I have been a departmentalized teacher for 5 years. It’s fabulous. I teach math and science. I am truly teaching to my strengths, but when I first started departmentalizing I struggled with organization. I was always an organized teacher but when you have double the workload coming to your desk it becomes overwhelming.
I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful teaching partner who had a year of experience departmentalizing. She gave me a list of tips and tricks to get started and stay structured throughout the year. Here are three ways to organize student work that are stress free.
1.) Designate a place for each class to turn in work – This is such an easy, but highly effective tool. At first I had all of my classes turning work into one location. Then I would have to separate all of the paperwork. It was so time consuming. I eventually got nice deep baskets (from Target of course!) and assigned a basket to each class. I taught two classes of math and science so we called them the “AM group” and the “PM group.” Short and easy.
2.) Color-code your classes – I’m all about binder clips. I really stepped up my paper organization when I started using color-coded binder clips. Because you have more students than the average class that means double the amount of strangler papers that come in. I would grade a set of quizzes and feel a sense of accomplishment. Then the next day I would have 3 students that needed to make up that quiz. It became a chore to find the correct stack to file the make-up work in. I bought binder clips from Amazon. I used blue and pink to separate my two classes.
3.) Designate a place to store paperwork that is graded and ready to go home – Graded work is the liquid gold of the paperwork world. You need to keep those papers safe. There is nothing worse than losing a completed quiz or test. Remember those bins for students to turn their work in? Pick up a few more and use them to store graded work. This will make your grading life so much easier.
These quick ways will help you create your own organized, departmentalized classroom!