Thursday, March 1, 2012

Organization Project Wk 7: The Teacher Bag

So, as some of you might have noticed, I fell off the Clutter-Free Classroom Organization Project bus. Truthfully, I didn't fall off, I just put it on pause and I am ready to get it rolling again. I am skipping a few weeks, but will go back to them as I get those areas organized.

This post is linking up to Week 7: The Teacher Bag
My teacher bag...
 was not a mess, cluttered, or disorganized. I keep it pretty simple when it comes to my bags. I have one for my MacBook and all of it paraphernalia and another bag to carry my agenda, lunch bag, cardigans, etc... You know, all that stuff we cart back and fourth daily. I post about them previously and you can read about them by clicking on this link. However, I don't like carrying around 2 bags, and am in the process of consolidating these two bags into one. There is this dark purple sleeve I am waiting for and when I get it, my laptop will go in my large bag. When I work it out I'll let you know.

What I really struggled with this year was my weekend bag. The bag I use to cart around all my planning and assessment "tools" home for the weekend. At the start of this year I got a pretty nice, personalized, canvas bag. It is nice, but there is no real structure it. Everything flops around. Truth be told it became a catch all. I got tired of carting around items I would not use just because. 

One day my brain just combined two great ideas I found online and created a fabulous idea. Now I am sure I am not the first person to do this. I know that many of you bright people out there have done this before me, but I was proud of my self when it came to fruition.

I would us A bowl full of lemons "Command Center"/ Hadar's teacher table top organizer and combine it with a 31 bag. An idea I saw on I Heart Organizing.
I got the 31 Utility Tote from the fabulous Donna, of Kinderglynn. I go to her for all my 31 handbag needs. 

I found this plastic file box at Target.
I added Hanging file for:
1. To Copy/ Scan
2.  To File/ Grade
3. First Grade
4. Kindergarden
5. Miscellaneous

Because I teach multiple classes of First and Kinder, I added file folders to the First Grade and Kindergarten file folders. I labeled them:
First Grade: School A,
First Grade: School B,
Kindergarten: School A: K1,
Kindergarten: School A: K2,
and Kindergarten: School B.
Now I can neatly file writing samples, anecdotal notes, worksheets, etc... 
The file box fits perfectly in the utility bag. As you can see my teachers manuals and resource books fit beautifully in this bag too. I also added my handy dandy zebra clipboard that was a fab x-mass gift from a fellow teacher.

I also proceeded to make a table top organization station like Hadar's. It took me a year to find this organizer at Target. When I finally found it I snapped it up.
I did not need a place to keep my weekly work, I already have that, but I did want a place to store other papers that usually clutter my desk.
 I used the same files as my bag, and added a monthly calendar to the front and my triage copies, emergency procedures, label packet and conferencing notebook to the back.
 I also attached some "POP", Positive Office Passes with a binder clip to the back and added some ribbon to add some style.
what I am not happy about is that it takes up some desk space. HOWEVER, I do like having everything at my fingertips. So far it has been a hit.

 As for my bag...

I adore it and has been a dream to cart home on Fridays. It has been so easy to find what I want/ need to plan and grade.

What do you think?

34 comments:

  1. Love your idea for the 31 bag! I have one too, and this would be a great way to organize it.

    ✰Amber
    Sparkles, Smiles, and Student Teaching

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  2. Great idea. However, when I take papers home they just stay in the bag. Too much going on at home to get any of it done. So now they only thing I cart back and forth is my lunch, breastpump and jacket. If I ever do decide to bring papers home again, I will be using this! I have that bag and what a great idea to organize it that way.

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    1. Thanks & I understand, I used to have that problem. However, now I do have to get stuff done at home or I don't get anything done. Although it is helpful that I don't have kids.

      Ms. M

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  3. Oh my word, I have to do that! That is so, so smart!! I ended up shoving all of my papers in my bag and then they're all disorganized and overwhelming-looking and it just stresses me out. Thanks Melissa, this will be a goal for me next week!!!
    Kristen

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    1. That is the same problem I used to have. Glad it is helpful to you. :)

      Ms. M

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    2. BTW, I definitely want to see yours when you make it!

      Ms. M

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  4. I love this idea! I will be doing this too! Love, love, love it!
    Camille
    An Open Door

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    1. Thanks Camille. Let me know when you make yours. I'd love to see it.

      Ms. M

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  5. I need to get one of those bags! Thanks for sharing your ideas.

    2B Honey Bunch
    The Best Endings

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    1. Erika, they are fab bags. :)

      Ms. M

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  6. I too have fallen off the Clutter Free Classroom Challenge bus. I got hung up on the cleaning my desk one. It's been on my to do list since then but stuff keeps coming up. I love the 31 bag idea. I've seen the table top organzier but until reading about it on your blog did it hit me that that would solve some of my desk and reading table clutter problems. Thanks. I've got to get on making one of those.

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    1. Ooo, I am glad it helped. :)

      Ms. M

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  7. I love this! You don't even know what sort of horrendous things are in my "teacher bag". I'm pretty good about keeping my classroom neat... but my bag is another story. You've motivated me to at least clean out the crumpled receipts and ponytail holders... maybe I will clean out the gum wrappers and outdated handouts from faculty meetings too...

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    1. Katie, you made me laugh. My bag used to be like that too. I don't do it so much anymore. I just got tons or organizers for everything. It helped a lot.

      Ms. M

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  8. Wow! I am really impressed with your organization and you just inspired me to reorganize all of my teaching things in more detail. I absolutely love your teaching bag and your desk organizer... especially the at a glance calendar and office notes.

    Amy
    The Crazy Adventures of a University Graduate

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    1. Amy I can't begin to tell you how nice it is to not have to look for everything and know where it is right away.

      Ms. M

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  9. I think it look terrific! You could use some dark chocolate M & Ms for inspiration! ;) Thank you for going into detail about how you keep things organized...I can't wait to try some of your ideas.
    New to blogging and loving it...
    Jenny
    owlthingsfirst

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  10. I love how you explained in detail how you have everything set up. I still need to get a hanging file folder for my bag but have yet to drive into the city to do so (its an hour drive; there is nothing locally). Its on my list of things to do the next time I have to go into town.

    Mrs Poland
    Think, Wonder, & Teach

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    1. You know I have to go get some MORE hanging files for some other projects I'm working on now. Thanks for the reminder.

      Ms. M

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  11. Just to say Thanks for all you do to share your resources with the rest of us…You've been awarded the Lovely Blog Award…Please hop over and take a look! You're thought of in a very special way!
    Swamp Frog First Graders Lovely Blog Award

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    1. Thank you so much Heidi. I am a fan of yours and am honored to get this award form you.

      Ms. M

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  12. Love this post! Just found your blog and had to check it out (I'm a Mrs. M too!) I'm also a new follower. =)

    Bobbie

    http://thedailycupcake-akindergartenblog.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks! I be sure to go take a look.

      Ms. M

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  13. I love it... Great idea!!!

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    1. Thanks but I can't take complete credit, I was inspired.

      Ms. M

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  14. I love the 31 bag with the file organizer in it!!! I saw it last December on the same blog and it was my goal to get it made for myself. By the time the new semester started, I was toting my new and improved bag into school with me :) It makes packing and unpacking so much less stressful and I no longer feel the since of dread when I look at my bag on the weekends. I'm glad it's worked out for you, too!

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    1. I am glad you like yours, I love mine. It has been working our perfectly.

      Ms. M

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  15. UMMMM this took me WAY to long to see!! Way to go Melissa!!!! It looks awesome!!!

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    1. Thanks, how did you find it after all this time? I have to do a but of updating in both the table top and bag organizers because my files have changed. New group of kids and all but I still love both. :)
      Melissa

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  17. thanks for share a niche tot bag, I thing every one like this becouse of its comfortablility , recently i was write a simple article about Best teacher bags  i think that help you lots

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