Keeping Copies Organised

Or, How I Make the 43 Folder System Work For Me

I don’t know about you, but I constantly feel like I’m chasing my tail when it comes to my paper trail at work. In school’s, no matter how much we might try to go digital for relevant things, there’s always paper EVERYWHERE. Especially the copies needed for the week.

I’ve tried everything, from digital daily folders on my computer, to a hanging file, desk drawer organisers, paperclips with days of the week on them… I’m pretty sure I’ve trialed at least two different systems every year for nine years and I’m rubbish at sticking with them because nothing ever seemed to work for me.

Enter my version of the 43 Folders filing system, which is still going strong 6 months into my tenth year of teaching and I have no massive urge to change it up.

So, what is it?

There’s a lot of resources available online for this if you do a search, but I’m going to share my very lack-of-research approach to this filing system.

It’s essentially what it says it is: 43 folders – in this case, 43 file folders for a filing cabinet (or milk crate or storage box or whatever you have on hand). 12 of the folders are labelled with the months of the year, and the remaining folders are numbered 1-31 for the days of each month.

At the start of each month, you move your current month’s folder to the front and line the days of the month folders behind it. Whenever you do your copies for the week, you simply pop them into the days you intend to use them. If you’re copying in advance, you can add them as easily to future dates – or, if you’re very well organised, and copying for future months, you simply file them away into that month’s folder so they’re ready to go when you get there.

At the end of each day, you move the empty daily folder to the back of the pile – I usually place mine right behind the next month – and the days begin to cycle back around so you can start preparing for the future again.

You can see in the photo above that I’m halfway through a month (June), so my days 1-10 folders are already behind July, read to go.

I usually also take out weekends and public holidays so that I know exactly which days I’m teaching and can prepare my resources accordingly.

At the end of each month, I go through that month’s file – which usually has a lot of things left over in it – and decide what to keep, to move back to the next month or to recycle or pass on to a colleague. The whole system is self-sustaining and means I always know where to find my copies.

(And those brightly coloured items at the front are my Write and Wipe pockets so I don’t lose them, either!)

Each week, when I’m preparing my lessons, I lay out the week’s folders on a table and sort through my materials so I can clearly see what’s happening each day. When everything I need is in it’s correct spot I know I’m good to go and the folders go back into the filing cabinet ready for the week.

Then I simply pull out the folder for the day and leave it on my desk so everything’s where I need it to be!

And yes, there are week’s when this system doesn’t work – although, that’s mostly when I’m at my most disorganised and haven’t set aside some time to ensure that everything’s prepped in advance, but it has, overall, made my life a lot easier during the day.

What about you? Do you have an organisational system that works? Share it in the comments.

Why I Said Goodbye to Post-It Notes


If you’ve followed my blog for the last twelve months or so, you’ll know that I’ve been on a bit of a journey of learning how to be organised and how to manage my paper overflow. I’ve spent a lot of time teaching myself how to plan for my personal life in an actual planner, and while I’m pretty comfortable with how I lesson plan, I’ve found that some of the skills I’ve picked up from my personal planner has had am impact on how I manage my to-do list for school.

I want to preface this blog post with this: I know lots people love post-it notes and can use them really effectively. I can’t. They end up everywhere and it drives me crazy, so this post is really for those of you who are looking for an alternative to using post-it notes for keeping yourself on track!

My Journey

At my school at the beginning of the year we get a pack of post-it notes in our teacher stationery set. They’d sit on my desk and I’d write down random to-dos and things to remember on them and if I remembered, I’d stick them into my planner or onto my laptop so I wouldn’t forget them.

Invariably, I either often forgot to stick them where I would see them. Or they fell off.

Either way, I often forgot the notes that I had made which meant the entire process was ineffective and a waste of time.

Then I heard about two ideas, one which was completely new to me, and one that seemed completely obvious when I heard it: Bullet Journalling and the Master To-Do List. If you want to know more about Bullet Journalling – which is method like daily planning in a single notebook – you can check it out in more detail here. What I liked about this process was the idea of having everything in one book/place. 

The second idea was the Master To-Do List.

The Master To-Do List

The Master To-Do List is a system by which you have one single to-do list that contains everything you need to do. As you think of things, you add them to the list. As you complete them, you cross them off.


You can have your list in a planner or notebook. You could even have it on paper and put it in a binder or on a clipboard (which makes it easier to throw it out/recycle the paper when you’re finished with everything on your list). It’s a fluid document that is a way for you to find a way to be more productive.

Daily Productivity

Having a Master To-Do List is great, but it looks overwhelming, right? A whole page filled with things to do?

As teachers we have to-do lists a mile long, but what I have learnt to do is to start prioritising things a lot better. If you don’t learn to prioritise you run the risk of being overwhelmed by all the things you need to accomplish.

So here’s my tip.

Pick your top three to-dos each day and write them down.


Just three. Write them somewhere that will be clearly visible to you so that you can see them.

These are your priority for that day. They are the most important tasks you need to accomplish for the day.

Three tasks are an accomplishable goal and what you’ll find is that once you cross of those three tasks, you might even have time to go back to your master list and pick something else off of it. (But even if you don’t, you’ve accomplished something great.)

I know what you’re thinking: I need to do more than three things a day.

That’s true, but we’re talking big tasks that you need to tick off, not the little things we do each and every day.

They could even be the things you put off doing in favour of ‘other more important’ jobs.


The other key is keeping these top 3 goals/jobs highly visible where you know you’ll see them. I’ve got my master to-do list on a clipboard on my desk and my daily Top 3 in my planner ready to tick them off. I check my planner every morning and night.

I honestly believe in this system and it works for me. I find I accomplish a lot more in a shorter period of time when I have attainable daily goals. (It also stops me from slumping to a Netflix hole even when I really want to!)

My challenge to use is to pick your Top 3 goals/jobs for tomorrow and put them somewhere more permanent and visible than a post-it note. 

If you’re looking for templates to get you started I have a basic pack listed in my TPT store for teachers. It’s 50% for the first 48 hours and if you’re looking for the opportunity to trial this system, it could be what you need:


Regardless, I wish you well with your organisation journey!

If you like this post and would like future organisation posts, please let me know in the comments below.

I’d love to hear your organisation tips, too!

Organising Your Coloured Paper


Hello friends!

School starts back this week here in Australia and teachers have been frantically (tell me I’m not the only one, please!) setting up their classrooms in preparation for the new year and new students.

One of my roles in my school is to work with Graduate Teachers, supporting them, sharing tips and tricks (and connecting them with other teachers who can do the same), and ensuring they have a great start to their teaching career. I absolutely love this role!

What I thought I would do each week (hopefully!) is share one teaching tip that I have with all of you. They’re not all necessarily new ideas, and they may not work for all teachers, but by sharing I hope that I can inspire you, my lovely readers, to find a system that works best for you.

This week’s tip is about organising and storying your coloured A4 paper.

Typically, in my school, this is the paper I hoard because it comes out of the area budget when I run out! (I have a separate collection of construction paper that I’m happy for my students to use whenever the like.) This is the paper for projects and gifts and arts and crafts activities.


I purchased this file storage box from Aldi a few years ago. It’s plastic and super sturdy. Plus, it sits beautifully under my computer table.


Inside, I’ve adding hanging files and simply place the paper in by colour.

(Those people wondering about the multicolour file – that’s a collection of printing paper, not cardstock, that was donated a while back. I keep it separate so I know the difference in the gsm quality!)

This system is portable and very easy to pull out and find the colours I need at any given time.

Bonus tip: If you find you have excess A3 coloured paper that you’re not using, slice it in half with a paper trimmer and you’ve got yourself extra A4 coloured paper!

If you have a paper storage and organisation tip, I’d love for you leave me a comment below! Links are more than welcome, too. I love seeing the different ways people have for organising paper.

Kikki.K Planner Workshop


If you’ve followed my blog for the last few months, you’ll know that I’ve been on a ‘planner’ journey. Last year I started to get involved in the ‘planner community’ on Instagram, Youtube, Pinterest and more recently on Facebook.

I’ve always struggled with using a planner to organise my life, but for the last 12 months I’ve successfully maintained a planner, week by week, to make notes, keep track of my to-do lists and essentially create a paper record of my daily life.

I’ve used Kikki.K’s Time Planners for this process, and I have a few (most of which I got on sale!), and currently use a medium, black leather time planner for my day-to-day life, plus a large, raspberry time planner for my school planner.

Last Tuesday I attended my very first Kikki.K Workshop at their Doncaster store – all about planners!

It was a really fun and interesting night, which was as much about the wonderful products Kikki.K sells, as it was about getting your planner set-up, organised and pretty-ified (look, I’m making up words again!) and functioning properly for your life.

Now, I’ve reached something approaching ‘planner peace’ – wherein my planner is working very well for me, I feel – but I do love hearing people talk about their own experiences, and I believe there’s always room for improvement.


Getting to the fun stuff first, all the attendees received a fun little gift, perfect for planners:

Printed Notepad (Mountains collection)
Sticker Sheet (Life Is Sweet collection)
Felt Tip pen (I ended up with a grey pen)

On the night, our lovely host Caroline, talk about:
– the difference between a diary (a time keeping tool) and a planner (an ‘everything’ folder for your life)
– how to merge a diary and planner
– customising and decorating your planner to make it work for you
– minimising the to-do lists popping up everywhere in your planner
– how to make an accordion folder for your planner (to hold tickets/notes/etc)
– brainstorming what your planner is actually for, and whether or not you might require multiple planners to help you keep track
– … and other things that are slipping my mind at the moment!



My take-aways from the night:

Creating a Master To-Do List, and doing away with lots of lists all over the place.
I really loved this idea, because it cuts down on all the procrastinating “I’ll make a list for that project” that happens when you try to AVOID doing something. If it’s all in one place, you know where to find it. Also, regularly checking that list each night, adding to it and crossing off tasks that are needed/have been finished so that you go to bed with a clear head. Picking 3 to-dos for the next day that MUST BE DONE to stop from being overwhelmed.

Using a weekly planner to map out your week.
I liked this idea because I think it will help me to map out the major events for the week before I add them to  my various planners. Plus, Caroline made the suggestion for scheduling regular ‘me time’ each day so that we’re more likely to include it somewhere during the day (whether it’s reading 5 pages of a book or taking a bath, or using a face mask – whatever makes YOU happy)!

If it’s paper, you can punch it and add it to your planner.
I do this already, but it was really nice to hear someone reinforcing that concept as well. I have bucket loads of Kikki.K’s notepads, plus their Paper Books and you KNOW I punch them out and add them. They’re cute and pretty and make my planner look pretty so that I want to open it and look at it and see what’s going on in my life.

Finally, I came to an understanding of what my planner is for me. It’s my record of my life. What I do, what I write, what I like at this point in time. I decorate it and I record the little things of my life and I intend to keep these pages. I’ve never been fabulous at journalling, but this is my quick way of having a snapshot of my life that I can look back on, or one day show my kids. For this reason, I decided that night to switch from using the Pilot Frixion pens that I love (because they’re erasable, and thus I can fix any errors) to felt tips, because I’m not convinced that one day the Frixion ink won’t disappear over time. (For reference, it does disappear when heat is applied.)


We also got a discount on the night, for attending the workshop, so I purchased a few things that I thought I could use, as per the talk on the night:

A4 Weekly Planner Pad (Minimalist)
Round Paperclips in Jar (Gold) (link is for the silver paperclips)
A6 Printed Notepad (Mail Multi)
Vision Board Kit (Minimalist)
Felt Tip Pen 10 pack

I believe the Planner Workshops are finishing up for the year (but will begin again later in the year), but if you’re interested in finding out ways to customise a planner to fit your life, I highly recommend attending a session. They also have loads of other workshops as well, covering organisation, happiness, goal setting, etc.


Do you use a planner? What planner do you use? What do you find most beneficial about using a planner? Let me know in the comments.

I’ll also be filming an updated look in my personal planner tomorrow, along with a closer look at the items I purchased from Kikki.K, so keep your eyes peeled for that on my YouTube channel.

If you’re interested in seeing regular updates on my planner journey, don’t forget to follow me on Instagram!

Thanks for reading, and I’ll see you next time!


Five for Fri… Saturday and Currently!

Yeah, so this is getting to be a habit, posting on a Saturday. Apologies!





So, I’ve been getting the urge to be all kinds of crafty recently. From gift tag giveaways, washi-decorated candles and decorating my planner pages each week, I’m washi crazy! 😀



Did you hear what I said about washi crazy? The newest additions to my collection. Plus, some stickers for my planner.



Sunrises. Two this week while I was waiting for the bus to work. (And yes, I’m up that early.)



I’m attempting 2 Photo a Day challenges this month – one is Filofax Photo-a-Day May (#filofaxphotoadaymay on instagram) and the Teacher Photo-a-Day Challenge (#padteacherchallenge). The photos above are from the first 3 days of the Filofax Photo-a-Day (and yes, I’m cheating, because my planner is not technically a Filofax… shush!)


Slide5Tell me you’re picking up the trend here…!

I’ve just finished stamping my own masking tape – which was a trial tonight to see how it turned out. I need to invest in some new inks and stamps for it to work better (and I might try tissue paper and double-sided tape, too, at some point), but this was quick and easy. It’s still drying in the kitchen!

(Can’t buy anything until June though… I’m doing a No-Spend May. Which means no spending on things I don’t really need. Like stickers. And washi tape. And stamps. And ink… You get the idea!)

And finally, I’m linking up with Farley for this month’s Currently!



Listening to The Mummy… well, it’s just finished, but it was on when I was typing this up! I love this movie. I can quote it and I still laugh at all the jokes. It’s just one of those movies for me!

Loving my Kikki-K planner. You guys are probably sick of hearing about it, but it’s totally keeping me organised and on task and has for the whole month. This is unheard of for me. Combined with my Erin Condren Teacher Planner, I’m becoming super organised. Sometimes! ❤

Thinking that I don’t want to start thinking about writing reports. My school’s timeline kicks in from next week. Which is depressing.

Wanting to buy new ink and stamps so I can make more washi tape! But I can’t, because I’m on a No Spend May. And I’m going to stick to it. Just to prove that I can have self-control (when I normally have ZERO self control… wish me luck!).

Needing to save money. See above. But I want to try and buy an apartment in the next 18 months and I desperately want to visit my best friend and her family in Canada in December. Save, save, save!

Surprise! Most of you may know Alison from Teaching Maths with Meaning, but if you don’t, she’s totally wonderful. She is my maths guru – seriously, she has some fabulous resources and ideas on her blog and she teachers Prep to boot!


And that’s all from me, tonight! Have a WONDERFUL weekend, folks!


Keeping my life organised…

… or trying to, at least!

Hi friends!

For those of you who have been following me for a little while now, you’ll know that I’ve been on this (on-going, never-ending!) venture of trying to keep myself organised! If you’ve only discovered my blog recently, I don’t consider myself an organised person in my personal life, but I’m trying! You can check out my posts on a sneak-peak into my Erin Condren Teacher Planner, my planner suitcase, and using Evernote to reduce my paperwork.

(I confess, I’ve been a bit slack on using Evernote in the classroom lately, but I’m geared up to get back into it this term!)

Anyway, I’ve just ordered (and received a shipment notice) for my second Erin Condren teacher planner (for July) because I really have enjoyed using it. However, I’ve decided that from now on it will be STRICTLY a teacher planner, because I like handwriting my weekly overview. (I do have more detailed Literacy and Numeracy planner for each week) but I do like blocking out times and special events, etc. I also love the checklists and monthly overviews, etc. If you’re interested in seeing more detail photos/descriptions on how I use my teacher planner, let me know in the comments.

HOWEVER. For my personal life, I wanted to use something different.


Enter my new Kikki-K Time Planner.

For those of you familiar with Filofax planners, this is equivalent to an A5 Filofax.


My goal with this planner is to use it for all my appointments, social events, to-do lists for around the house, birthdays, expenses, BLOG PLANNER (capitals warranted because I need to get onto this), wish lists, meeting notes, etc.

My plan is to spend about 15 minutes on Sunday nights checking my monthly calendar and updating my upcoming weekly planner (week to 2 pages) with all the things that are happening, plus things that need to be done, and a little bit of decorating. (I think I’ve told you all that if something’s pretty, I’m more inclined to use it? Totally true.)

If anyone’s interested in seeing what I’m doing with my planner, let me know and I’m happy to share pictures. It’s a work in progress, but I started using it on Monday and so far I’m really enjoying it. It’s a very pretty ‘berry’ colour and I think it’ll help keep me on track!

And… because it’s the holidays, and because I needed some cute little bits and pieces to decorate my brand new planner, I did a bit of stationary shop. Here are all my goodies (because I know teachers like stationary!):


From Big W I bought a mini-scrapbooking paper pad to create some pretty page dividers, plus some Pilot Frixion Erasable pens (these ones are 0.7 point). This don’t bleed through the pages of the planner, and can be erased if an error is made – this makes me very happy!



Then I went to Daiso – and that is a REALLY dangerous shopping experience for me. A few sheets of stickers, a few SUPER CUTE collections of sticky notes (hello cute little coloured pencils!), washi tape and giant paper clips later and I was done!

Newsagency_HaulThen I stopped in at a news agency… and I don’t normally go into news agencies, but I totally found these colourful versions of my all-time favourite pens (Uniball Jetstreams). I love, love, love these pens! Plus a single hole punch because I have 2 in my classroom, but none at home.

Officeworks_HaulThen it was in to Officeworks, and I didn’t do too badly. Normally I buy waaaaaaay too much at Officeworks. Here I found the Pilot Frixion pens I really wanted (in 0.5 pt), and I ended with 7 different colours. These pens have taken up residence in my Planner Suitcase now (and the black pen lives in my Kikki-K planner). Plus, two full adhesive sticky note packs (in my favourite colours!). These are awesome because basically the entire sheet is sticky except for one tiny strip that’s not, if you want to move them around.

Is anyone else as picky as I am about their pens? (Don’t get me wrong, one can never have TOO many pens because they never seem to be handy when you need them.) I started using the Jetstream pens about 6 years ago now, and they are by far the best pens. Although I do like how the Frixion pens write in my planner.

Maybe I’m just ALL ABOUT the coloured pens? 😀



Do you think I have enough washi tape? I saw this great idea in a planner organisation video about having a sample of each roll of washi tape you have in your planner so you don’t double-up, want to try and coordinate colours, etc. Well, I ended up with nearly 2 back-and-front A5 sheets covered in washi tape. And I thought that was… kind of a lot.

Then I remembered I had a stack of tape rolls in my Planner Suitcase. So… now I’m on to the third sheet.

People, I think I have a problem! 😀

What are your stationary loves?




Five for Friday (on Saturday)


Look at this people – I’m actually linking up with Five for Friday again! (Miracle!)

It’s been a hectic week, but here are some highlights:


TpT Sale 3 Million-02

Chances are that (unless you’ve been living under a rock – which is totally cool, by the way!) you’ve probably perused the selection of teacher resources on SALE on TeachersPayTeachers over the last 48 hours. There’s still approximately 5 hours left to save up to 28% off all items in my store. Just use the code TPT3 on check-out to get an extra 10% off my already 20% off items!



So, a little while ago I stumbled onto the OrganizedJen blog and (instantly fell in love) started watching a lot of her video blogs entries. She’s got a lot of great idea and tips and showcases a lot of products I’ve never heard of before. Like the Sigma Spa Brush Cleaning Glove above.

Now, I’m not GREAT with make-up, I’ll admit that. I’m even worse with cleaning my brushes, but this looked really easy to use (and is quite quick) and cleans my make-up brushes so well that I splurged and bought it and I totally do not regret it. (I got mine off eBay). Jen has a great video on using the Spa glove on her blog.



This was another idea I pinched from the OrganizedJen blog (click link for post). She uses this cute Orla Kiely make-up bag (from US Target – I got mine on eBay… sensing a trend here people?) as a ‘planner suitcase’. Now, my planner (an Erin Condren teacher planner) doesn’t fit inside this case 😦 BUT, my kikki.K 2014 Weekly Diary (a gift from a student/family last year) DOES, as well as all my much-loved pens, post-it notes and washi-tape accessories! And I use all of these things WITH my teacher planner, so now I carry around everything I need in a pretty, light-weight case, with my planner and I’m ready to go.

It’s all part of my plan to be better organised!

(Here is where I confess… I learn SO MUCH MORE from listening to and seeing how other people do things. Thus, these youtube videos have been great for me to get a sense of how someone else manages their organisation!)



This week I caved and finally bought my new Macbook Pro Retina laptop… (it should be arriving on Monday!!!), but also some accessories. A purple SmartShell (I also have a Mickey Mouse laptop decal on the way, too!), a spare laptop power adaptor (one for work, one for home) AND (in the brown box) a SuperDrive because seriously, I will NOT function without a DVD drive. People, I know that it seems stupid, but I ADORE watching movies on my laptop while I’m working.



F4F_4_TargetingMathsThis week I downloaded the new Targeting Maths 1 app (which is Australian Curriculum linked for Level 1/Grade 1/First Grade). I actually won a competition for a free code for this app, which was great. I’ve blogged about the Targeting Maths Level 2 app before, as well, because I think these apps are just SO WELL MADE. (Seriously, I was gushing to my Prin, computer tech and colleagues about them last night.)

It’s so hard to find high quality, Australian-curriculum linked apps so this is just FANTASTIC.

This will be put into maths activities this week, because it has multiplayer options for up to 4 players making it great for group work (especially since I only have my own personal iPad in the classroom).

I am dying in anticipation of the Foundation app being released. Seriously – people, I’m on the edge of my seat! Kudos to Pascal Press, who’ve great an amazing serious of apps.

(I should also say, I purchased the Level 4 app for my cousin when I was staying with his family in January and he’s a bright kid and he ADORED the activities, too!)

So, that’s it from me for today! I hope you’re all having a fabulous start to the weekend!


An Assorted Update

Wow – two posts in one day. This won’t become a habit – I can promise you that!

Still, I have a couple of things to share with you, so I’m going to do it now, while I remember. Because chances are it’ll be next weekend by the time I can sit down and post again! (I tell you what, this start of year has really knocked me around a bit – hard to believe we’re already at Week 5 of a 10 week term!)


Today I made another batch of coloured pasta in six different colours – red, yellow, pink, blue, green and orange. It was absolutely beautiful weather outside (we’ve had some ‘cold’ weather the last few days) and it all dried completely in about an hour. Now it’s currently sitting all mixed up in some large ziplock bags ready to be carted in to work.

I really love the bright colours I got. I mostly used liquid food dyes (although the blue and the red both have some gel colour in there, too). I find that I get brighter colours from the liquid food dyes, probably because you can add more and it swirls around a lot in the bag. But there you have it.

To make coloured pasta you need: pasta (any kind –  be adventurous!), food dye (go with your preferred food dye – liquid or gel, whatever floats your boat!), ziplock bags to mix it all up in, and about a capful of rubbing alcohol per bag of colour (Aussies, you can get this in the medicine isle of your supermarket – I use Isocol, which comes in a bright green bottle!).


This year I am DETERMINED to be on top of all my records, especially with such a heavy focus (thank you State Government) on assessment. So, this is my plan – an anecdotal records notebook with a few pages for each student.

This is my Term 1 notebook, which I made up all pretty yesterday (because, believe it or not, I actually use things that look pretty as opposed to things that are just PLAIN. I don’t know, it’s a quirk!). It has sections for Reading/Writing/Maths/Social and I plan on using sticky notes to keep everything in place.

I have these fabulous reusable plastic sticky-note flags for each student section. The great thing about these flags is that I can move them from one notebook to the next without having to use another 22 flags next term. They’re like my ‘go-to’ for sticky-note flags (find them here at Officeworks.)

The other really nice thing about this book is that it’s SUPER LIGHT and skinny and will slide right into my bag at the end of the day, which is another bonus.


And, of course, I attacked it with washi tape to add to the cuteness of it! (Seriously, I have to use the tape I have… it’s getting slightly ridiculous!)


Finally, I thought I’d check in with my Erin Condren planner. I bought this at mid-year last year and have been using it.

OMG – the thing I said above about using Pretty Things… this is what I mean. I never used the standard teacher planners that my school used to supply because they were NOT pretty and were not sturdy at all.

But this? This is working for me.

Not only is it bright and gorgeous, but it’s fully functional, too. This planner has been dragged to and from work every day for the last six months and the laminated covers have lasted really well. I love the monthly overviews and the attached note pages (which I use for to-do lists). The weekly overview (in the pic above) I use to keep beside my while I teach to keep my on track. I only use it as an ‘overview’ – I do have electronic planners (maths, literacy and another overview), but I actually only update this every few days as things come up (as they do in teaching). That way, if an activity needs to be carried on over another day, I can add it in without too much scribbling out.

And yes, I’m attacking it with washi-tape, too! The bright pink strips are specialist classes (my kiddos have ICT, Sport, Art, Science and Japanese each week). The multi-coloured strip is Prep Investigations and this week I have PD on Monday so I just picked out another fun tape to highlight that.

I use the purple band (along with the ruler/divider) to keep track of the week I’m up to, but I do pull it off to use the checklist pages at the end. This year I’m going to be better with using the checklists and so far I lists for homework, spelling test results, Achievement of the Week/general, and handwriting/lowercase letters.

do need to get myself sorted with a blog/TPT planner (and I have purchased one), so I’ll update on that later.

So… that’s been my weekend. I’ve plugged away at my to-do list and OMG I think I’m nearly through it! (It’s a miracle!)

Don’t forget to leave a comment – I’d love to hear what you’re up to, or how you use your planners!

I hope you all enjoy your weekend!


Using Evernote to reduce my paperwork

I can honestly say that I’m one of those teachers who just can’t shut off over the holidays.

I spend lots of time thinking about all the things that are coming up in the new year, or in the next term. What are the new resources that I’ll need? Can I find any great online resources or tools to support learning in my classroom? Can I make connections with other educators to further my own knowledge and understanding? How can I streamline my paperwork?

One thing I’ve been working on over these Summer holidays has been the last question on the list. I’m terrible with paperwork – absolutely and utterly hopeless. My papers get thrown on a pile and left there until the end of the term/semester/year. (Another goal is to learn to be clutter-free, but that’s a whole other story.)

My solution is Evernote.

By now you’re probably going, ‘Yeah, Stef, you’ve talked about Evernote before.’

And I have. Inspired by Bec Spink I experimented with Evernote very briefly last year using a checklist to track students who were returning their communication folders and readers each day. I intend to keep using that particular checklist in 2012 because it only takes a couple of minutes and gives me a very accurate record. Here’s a screenshot of what my checklist looks like (ready for first term):

I’m going a bit further by using Evernote as a digital portfolio of student work and assessment.

My goal is to, ultimately, have a very complete record of student capabilities when it comes time for report writing and parent interviews. (It’ll also be handy so that I don’t have to cart workbooks to and from school – always a bonus!)

I’ve set up notebooks for each student in my class so that I can add the following items throughout the year:

  • writing samples (once a month)
  • reading samples, audio (at least 2)
  • running records
  • assessment pieces across the curriculum (as completed)
  • anecdotal records
  • behaviour logs

The majority of this work will be collected as a photo (taken on my ipad) and stored as a new note in each student’s notebook. I’m also going to make use of the audio note taking to record students reading.

(Evernote view from laptop – student notebooks set up on far left side.)

The brilliant thing about Evernote (and other cloud storage programs) is that it syncs across multiple devices, so that I can add new notes and access everything from my iPad, my iPhone and my laptop. So, if I forget one of the devices somewhere (or I forget to charge my iPad… it’s been known to happen!) I can still access all of my files.

I’ve also started using it to store all of my PD notes, meetings, and ideas for my classroom.

I’m sure I’ll be adjusting my plans (adding and adjusting) as the year goes on. But having these tools available to us as teachers really gives us a lot of room to experiment and discover what works and what doesn’t work.

So that’s one of my goals!

Did you set any goals for teaching this year?

Do you have any other excellent tools for being organised (or even just tips)?