Thursday, August 4, 2016

Organizing Resources (aka where's my stuff!)

Update on my flash cards- focusing on one class at a time for now...I can successfully identity 19 of 22 students 95% of the time.  Totally stuck on three of them.  And all of this is dependent on them looking like their grade 6 picture.  But I'll be better off than not doing it I think.

Today's topic: Managing resources.  There are so many great resources out there, the trick is finding a way to organize them all so you remember to use them!  I have three main locations where I've attempted to do this with varying levels of success.

First- Physical resources. I guess this is rather old school of me (after all, this will be my 22nd year of teaching so I am a bit old lol).  I still like binders for each of my units.  I keep a ton of clear page protectors handy so when I find something I'll stick a post it note on it and toss it in a binder for that unit.  I find this particularly handy for planning with others as I can just grab it and bring it along.  In addition I have sets of clear plastic drawers (one drawer for each unit- they are 12" by 12" by about 2". ). Any cards, stations, etc that doesn't fit into a binder goes in the drawer. They take up some room but it's so handy to find things.  Ideally there is a page in the binder that describes the activities in the drawers too.

Second- Digital resources.  I have two different methods for organizing digital resources.

A- Google drive- easy to find everything, but doesn't like some Microsoft stuff so you have to download to view/print.  I have this organized in folders by unit  as well.  I don't like that I have to click on most stuff to remember what it is.  It's a nice easy way to share with other teachers though.

B- I set this up long before google drive came along.  It has tons of resources for common core 7, and some for common core 8. Each standard has its own page.  What I like about wikispaces is that I can write a description of the activity/link/document and either how I've used it or how I'm thinking about using it.  Sharing resources of one thing, but what I really love about reading other blogs is hearing about how they used the resource, and then seeing others talk about different ways that resource worked for their teaching style and different learning styles of their students.  I sometimes throw in pictures here as well as links to other people's blog posts that relate to a certain concept but try to credit wherever it came from.

A few years ago at tmc 13 in Philly we had a flex session (or random meeting, can't remember) to talk about resources. I remember Fawn Nyugen talking about narrowing down to her five favorite resources for each concept.  I love that idea, and while I've gotten rid of a lot of stuff it's so hard to narrow down! I'd like to find a way of bridging my three organizational methods together as I know I've missed using a great method/activity  as it was in the wrong place!


  1. I'm a binder person too. I need to see something in order to remember what it is. For organizing blog resources, I like pinterest, because it is also visual. :)

    1. Pinterest is a great idea- I'm definitely a visual person!

  2. Haha, that's funny because I asked admin to remove the two filing cabinet towers in my room because I knew I wouldn't use more than a single filing cabinet (haven't for my last 5 years, and I had 4 different classes there!).

    That's also great about you memorizing names so quickly! Is there a district location where you can find your class list? I've got a yearbook from last year!

    Thanks for sharing that wikispaces link! I just posted about resources, but now I've got to include that, too! Thanks!