When I first started teaching, I had students turn in their papers to an “inbox” which was basically a little paper-sized plastic storage container that I purchased at Lakeshore Learning. While I tried to keep this organized in between my grading sessions by paper clipping each different stack, items easily got lost or mixed up.
The next year, I tried something different. It was those black stackable plastic trays with subject labels down the side. This was definitely a better idea because all of the papers were separated, but I still had some frequent mix ups. The worst part is that the kids could only turn in an 8.5×11 inch or smaller paper. All those times when we would do writing pieces or crafts that were backed on construction paper, I’d have to collect those separately because they wouldn’t fit!
Now, I have a better solution for your paper organization problems! I purchased two storage drawer containers from Target that are about 12″x12″. They stack really nicely on top of each other without sliding around. I took some pretty patterned card stock and wrote each subject on it and taped it to the inside. I can’t tell you how much I love this! It keeps everything so organized without falling out and holds those larger sized papers. Because each subject is written largely on the front, and in a different color, I have almost no confusion as to where to put it. The students turn in both homework and classwork to these drawers multiple times a day. I still find myself paper-clipping everything as it goes in so that different sheets don’t get mixed up. Best of all, these hold so many papers! I have packets that my students have to bring around with them for their daily centers to reflect on each station and these large packets fit in perfectly with room to spare. I hope this gives you some new organization ideas for your classroom!