Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Ultimate Teacher Organizer Tool

This week I am going to focus on helping you set up THE ULTIMATE TEACHER ORGANIZATION TOOL from scratch.




Come on folks, you know you want to play along at home.

What if I promise you that this tool is going to rock your teaching world? Because I'll not only promise that, but I'll pinky promise.

And a pinky promise is serious business around here.

So here's your homework: Obtain a 3-ring binder in a color that makes you happy. It must have a clear outer layer that will allow you to slide papers and whatnot into the front and back. I wouldn't go smaller than a 1", but 2 inches just feels big. I would probably buy a 1". You can always upgrade.

DAY 2:
Did you obtain your super-cool, new, 3-ring binder yet?



I heart binders. The main reason is that they are so flexible and forgiving. You can add to them. You can subtract from them.

It's OK if you didn't. You can still play along. This week we are going to be building (insert announcer voice) THE ULTIMATE TEACHER ORGANIZATION TOOL.

There are several components to it. Today we are going to focus on the PLAN BOOK part.


{You may also be interested in my ink-saving Planbook that is part of my Blackline Design collection.}

I've tried keeping lesson plans in one of those traditional books. I've tried doing them on the computer. Both had pros and cons. What I have found to be best is to customize and create my very own binder that houses lots and lots of information and tools to keep me on top of things.

You can create your own on the computer, copy a favorite version you have found or better yet, purchase the one I created at my store for only $10.00 by clicking here. I told you I was busy creating this weekend.


Whichever option you decide to go with, you will probably want to include the following components or some form of a variation of them. I like to start with the big picture and work toward the details from there. I start with...

LONG RANGE PLANS:
This is a snapshot of the year, but with less details. It's great for recording special projects, themes, author studies, etc.

YEAR-LONG PLANS:
Create a row for each week of the year (should be 40) and columns for the different subject areas. I made one sheet that I can print several times so I can use specific categories for language arts like spelling, word study, comprehension skill, writing, etc.



WEEKLY PLANS:
This takes on the look of a traditional plan book. The left column has the days of the week with space to write the date and the number that corresponds to the day of school. This feature comes in especially handy in the spring when you start your countdown to the next summer vacation. C'mon, you know you do!

All you need is one template. You can then copy/print as many as you need for the year. Hint: add in the recurring items like specialists, lunch, snack, etc. before copying to save yourself time.

Now that we have the plan book foundations down, let's move on to the "extras." These are items that are normally found in a commercially-made plan book so I keep them in this section of my binder as well.

CALENDAR:
It's important to have a calendar that is separate from your planning calendar to record meetings, conferences, assemblies, holidays, and those sorts of things. The one I designed has empty boxes to fill in the dates so that I can just print new ones for the next year. If you are going to take the time to make one I suggest doing that to save the hassle of recreating it next summer.


STUDENT INFO:
I number my students so I like to have a column for numbers next to the name. I also include parent names, home addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and cell phone numbers.
MEDICAL INFO:
I use this section to house specific medical concerns about students as well as general school info regarding policies and the nurse.

STUDENT TRANSPORTATION:
I designed two versions of this. I plan to leave one in my plan book and hang the other by the door for easy reference.
BIRTHDAY CHART:
It's nice to have all the birthdays at a glance. I do have a chart in my classroom for this purpose, but I also include coworkers on the one in my plan book.


ATTENDANCE:
We actually do our attendance online, but I found I missed having my own records in writing so I keep this as well. It's helpful to reference in a conference or student meeting.
GRADES:
I also have a grade book on my computer, but again prefer to have the original on paper. This allows me to correct papers anywhere and record the grades.


COVER:
You need a cute cover. There are the three I designed to include in the teacher plan book set. I used the middle one for myself. I am making a collage of personal photos for the back sleeve.







Be sure to include your name and contact info in the book so that it can easily be returned to you if it is misplaced.

When I sent you off to get your binder yesterday, I probably should have told you to get page protectors and tabbed dividers as well. You might want to think about getting those.

It's time to get cracking on the first section of your binder. Decide which of the components you feel you need to include and design away.

...or have I mentioned that you can click here to purchase ALL of the items pictured for only $10.00 at my Teachers Pay Teachers Store?
keywords: teacher organization how to make a plan book grade book teacher binder classroom organization


Be sure to follow my blog and store  and Facebook Page for notification of the FreebiesClick here to access a collection of Teacher Tips or tour my Classroom Makeover here.

19 comments:

  1. Do you still have this product available? I clicked on the TPT link & it says there is no such product. Very cute!!! Is the lesson plan section in either Word or Excel to be customized or is it in PDF format?

    Susanne

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  2. Just what I need & can work on it before the clutter begins!

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  3. This was VERY helpful! Thanks for the tips!

    awigginsworld.blogspot.com

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  4. So, if I buy the teacher plan book set for $5.00, does it contain all of these: year-long plans, weekly plans, calendar, student info, medical info, student transportation, birthday chart, attendance, grade recording sheets and notebook covers? Please e-mail me at ampmom3@hotmail.com and explain. Thank you! I love your designs. Ann

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  5. I have the same question as Anonymous, if I buy the plan book for $5 does it contain all of the above sheets? Thanks

    Please email me your answer: bjbunger@yahoo.com

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  6. I bought this last year and can't find my download to do it again for this year. Can you resend or do I need to purchase again???

    ratsass@frontiernet.net

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  7. I love this idea! When I'm officially a teacher (I'm still have 2+ semesters left) I will definitely be checking tPt for this!

    Amy
    Time for Teaching

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  8. I just got mine for next year (it's that time of year where looking ahead is the one thing that will help me maintain my sanity!)
    thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Do you know about engrade.com? Its a FREE online grade book that you can access anywhere!

    ReplyDelete
  10. THANK YOU FOR your new BLACK LINE additions I just previewed. Although colored products are very cute and visually appealing, I simply cannot afford to make colored copies and so truly appreciate your creativity and thoughtfulness.

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  11. Good Evening! I came back to your site wanting to purchase the black line style teacher binder insert download for the 2012-2013 school year. It's not here! My classroom is done in this design and I REALLY want to purchase it. Can you tell me how to locate it? Thank you for your time! BTW.... I love your site, it's wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know if this is what you're looking for, but see if it is.
      http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/BLACKLINE-DESIGN-TEACHER-PLANBOOK-teacher-planning-sheets-calendars

      On her page on TPT there is a search box for just her page. Type in "Black Line" and a group of things will show up. Scroll down and there are a number of things in the "Blackline Design." Hope this helps!

      Delete
  12. The price states five dollars for teacher templates for organization but when I click on the link it is 9.99. Which is the price?

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  13. I went to the TPT store but it says that the price is 9.99 whereas your website says 5.00. How do we get to the one for 5?

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  14. I had the same question as above. There is a price difference from $5 to $9.99. Are there two different packages or is there just a typo. Thank you so very much. You worked hard!! ��

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love your teacher binder ideas. Actually I love all your ideas! I use a teacher binder too, and I call it The All-Inclusive Teacher Binder. Your blog is super-inspirational! Thanks!!

    Ashley

    Third Grade Splashroom

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  16. I don't have a room of my own yet, I'm still a teacher on call {substitute}, but I am going to get this and be prepared, while I hope for a call to teach or a posting to apply for.

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  17. I notice that you said you do the attendance online, what system do you use and how much does it cost?


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  18. The main reason is that they are so flexible and forgiving.

    ReplyDelete

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