Classroom Organization Blog Hop

As a proud member of Primary Powers I am excited to be part of this Organization Blog Hop.

That being said... I am not organized.

What saves me is having systems. As many systems as possible that help me fake being organized.

One other little piece of advice I learned somewhere in my 16 years of teaching is the phrase "O.H.I.O"

I don't know where it comes from. I did happen to visit Ohio, as in the state, this summer for a bit... but otherwise have no connection.

In this situation it stands for "Only Handle It Once"

I TRY..... not always successfully....but a true effort is made. If I get something in my hands that I have to deal with I do it and have closure.

Don't just walk it from one pile to another and then write it on your to-do list.....which gets longer and more intimidating.

This silly tip does truly help me.... but it isn't my main event here today.

Effective communication with the parents is a crucial.

I have had a "Take Home Tuesday" a "Friday Folder and even a "Weekly Wednesday Update" The weekly communication worked for upper grades - I sent home classroom work and updates from me.

But in kindergarten I feel that a weekly folder isn't enough.

Have you ever sent home that project you were so proud of. The one you prepped for over an hour and then you watched it get crunched down into the backpack :(

Or you see it on the field as litter after everyone has gone home.

I want my kids to get all their hard work {and mine} all the way HOME.... so they can read it, share it and celebrate it.

I want the parents in my class to get any notes, forms or homework assignments that I send too!

So I have a take home folder... that goes home EVERY.SINGLE.DAY.

At first every day sounds like a hassle. BUT I have found that a daily folder makes it ROUTINE for the kids and for ME. 

I call it a briefcase... and I tell them that just like their mom and dad may have a briefcase that they take to work EVERY day... so do they. Now I will say the word "briefcase" is becoming similar to the word "typewriter." Right? But it isn't obsolete yet and it lends itself to a fun discussion when the briefcases are first introduced.

The top reason I love having these...organization!

I don't wonder if things get into the hands of the parents.....The parents are also part of this routine and they know to look in and empty the briefcase daily.

I am lucky to have several parent volunteers who help to keep this process working. Their number one job - empty any incoming paperwork and put these puppies in number order {you can see the number in the top corner of the side with the opening.

I explain to the parents that this "briefcase" is to come to school each and every day. If they have a note, money, order form, etc for me it must be in the briefcase as I will not be checking bags or lunch boxes.

The kids walk in class and put them here:

After the parents or aide {or ME...during my lunch} empty them and put them in order the fill them with anything ready to go home. I also have 5th graders that sometimes pop in my room during their break to help out.
 Or a close up shot:

I have tried this a million ways, but I am happy with just my three tabs in back... my favorite is "extra copies."

You know when a parent says... do you have another picture day form? or who knows what they need... and I think... hmm, I probably have that in one of my 18 million piles... well now... all I do is....
take a peek in Extra Copies.. and it saves me time and makes me appear a bit more organized.

The daily folder may seem like a lot of work, but I have found it much more effective than a once a week type of thing with the little learners.

So that is how I organize my home to school connection!

Now hop on over to my friend Jaime at Bright Concepts 4 Teachers


  1. I have a folder I send home daily too...I love them!!! I love that you call them briefcases - the kids must love that! I REALLY love that you have a folder for extra copies! Thanks for sharing your tips! :)

    A Sunny Day in First Grade

  2. I agree. I love doing daily folders in my classroom. It also helps when you have a student on a daily behavior contract. They don't have to feel too singled out to take a chart home everyday - everyone takes something home everyday. :)
    I LOVE your 3 folders at the back idea. I am totally going to do that. Thank you for sharing!

  3. I like that the parents know exactly what to look for each day when their child comes home too! Thanks for sharing your ideas. -Jaime

  4. These are great ideas for home to school communication! I am all about starting those routines early on! In second grade, we use a daily folder because the students can manage that alone. You have a wonderful system in place and are lucky to have so much help! :)

  5. I especially need that folder for extra copies!!! That is the bane of my existence!!!

    The Daily Alphabet

  6. How cute is the term "briefcases"! I love it and I love daily folders!!
    A Burst of First