TeacherBoss Hack: Organizing with Ziplocs
Does college really prepare teachers for the massive amounts of unending paper work that will flow through their desk? Mine didn’t. From papers to grade, to stacks of copied assignments, to field trip forms, to homework…there is so much! I tried a couple different ways of organizing these mounds over the years, but fancy binders and folders add up, and I’m a teacher.
A couple years ago, I had a light bulb moment, and there was no looking back! Gallon-sized Ziploc bags! I’m not sure if you know this, but they are the perfect size for holding a set of copies. At first, I just started by sticking a Post-it on the bags with a subject and having the students turn their finished work into a bag so that I could just throw it in my workbag at the end of the day and have the assignment separated by subject and ready for grading.
Then, I decided, wait a minute- I can really work this thing! I started taking Ziplocs with me to the copy room and throwing sets of copies in bags as they came out of the machine. Each set of copies was put into it’s own bag. In fact, if you were to walk into my room today, you would see piles of Ziplocs separated on shelves by subjects. When it’s time to pass out an assignment, I have someone walk around with the bag and hand them out. I leave the bag on the back table and students return their completed assignments to it. I normally label the bag with a post-it so they know which assignment it’s for. It’s amazing! My assignments are separated and ready for grading.
Recently, I’ve had students start returning all work to the bag when we run out of time, even if they aren’t done. That way, when I grade and hand back the rest, I know anyone with work still in the bag has to finish it. AND because I reuse the bags when I’m done grading an assignment, I’m probably still running off the same 36 pack from 2015. I’m not joking when I say I’m frugal.
Give it a try and let me know what you think? Do you have another system that works wonders in your own classroom? Let me know in the comments!