Classrooms are filled with all kinds of paper. So much so that I felt the need to write an entire month-long series providing tips on how to improve classroom organization by having a system in place for handling all the different kinds of papers that teachers must manage regularly. The series included:
- Storage Solutions for Paper in the Classroom
- Papers and Resources for Lesson Planning
- Organizing Student Work
- Organizing Photocopies, Worksheets & Lesson Materials
- Student Mail and Papers Sent Home to Parents
- Student Work for Grading
- Action Papers to Read, File, and Sort
- Meeting Notes and Agendas
- Frequently Accessed and Referenced Papers
- Student Portfolios and Saved Work
- Construction Paper and Cardstock
- Teacher Evaluation Evidence Binders
- Forms, Permission Slips, and Money Collected
Another form of paper that teachers must manage that was not included in that original series is scrap paper.
Saving all of the extra paper left over from various projects is helpful for several reasons:
- School budgets are often limited, so you want to stretch supplies as far as possible.
- It is best for the environment. Teaching students to recycle and reduce waste are both valuable life skills.
- Standardized testing and the forced educational practices that result from it has changed the climate in the classroom. Having creative materials at the ready and available for use at all times will allow you to offer your students opportunities to express themselves easily.
Using boxes (these are from Ikea) is an excellent way to organize colorful scraps of paper. Don’t you love how the boxes are labeled with colors? Another option is to use plastic drawers to house scraps.
You may want to turn the boxes around which would hide some of the contents or store these in a cabinet to decrease the visual clutter.
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