This is the hardest time of the year.
I always felt like this about now.
and maybe a little of this….
One last piece of paper, one last assessment to score, one last RTI folder to fill out, don’t forget the EIP paperwork, end of the year checklist, supply order for next year, and any test scores for report cards. Oh, that’s right. We also have to do report cards!
Here are a couple of easy cheats to keep you organized at the end when a mountain of paper is coming your way!
On my desk I kept a simple manila file folder labeled end of the year. I put in any papers that I had to keep up with and complete in the file. While it got really fat and wasn’t the most organized, I could still find things when I needed them. I kept things like:
papers for report cards
end of the year checklist
my to do list (it was huge)
and any other incoming papers for the end of the school year that I would need to refer to or complete.
I always had to do DRA assessments on each child in my class at the end of the year. At my previous district I had to do a different reading assessment, but still one for each child. The assessments were always one-on-one to assess fluency, decoding, and comprehension with some sort of running record and comprehension check.
To keep these organized I kept a class list on a clip board. I kept any completed running records/ assessments on the clipboard as well. As I completed a child’s testing, I marked the child off the list and wrote the level next to the student’s name so I could have all the final levels at a glance. This made it easy to transfer to whatever spreadsheet the school required. These were also included in the end of the year portfolio, so it helped to keep them altogether. Then, I could easily sort them into portfolios.
Speaking of portfolios, we had to provide one of these for each student. We had a required list of materials. I found that it was much easier to keep all of the samples together by assignment, rather by student.
For example, each student had to have a sample of writing from each genre. Initially, I always filed students’ writing samples into their file that I kept on each individual student. Bad idea. This means I had to pull each sample out of each individual file when it was time for end of year portfolios, because of course, these were TOTALLY different. Sigh.
Instead, I kept a folder labeled “opinion writing sample.” Inside the folder I kept one sample of opinion writing from each student. I kept all the samples in order by student’s numbers. That way, when I sorted my portfolio by student number I could easily (and quickly) sort the papers.
I kept all the papers throughout the year that need to be filed in portfolios in this filing cart. I got it from an office supply store like Office Max or Office Depot. Here is one you can get from Office Depot.
At the VERY end, I recruited help! My students were always glad to help. The last day of school I asked students to help shut down the classroom. I wrote about that here.
I feel that students should take pride in their ownership of the classroom and take part in caring for it. So, they helped clean it up, too!
We usually spent about 1 to 2 hours the last day cleaning. I assigned student’s jobs or let students pick. I kept a running list. I have shared the list before, but I have updated it to make it pretty AND added a few more jobs!
to get your FREE copy!
Did I miss anything? What else do you or your students help do to keep it together and organized until the end?
Mandy Gregory is a 2007 and 2012 Teacher of the Year. She has taught Kindergarten- 4th grades in both the general education and inclusion settings. She is currently a 1st grade Special Education teacher. She is the owner and creator of Mandy’s Tips for Teachers website (www.mandystipsforteachers.com) and has over 13 years of teaching experience. She is married with two beautiful children.