A little basket that has made a big difference!

September 29, 2012

A little basket that has made a big difference!

September 29, 2012
Hey everyone! I wanted to share something that has been a huge help in my class this year…my Notes From Home basket! I can’t believe I had never done this in the past, but I honestly never kept a designated place for parent notes, fieldtrip forms, picture money, and all of that!! I just always took the forms on the fly, in the midst of greeting and attendancing (we seriously need a computer dictionary that recognizes our teacher lingo and doesn’t make those red error lines!) and other busy morning activities. 
I know, pretty bad!
Well, this summer I decided I couldn’t face the papers flying at me in the morning anymore…so I made this designated basket. 
And it has worked like a charm! 
I no longer touch any papers from home first thing in the morning…I just ask the students to put them right in the basket. Then, during specials, I take the time to sort through and organize these important items.
So, pretty simple, but I did want to share–just in case you would like to try the same (though I’m sure you are much more organized and already thought of this). 
I have a template for Notes From Home below, plus some editable labels that I shared back in the summer here: Editable Black Labels
What are some little organizational tricks you’ve used that have made a big impact in your classroom? I would love to learn some new ideas!
And here’s the file…

28 Comments

  • Tracey Schimke September 29, 2012 at 10:48 pm

    They look great! Super idea!
    Tracey
    Third Grade All Stars

    • Kristen September 29, 2012 at 11:23 pm

      Thanks Tracey 🙂 🙂

  • Shades of Teaching September 29, 2012 at 11:01 pm

    Kristen I know what you mean. This year I too for the first time implemented something very similar instead I have incoming and outgoing baskets. I keep them not too far from the door. They are working great!!! I use the outgoing basket for school distributed notices, and it is helping me so much. I'm not forgetting to send home a notice and if I do of course one of my lovely students will remind me.

    Shades of Teaching

    • Kristen September 29, 2012 at 11:22 pm

      that sounds perfect! Students are the best reminders, aren't they? 🙂

  • LYNDSEY September 29, 2012 at 11:02 pm

    Love! I call mine "The Important Paper Bin."

    • Kristen September 29, 2012 at 11:21 pm

      oooh I like that name!

  • Lori Faas September 29, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    Kristen, I have an "inbox" basket and an "outbox" basket on top of my mailboxes. That way I can collect incoming things and I have a place to put the things that need to go home in folders. Before this system I used to get those flyers and just set them down and forget to send them homw. When things are in the "outbox" basket, it is a great visual!
    Lori @
    Bee the Change
    Mrs. Faas’ First Grade

    • Kristen September 29, 2012 at 11:22 pm

      I like that a lot Lori, thanks!

  • Tara September 29, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Simple and brilliant!!! Love it as usual!! Now to get the cute baskets like yours by Monday:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  • A Tale of 2 First Grades September 30, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Kristen,
    Your new morning routine sounds just like mine! Hey, where did you get those cute baskets, I can only find those in primary colors.

    ~Alison

    • Kristen September 30, 2012 at 7:35 pm

      thanks! They are from Really Good Stuff–they have a bunch of colors!

  • Kelly September 30, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Great idea! I think I need one for my class. Thanks!

    Kelly @ I'm Not Your Grandpa, I'm Your Teacher

  • Sara Soucy September 30, 2012 at 1:44 am

    I've had a notes from home bin for the past few years and it has made my life so much easier! I get all the important information right away in the morning, without my students waving papers in my face. I even used your editable labels this year when I made my baskets!

    Sara 🙂
    Smiling In Second Grade

  • Kimberly Santana September 30, 2012 at 1:47 am

    My littles always try to shove their agenda/planner in my face as soon as they enter if there's a parent note written inside- I bought a slightly deeper box than yours just in case there's multiple agendas that need my attention, but regardless it works the same way. 🙂 My school is big on making sure all communication is in the student agenda- keeps notes from getting lost I suppose. I call it my "must see" basket. Thanks for the editable labels 🙂 Those are always handy to have!

    Kimberly
    The Learning Tree

  • ~Stephanie September 30, 2012 at 1:54 am

    Great idea Kristen! Those notes are such a time sucker right in the morning sometimes. Great way to handle them.

    ~Stephanie
    Teaching in Room 6

  • Hollie September 30, 2012 at 3:40 am

    Love it, where did you get your little baskets??

    • Kristen September 30, 2012 at 7:35 pm

      Thanks Hollie, they are from Really Good Stuff. I love them!

  • Mrs. Cupcake September 30, 2012 at 4:46 am

    I do the same thing!! Only, my students keep money and notes in a zipper pouch in our take-home folders, and then my aide goes through them and gives the stuff to me. I have a bin on my desk and I sort through it during prep!
    ❤Teri
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  • Beach Lovin' Teach September 30, 2012 at 5:00 am

    This is a great idea that prevents piles of papers first thing in the morning! I call my bin the "Teacher Mailbox". Your labels are much cuter than mine though! Thanks for sharing!

    Marie
    Beach Lovin' Teach

  • Traci September 30, 2012 at 7:50 am

    HOW have I never thought of this before?! Duh! I've always grabbed them, thrown them "somewhere" on my desk and then fumbled around trying to sort everything out later. Sometimes it's the simple things, right?
    Thanks!
    ❤Dragonflies in First ❤

  • Libby September 30, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    I use an actual mailbox that sits on the end of my desk. I bought it from my local hardware store a few years back for around $40, dollar stores might even sell them cheaper. It works well as the children love posting their notes from home into the little slot at the front and it keeps everything together until I have the time to read through them.

  • S. Simpson September 30, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Thanks so much for the freebie. You always create such great looking products. I love how clear and modern looking they are, thanks for sharing.

    ✰ Stacy

    Simpson Superstars

  • Lana September 30, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    Great idea! I have a "Drop box" for things like that!

  • Kelley Cirrito September 30, 2012 at 6:20 pm

    Thanks for sharing!! I think this would really make a difference in my classroom too! I hope you have a great weekend!!

  • Elizabeth September 30, 2012 at 8:23 pm

    Leave it to my girl, Kristen, to take a simple concept and make it look fabulous! I love it (as always)!

    Elizabeth
    Fun in Room 4B

  • Love to Learn October 1, 2012 at 3:25 am

    Such a great idea. Sometimes it gets so chaotic in the morning when students are handing in a variety of forms and having them in one place is so helpful!

    Love to Learn

  • Molly October 1, 2012 at 5:43 am

    Fabulous idea, Kristen!! I definitely need to get me one of these baskets! Usually I just tell my kiddos to put their notes on my desk and then I have a bunch of random notes all over!

    Molly
    Lessons with Laughter

  • s.hock February 9, 2013 at 11:01 pm

    I just wanted to let you know that I used your editable labels and ideas for turning in homework this year, and it has changed my life. Morning routines run so much smoother. It's amazing what a few colored bins and some labels can do for a classroom. Thank you for always sharing your tips and tricks! :)!!

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