Organizing Student Work

Confession Time: I'm not really the most organized person. Remember those Beginning of the Year Photos I posted here? Pretty sure my room will NEVER look like that again. Well, at least until next August. Disclaimer: I do know where everything is though! Anyway, when I first started at  my school, one of the supplies I was given was a wire basket. I decided to use it as a place for students to turn in their work. It soon turned into this:

It was awful. At the time I was doing centers during my guided reading block, so I would get at least one worksheet from each student every day, plus various other worksheets, tests, stories for conferences, published stories and more. I didn't always check in center work every day, so it would pile up, and when I wanted to grade spelling tests (for example), I had to dig through all the other stuff to find what I needed. I am also the type who gets intimidated by lots of papers to grade/check off, so as the basket got fuller and fuller, my motivation to empty it got smaller and smaller...

Enter the 4 compartment paper sorter. I seriously love this thing. I love it so much that I bought two! LOL! I use one for organizing student work and one for organizing homework. Here's a a picture of my student work sorter:
My compartments are labeled Math, Spelling, Reading Stations, and Stories for Conference. Now when I want to grade spelling tests (yes I know I haven't graded last week's yet, but cut me some slack!), I can just grab those and leave the Word Work worksheet my students did in there and check them off when I can get to it. I still use the basket (it's on top of the sorter). It's the catch-all when something doesn't fall into one of the cubby categories, or if something is too big to fit into the cubby. I also have my kids sort their homework which is SO NICE! Now I don't have to separate the reading calendars from the Home Links from the spelling contracts. And it's really not that hard or time consuming for the students to do either.

How do you organize student work?

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