Sunday, July 26, 2015

Taming the Paper Mountain!

Hi there!  I am so excited to be teaming up with some of my favorite intermediate blogging friends!  We have been planning and plotting for a while... and now it's finally time to unveil "The Teacher's Back to School Survival Guide".  Today, I will be sharing my favorite tips for taming the paper mountain (because I detest clutter and disorganization), and as you can see below, there's a plethora of other topics to explore and learn about!  I'm super excited to learn from my friends... and to share what works for me too!  Plus, we're giving away LOTS of TpT gift cards!  Who doesn't love free goodies?!  You'll definitely want to poke around each blog...for lots and lots of reasons!'s time to tackle the paper mountain.

I love the term "paper mountain" because that's exactly what paper seems like sometimes.  A mountain of clutter.  A HUGE, daunting, sometimes overwhelming obstacle to tame or conquer.  I have tried SO many different approaches over the years, and I finally feel like I am in a happy place.  Everything has its place.  Everything is labeled.  Nothing is haphazardly placed somewhere because I loathe wasting time.  I HATE wasting instructional time, and I hate wasting my own personal time or planning time, especially this year now that I have a baby at home.  I made a vow not to chip away at my time searching for materials or sorting through things.   It's definitely been a process, and I have tried different approaches over the years, but I feel like I have found what works for me.  (It only took me ten years to figure out!  Ha!)  For me, the organizational process always involves purging.  That's important to note.  Sometimes when we hold on to materials we aren't using (and haven't used in years), it impedes our ability to utilize or FIND the quality materials we DO want to use with our students.  Less is more. It's definitely about quality over quantity, and once you have pruned your materials down to the necessities, it's easier to organize and designate a place for everything!  So, with that said, here are my organizational tips!  Time to tame that mountain!

I use one binder per quarter and divide each binder into 9-wweeks to grab & print in a hurry!

Out of the Box Critical Thinking Morning Work

I label projects/units in a separate file from the skill-based files.


Part of my We are Authors: Launching Writer's Workshop pack!

My best-seller & major lifesaver: The Sub Tub & Binder!

Another look at the Sub Tub Binder and the New Baby Binder!

This vinyl seat sack is from The Fabulous Classroom!  SO reasonable!

This research center is part of my Stop, Collaborate, & Listen bundle!

I have a ton of activities in my Words Galore: Center Activities pack!

There you have it: a list of tips and tricks to help YOU tackle your own paper mountains!  I realize that some of the "tips" are common sense and not necessarily earth-shattering, but sometimes it's nice to see another person's interpretation or execution of something you may have heard of before.  It's also nice to be reminded of things you may have forgotten about.  Hopefully you were able to find a fresh idea or two as well!  Ultimately, my goal for this post was to help YOU organize your room in such a way that everything has its place, clutter is significantly reduced, less time is wasted, and you are confident and competent instead of overwhelmed and stressed.  POW! Take THAT paper mountain!  ;)

Another way I'd love to help TWO lucky teachers prepare for the new school-year is a simple one.  I'm offering TWO $25 gift certificates to TpT!  Simply enter to win below!  I will draw for two winners at the end of the day on August 2nd, and if you are one of the lucky ones, I will contact you via email!  Everyone likes happy mail, right?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Would you like to prepare for the new year and enter for more chances to win TpT gift certificates?  Click any of the icons below to check out other survival tips!