The Joy of Teaching – An Evan-Moor Blog

Sharing creative ideas and lessons to help children learn

5 Ways to Organize Student Work


student folder with stickersHaving a place for students’ completed work and notes to go home may be the single most helpful organizational idea for your classroom. Here are some ideas to manage the paper flow:

  1. Hanging folder system: Cardboard pockets decorated with a nametag and/or photo can be hung on the wall or a bulletin board. Hanging folders can also be used in a file system for personalized homework activities or to gather student work for portfolios.
  2. Labeled shelf cubbies: Cover cereal boxes with contact paper and then stack them to create inexpensive cubbies. Covered cereal boxes (or plastic bins) can also be used to organize classroom library books by topic or to individualize reading materials for a student or center group.
  3. Take-home folders:
    • Card-stock pocket folders can be purchased inexpensively at seasonal school supply sales. When students return their folders, place a tiny sticker on the front of the folder. As the year progresses, students collect more stickers!student-folder-2
    • Give each student a large manila file folder to decorate. Open the folder to laminate it, then fold it and staple two sides. Cover the staples with fabric tape. Students can easily insert work and notes to take home throughout the school year.
    • See this blog post for suggestions of what to include in student folders for the first day of school.
  4. Pocket folders at students’ desks: Having a pocket folder at each student’s desk helps students stay organized and file work that needs to be finished.
  5. Prong-type binders: These binders can be kept in students’ desks to organize topical needs such as words to practice or songs and poems that are collected throughout the school year.


How to plan your school yearFor more organizational tips, bulletin board ideas, and classroom management ideas, see the Evan-Moor book How to Plan Your School Year.




Contributing Writer

Image of Theresa WoolerTheresa Wooler has more than 10 years’ experience in K–6 classrooms as a parent volunteer, has taught high school English, and is currently involved in education through Evan-Moor’s marketing communications team.

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