Unfinished Work Boxes - Classroom Organization & Management

Check out these simple elementary classroom organization and management strategies about unfinished work and student assignments that are a work in progress. Try out the must do may do procedure and unfinished work boxes, binders, and folders strategies and routines. No more messy desks for your kids!

There are many different approaches to managing the work that students do not finish. One strategy is to have your students keep a folder of work in progress activities. The problem with that is that it is "out of sight and out of mind." If you are thinking, “There must be a better way!” You are right! Read below to learn about it!

This blog post will…


  • offer a solution for how to manage students’ unfinished work
  • reduce the mess in your students’ desks by giving them a different space to store their unfinished work
  • decrease the chance you will spend time helping your students find their missing assignments before they could finish it.

Before we begin:


Check out these simple elementary classroom organization and management strategies about unfinished work and student assignments that are a work in progress. Try out the must do may do procedure and unfinished work boxes, binders, and folders strategies and routines. No more messy desks for your kids!


Unfinished Work Boxes


  • Assign each student a box (I used a paper sorter) and label it with his/her number.
  • If you are working on a whole-class ongoing project, collect the student work and hold onto it until the next time they are going to work on it. However, if the children have not completed work during the allotted time, tell them to "put it into your unfinished box." The students will then slide their assignment into their box until a time arises when they can finish it. 
  • This system is great because it allows the teacher to tell at a glance who is falling behind on classwork. You can easily see who has work to complete and who has A LOT of work to complete. You can also tell when children are making "may do" choices when they should be doing their unfinished work from the "must do" board.
  • It is beneficial to have everything in one place. Your "late finishers" are often your more disorganized students. You no longer need to spend time helping them find their missing assignments before they could finish it. Now it's all in one central location.
  • Empty the boxes at the end of each week. This may mean that you invite the children to come in before school or stay after school. Another option is to send it home to be completed on the weekend.

IMPROVE YOUR CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT:



Check out these simple elementary classroom organization and management strategies about unfinished work and student assignments that are a work in progress. Try out the must do may do procedure and unfinished work boxes, binders, and folders strategies and routines. No more messy desks for your kids!

Check out these simple elementary classroom organization and management strategies about unfinished work and student assignments that are a work in progress. Try out the must do may do procedure and unfinished work boxes, binders, and folders strategies and routines. No more messy desks for your kids!
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