Saturday, July 12, 2008

Folder System for 2008

I've been working on making a file crate system -- the link is to Dawn's posts on that subject. Sorry, the picture is blurry. My camera was running out of batteries so I couldn't take another one.

More File Crate Systems:

Here's another one at Three Plus Two.

And another one at My Thoughtful Spot.

Last year I had a simple one. It is described here. It actually worked really well. I didn't use it 100%, probably more like 70%, but that is about 50% better than most earlier years.

The way I used it was mostly retrospectively rather than prospectively. I didn't generally get around to putting flyers and plans into the folders ahead of time as Dawn explained she did in her folders. Once in a while I did, but only when I was really cruising. Instead, I would put the kids' completed work and various little mementos of things we had done -- little art projects or maybe a bulletin for an event, that type of thing.

At the end of the last school year, I simply retired the whole box as it was, folders and all. Now I will be able to go back and look and save the longterm treasures; it won't be perfectly organized but it won't be a jumbled pile like it generally has been in past years.

This year I'm doing it a bit differently. Instead of seasons, months, weeks, and days, I took folders that were color-coded by semester. I haven't labelled them yet, as you can see, though I have put them in order. Each folder stands for one week so there are six for the next six weeks of summer, then 40 for the schoolyear (counting vacation weeks). The colors are as follows:

  • Light blue is for summer and Christmas and other breaks.
  • Burgundy is for the fall trimester
  • Dark blue is for the winter trimester
  • Teal is for the spring semester
  • Grey is for the review weeks I put in twice a term. There are three weeks at the end of the third term for review/catch up.
(see here for proposed calendar for the year)

Here is the binder I have been working on, that I described here. See, it's pretty basic but it is helping me. I start a new page for every new subject as I walk mentally through the first week. I probably won't have to have a page per lesson all through the year -- I hope not, since that would be one big stack of paper -- but I already have benefited from being able to mentally/spatially separate different things on different pages.

The folder system has the same effect. I can put things in where they belong and not have to shuffle through them again until it is time to do so. I am aiming to try to put things in there ahead of time, this time. Kim explains how she does this, (with photos of binders and crates) and here is another one about the nitty-gritty.

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