Use this simple system to help you organize and manage student assignments and papers!
“What do I do with this now that I’m done?” Do you hear this constantly?  One of the most important things you can do in order to stay on top of papers in the classroom is to have a consistent procedure for students to turn in their completed assignments.  You won’t hear that question again when you have a consistent routine in place.  There are many systems to choose from and you need to find what works best for you.  Are you unsure of where to start?  Read below!

This blog post will…

  • offer ideas for containers for collecting student assignments
  • share a free resource to improve your classroom organization

Before we begin:

Container Ideas

  • You need a designated spot for each subject area.  This will be the one central area that all completed assignments get turned in. Because students will know this is the procedure in our classroom, they will be able to quickly turn in their work and move onto the next activity and not waste time standing around waiting to ask, "What do I do with this now that I'm done?"
  • Use a different color bucket for each subject area with color-coordinated folders.
  • Use an ELA bucket as opposed to a reading bucket, a word study bucket, and a writing bucket.
  • I alternate teaching a social studies unit and a science unit, I put those two labels on opposite sides of the same bucket. I'll just rotate it around to reflect which subject we teach.
  • At designated times during the day (snack, dismissal) I have students sort the work in to piles by assignment and then arrange them in numerical order using the number in the corner and clip them together with a number sheet on top. By doing so I am able to quickly see who has not turned in an assignment. 
  • I use the cover sheet to track the assignments and if it is being graded I will record the grades directly onto these sheets. Because I log grades in once a week, this lets me return the graded work quicker and makes it easy for me to record grades when I do sit down to do that.
  • You may find that your district requires you to hold on to certain assessments. It is helpful to set up a box, file drawer or plastic tub in advance for this purpose.  I have a box designated for this purpose. At the end of each marking period I staple together any assignments that serve as support for a student’s grade and house them in this same box. Typically I don’t need to revisit these documents, but they are handy to have if a parent questions a report card grade or I decide to bring a child up for testing.

Ways to Stick Laminated Labels on the Containers

  • Tape
  • Glue
  • Tied with string/yarn
  • Hot glue and a hot glue gun
  • Modge Podge (and a bunch of foam brushes) ← My favorite option!

DIY Classroom Storage Containers

Use this simple system to help you organize and manage student assignments and papers!
Pick and click any or all of the options below.

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