Managing papers is one of the hardest things to do, and one of the things that we tweak and work on every year. I have come up with a system that I believe works for me, and helps keep the paper pile to a minimum and keeps the papers off my desk!
The first system I put in to place was my weekly system. I use this to keep my copies of papers for the week. I love it because I am able to put everything in it for the day, and don't have to worry about not having my math copies on Thursday, or my spelling papers for Friday. This helps me know exactly where to put the copies as I make them. I have the extra bucket on the bottom labeled copies because that is where I put the papers that I need to take copies of. Then when I have time to make copies I just take the whole bucket and go to the copy room.
A copy basket is something that you really need to have so that way you can have somewhere to put your papers you need to make copies of so you aren't scrambling when you have free time to go make copies. This is what I used to use before I upgraded to my new weekly buckets I have above. I love this basket because it helps me make one run to the copy machine when I have time with lots of things to copy, and not have to scramble to find my copies.
Now that you have all of these copies, what do you do with them?! One way that I organize them is to put sticky notes on them with the date that I am going to use them. Then I put them in the correct day of the week drawer so that way I don't have to worry about it again until the day I need it. I try to make my copies for the entire unit at a time, rather than a week at a time, so sometimes I have more than one week of copies in the bucket.
I always have students turn their homework in to these bins so that way they are not putting papers on my desk. By doing this the bins are ALWAYS in the same place, and they know exactly where to put their papers every day. The bins do not move, so it becomes part of their routine. I love it because I am able to quickly go through papers from a certain subject and check to make sure that everyone turned in their homework. It also helps me to organize the papers by subject, and then I don't have to sort through a HUGE pile of papers before I grade them.
I love having student mailboxes because it gives me one spot to return all papers. I can quickly return them because their mailboxes are in number order, which is the way I grade their papers as in input them in the garbed. I also have a box on top of the mailboxes where I can drop papers after I grade them in case I don't have time to put them in their mailboxes right away. Sometimes I give them to a student who finishes early, or comes in early to file them for me as well.
What is one time that you use to manage your papers?! I would love to hear your new ideas! You can check out my Pinterest board about organization too!