Sunday, July 27, 2014

Smooth Sailing Back to School Tips

Thanks for sailing of to visit with me at Teaching with Blonde Ambition!  I am sure that you are anxiously preparing for the upcoming school year.  As you prepare to begin a new school year, I wanted to share with you some of my tricks for keeping my teaching materials organized.  If you are like me, you have millions of teacher resources you have purchased to make your job easier.  I have have two ways that I have found to organize my materials that have really made my life easier when it comes to both planning and making copies. 

The first is my file cabinet drawer.  Now, as you can see, it's nothing fancy on the inside, but boy, this keeps me organized.  

I have a file folder for labeled with each of the ELA Common Core Standards.    As I print materials, I put the file in the folder for the standard in which the material addresses.  

Occasionally, I have a file that addresses more than one standard or a topic.  If this is the case, I just create a folder for that unit.  As you can see I have some monthly folders with seasonal activities and materials with a certain theme, like  Titanic and Bubble gum for example.  
Here is a peek inside my folder for RL.4.2 addressing Theme.  I have the copies I need for my interactive notebook lesson, formative assessments, and other resources that I use to teach theme.  (See how you can win a copy of my 4th Grade Reading Interactive Notebook below).  

When I am ready to teach a standard, I pull my folder and take it to the copy machine with me.  Everything for teaching that standard is at my fingertips.  

This handy dandy file cabinet system is GREAT for when I do my planning at school.  But let's be realistic, I don't get ALL of my planning done during my planning periods throughout the week. I have to do my lesson plans at home on Sunday evening just like you do.  I can't take my filing cabinet home with me, so I have an electronic "file cabinet" as well.  

Thank goodness, we are in the digital age.  So many of my teaching materials are in an electronic format.  I have a flash drive that is absolutely my saving grace.  It keeps me from having to tote a million books home every night (like I used to do when I first started teaching).  My flash drive is set up very similar to my file cabinet.  

I have created a folder on my flash drive that contains all of my ELA files.   This is a screenshot of one of my "Reading Skills" folder.  You can see inside the "Reading Skills and Lessons" folder, there are multiple folders….each one addresses a standard I have to teach.  So, when I am planning at home, all I have to do is plug in my flash drive and I can easily see what materials I have for the standard I am planning to teach.  It makes planning easy-peasy because everything I have on a standard is a click away. 

So, in hopes to help you get yourself organized for the upcoming school year, I am giving away a $50 Walmart gift card to one lucky winner.  You can go by yourself a box of file folders and/or a flash drive to hold your magnificent teaching materials.  

In addition to a gift card,  I am teaming up with other fabulous 3rd-5th grade blogger/teachers for a GRAND PRIZE Giveaway.  One lucky winner will receive a packet full of our best selling resources.  It's a prize worth almost $300. What a great way to fill up that teacher file cabinet and flash drive.  :)  

Enter now for a chance to win my Walmart gift card or for a chance at the GRAND PRIZE that will help you start your year off with a BANG!  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Stop by each of these blogs and read my friends' tips.  While you are there, be sure and enter their giveaways.  Remember, every giveaway not only qualifies you for the gift cards offered, it puts you in the running for the GRAND PRIZE you see above.  

Happy organizing and good luck!  


  1. My goal this year is to be more organized. However, our state just passed that common core will no longer be taught in 2 years, so I'm trying to figure out a system that doesn't involve the standards!

  2. I could totally relate to your comment "Thank goodness, we are in the digital age..." So true! :) Thanks for hosting such an incredible giveaway!
    Crafting Connections

  3. Wow, a folder for every standard. Wow!

    Sally from Elementary Matters

  4. Love all of these ideas! I just finished putting labels on folders for each of the standards for the CCSS ELA for this year. I added a little description to each label to quickly identify what each standard is. I also keep organized with a hanging file crate - I have a file for each week of the school year and I add notes, papers, copies, reminders, etc. to each file as these items come my way. I'm really excited to use this year!

  5. Hi Nicole-
    I also do the same thing you do by organizing all of my items digitally into folders by topics. However, I use my Google Drive. I prefer that over a flash drive because you can access it anywhere and it never gets lost. ;) I hope you have a great school year!

  6. I use Carbonite as a back up plan; however, I live in a rural area, so there are times I lose my wifi connection at home and can't depend on an internet based storage. My trusty flash drive is always there to rescue me. :)