Students' Paperwork Area (Summer Project #4)

I hope you've been enjoying my Summer Project series so far!  I've been looking at different areas of my classroom, photographing the "before" and analyzing what is and isn't working before diving into improvements.  We're halfway through the series already!  This week I'm focusing in on the "Kids' Paperwork Table."  This should be an easy one.

What works:
  1. This space mostly works!  Once again, I'm giving you a true look at this table at its worst; the week before school got out.  And other than a few stray items and a bunched up tablecloth, it's very functional.
  2. The Morning Meeting Kit has changed our mornings.  Seriously.  (Link brings you to a previous blog post).
  3. The extra worksheets bin is great for kids who lose papers and need to start again.
  4. The "Finished Early Tasks" system is usually introduced around January, once the kids have settled into our first round of routines and are ready for extra responsibilities because they're growing up.
  5. The polka dotted table cloth from Target was the inspiration for my classroom color palette (link brings you to a previous blog post).  Well, actually the existing furniture and paint job were the inspiration for my classroom color palette; this piece just tied it all together into hues that are attractive together.  Love it; it's a keeper.  I just recently created a whole bundle of items in this color scheme available for purchase (some old favorites, some new to me this coming year). 
What I want to fix:
1.      Not much!  The job chart task strips will get an update in order to match my colors.  Adding the printing and laminating to my Back to School to Do list (free for you to download and editable).   
2.      The extra worksheets bin will get a coordinating label as well.
3.      I wish I could think of a way to make the kid's "Share Items" look like a neater display, but I'm at a loss. 
4.      The addition of student "mailboxes."  I am SO excited about this idea.  I'm not proud of it, but I'm kind of bad about handing out notices and the like.  When we get back from lunch I'm usually balancing getting the kids settled into, you know, working, or else dealing with a social issue that started at recess.  The stack goes into my "pass back bin" and I forget to get them out to the kids.  By the time I remember I think, "Now's not a good time; they're in the middle of something; I don't want the notice on their desks/I don't want to stop them and remind them to get these into their folders."  Eight years ago when I taught third grade we had mailboxes.  But they didn't hold up well and they were expensive.  A fellow blogger let me know that the do it yourself cereal box ones on Pinterest are NOT durable enough for a year.  I don' t have a great space in the room for them (I'm scared of them falling on top of someone).  So instead, I'm planning on setting up this style "mailbox" for my class (link brings you to Pinterest)!  Genius!  It can go right behind the extra worksheets bin.  I can arrange the folders into hanging folders by group.  Then early finishers can put 4 papers into each group folder, and one person from each group can get the hanging files at the end of the day for their group! 

Can it be to good to be true?  Time will tell! 
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  1. Yay I found your blog to follow now as well as your instagram!

    I am USELESS at handing out notices- I definitely need a mailbox system... although I have a few kids who I know would never clear it unless I hounded them non stop!

    x Serena x
    Magic Mistakes & Mayhem

  2. Happy to be found! I love your instagram posts.

    I'll post an update about how the mail system works out. My plan will be to have the distribution process part of dismissal. We'll see how it goes!


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