Well I've found a new job for my card organizer.
Back in the fall when I was planning my classroom, I wanted something to organize my papers to grade for each class. I saw an adorable hanging file bag that Elizabeth, on E, Myself and I, used in her classroom. I found the hanging file tote here: Jamie Raquel Tote Store at a cost of $59.
I fell in love with the filing system because it looked like a cute bag I could carry over my shoulder or even set on my desk. It was stylish as far as teaching materials went. However, I just couldn't see the NEED to spend $59 on a file system, even though I really WANTED this particular one. We're trying to get a grip on our finances around here. I began searching around at WalMart, Target, etc. to see if anything came remotely close. Nothing.
Then I received my card organizer in the mail. It's an expandable file folder that can hold all of my papers. It has enough pockets for my six classes to have an IN folder and an OUT folder. My friend Danielle used her handy dandy label maker today to create labels for each class. She is an organization goddess! On each of the monthly file folders she placed a label for each class period. For example, Period One IN or Period One OUT, etc. They look so professional!
My plan of attack is this...When I collect my students' papers, I will mark them off as each student hands the assignment to me. This might sound like it will take a ton of my time, but this year I seem to have more students who claim they turned in the assignment and blame me for losing it. Me being the absent-minded 45-year-old teacher, how can I possibly remember which of my 130 students turned in their assignment on any given day? (insert sarcastic tone) This way each student will see me actually check the box by their name in my grade book. I've done this in the past and it works!
You know, it only takes one time to misplace a student assignment, and then any time thereafter when one of the little darlings says, "I turned it in. You must have lost it," I begin to doubt myself. Isn't that silly? But I do! What if it was my fault? What if I left it on the kitchen table when I was grading? What if it blew out the window of my car? I'm not perfect. I do make mistakes. Maybe that's why I doubt myself every time this conversation with a student or parent comes up. Does this happen to other teachers out there in blog land? If so please let me know so I'm not the only one.
Anyway, back to my plan of attack. Once I have collected their assignments, I will place them in the IN section for that particular class. The nice thing about the organizer is it can sit on my desk during the day, and I can carry it home to grade papers in the evening. When the papers are graded, I will place them in the OUT section of the organizer, and pass them back to students the next day. The papers will only travel from school and home and back again in this organizer. That way I know I will not have to search the thousand and one teacher bags for the "missing assignment." If it's not checked off and not in the organizer, then it was NOT turned in.