The Fundamental Four: #2 Classroom Organization Hacks

Hi there! Courtney and I are back with topic #2 of our Fundamental Four series. Today we're chatting all about Classroom Organization.

If you're a first year teacher, you'll soon discover the massive amount of paper work you'll have to sort through on a daily basis. Maintaining some kind of organizational system is KEY to a healthy school year. 

I'm sharing some organizational hacks that have worked for me throughout my teaching career. If you're not an organized person, that's totally fine! One tiny change in the way you collect papers or where you 'store' papers can go a long way. 

Assign Student Numbers

Want to make your life 100 times easier? Assign student numbers. Print out a class roster in alphabetical order and assign each student a number based on their order. 

When collecting assignments, I call students up in numerical order. The assignments are automatically in alphabetical order which means I can easily grade, input, and file without having to reorganize them.

Use an Organizational Cart to Sort Assignments

Once I collect the assignments, I place them in the 'to be graded' drawer of my organizational cart. This cart has been an absolute LIFE SAVER. It helps me keep all of my papers in one place. If i'm done grading, the papers move to the "input in gradebook" and then to the "to file" drawer. This system helps me visualize just how much needs to get done, while also keeping all the clutter off my desk. 

This post contains affiliated links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may make a commission. This is at no additional cost to you.
Click HERE to shop the cart on Amazon
Classroom Organization Cart
Drawer & Bin Labels can be found in my TPT store

Here are some of my favorite organizational products:
(Many Lakeshore organizational products and storage are 20% off online and in store for the Back to School Sale going on now until 9/1/2019)

Debrief & File with Students

I truly believe in the power of letting students reflect on their work after its been graded. They should be able to see what they did well on and what their areas for growth are.

 I pass out student work on a bi-weekly basis. Students spend about five minutes looking over their work, plugging percentages into their data chart, and reflecting on areas for growth. I call students up in number order and have them place all of their papers inside of their filing folder. This whole process only takes about 10-15 minutes at the end of the day, while saving me tons of filing time. #winwin

Keep Your Copies Organized

We have a copy assistant at our school who makes copies for us on a weekly basis. It's truly a blessing. I have my lesson plans and activities planned before my copy day so that i'm able to get everything done on time. 

I used to place a post-it note on every piece of paper that needed copying. I quickly realized that my directions were pretty much the same every week."23 copies front and back, 23 copies single sided, 23 copies stapled..." So, I grabbed a couple of cloth pins and wrote down the different copy procedures on them. Now, I spend less time writing on sticky notes and can actually use my sticky notes for student note-taking. 
Once the copies are done, I organize them inside my 'days of the week' folders. I take out the folder from the rolling cart every morning and keep it on my desk. All of my copies are organized and ready for the day!

You can grab the Days of the Week Folder templates below. 

 FREE Folder Covers
I hope these tips were helpful.

Don't forget to check back in a few days to learn all about how we strengthen our classroom community.


  1. I don't see the Days of the Week file labels in the resource library. Is there a specific place I should look? Thank you :)

  2. I love these ideas! Especially the one with the dates on the clothespins. Genius!! :-)


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