is done during a transition to a new subject and a friend at their table usually helps them get set up while they sort. They beg me to do this.  :)

3. Pass Paperwork into Color-Coded Bins
The student who has sorted the papers in order drops them into the color-coded bin, for the particular subject we have just covered:
(you can read more about our color system here: Color-Coding the Classroom)

4. Check and Grade
When I'm ready to check and grade the papers, I pull them from the bin. I look for any missing papers (which is really easy to see, since they are in order!).

After correcting, I enter them into my gradebook app, which has my students listed in number order--it literally takes less than a minute to enter all grades!

5. File for Home
Finally I file the papers to send home each week. I use hanging folder labeled with my students numbers. Again, since the papers are all in order, this file just takes a few moments:

And that's it!

Simple, easy-to-manage, and quick!

I hope this was of help if you are looking to tweak your system, or perhaps if you are just starting out in your teaching career :)

Would you like to see some really bright ideas? Of course you would! Just click away on any of these lovely blogs below:


Keeping it Together with a Classroom Binding Machine

I know I've talked incessantly about my love of binders on here over the years. And, while they are still so appealing in their sleek, organized way...I have found a new true love this year.

My Pro-Click Binding Machine

I first learned about this beautiful tool on Reagan's blog, Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits: How Do You Spell?? (Reagan's blog makes me wish I taught a primary grade every time I read about her incredible ideas!)

I was not asked to advertise this product in any way and you know I only share the things I truly adore with you...and this is definitely one of them!

Maybe I should backtrack a teeny bit. You know those comb-binding machines many schools have? They're nice, but the combs never last. In our class, anyhow. This is a common occurrence over time:

And you know that just means those pages are going to start slipping out. 

Totally frustrating.

Which prompted me to hot glue each of the little combs closed, just so they wouldn't rip off. You can see it in this ancient post here: Publishing Student Books That Last! It worked, but you can imagine how tiresome this became over the years.

Needless to say, I was so excited at the prospect of a new binding machine. AND it was just cheap enough for me to spend some extra cash to get one for my classroom (ie no more waiting in line to bind!). I got my machine on Amazon (affiliate link here) and the spines come in a box of 45 (affiliate link here).

It is SO worth the money.

Binding is such an easy (and more permanent!) process now. You can put in about 5 sheets at a time, line them up, and slide the lever to punch the holes:

The machine punches all these cool little circles: 

Then you just line up the binding and click each one closed (makes a satisfying little snap too!): 

And that's that! You have a lovely little book all bound and ready to go!

Do you know what the best part is? The bindings are super-strong and last all school year!

No more twisted and broken combs, no more pages falling's a dream come true! (Can you imagine if a non-educator was reading this post...they'd probably be rolling their eyes! But you get what I mean, right?).

Though I could easily bind everything in sight (because I love it so) I do try to curb it a bit to avoid endless spine-purchasing. I use these for my students' Morphology Dictionaries, published writing pieces, and my daily checklists:

I hope this was of some help if you did not know about this machine! It is simply wonderful for the classroom and would be an even better deal to purchase and share school wide.

Thanks so much for visiting! Happy Mother's Day to all the incredible teacher-mothers out there!!! :)
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