WW: Organizing Student Work

Welcome to another installment of Weekend Warriors!
This month's theme is organization.

I'll pause for  a moment so you can have a little chuckle at my expense.

If you know me, you know that organization is NOT my strong suit. AT ALL. Remember, I asked for my teacher desk back this year so I could have a place to pile my schtuff? In my defense though, I DO know where everything is!!!

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, writing drafts, published writing, 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:
Close Up...
Far away. It sits on top of this 10 drawer paper organizer that stores all of the graphic organizers my students use throughout the day.
My compartments are labeled Math, Spelling, Reading Stations, and Stories for Conference. Now when I want to grade spelling tests, 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 hard or time consuming for the students to do either.

OK, so here's the sad part. I bought this organizer from an office supply store maybe 10 years ago when I first started teaching, and it appears as though they don't make them anymore. But GOOD NEWS!! I bought a 6 compartment organizer this summer from Target for $9 that I use for my guided reading groups. It's not as sturdy, but it gets the job done. Plus, it was cheaper than the ones I originally bought.
Sorry for the far-away photo. 
The Weekend Warriors and I decided to create a Pinterest Board to keep all of our FAB ideas in one place. Click the image below to check it out!
Looking for more organizational tips? Check out what my WW gals blogged about below!


  1. What a super idea for sorting student work! I can use an organizer like that near my desk too for all of the stuff I need to file or pass back! I will look for one at Target!

    Creative Lesson Cafe

  2. I have a giant organizer like that in my room too! It is the best invention! Keeps everything in its place. Love, Love, Love


  3. Great system! Not only does it keep you organized, but it teaches your kids to be organized as well!

    Primarily Speaking

  4. I definitely need to invest in one of these. I use these wire paper racks and they always fall apart. I need to make a trip to Target.

    Saddle Up For 2nd Grade

  5. I love this idea!!! It's so much easier to grade papers when it's all organized! :) Thanks for sharing!

    A Sunny Day in First Grade


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