Monday, August 13, 2012

B.Y.O.O. (becoming a better organizer) #1

Dear friends from

This truly is a "Made it Monday" post. Just keep reading! If you make it to the end there is a **FLASH FREEBIE** waiting for you!!

Have you ever seen photos of my classroom?

Ok, so that's not really me. But it could be. My favorite story is

I'm not joking. I am Sophie. 

But here's the thing: I have a brand new chance this year. The last time I had a brand new chance was when I had to opportunity to go back to college, and look what came of that! So needless to say I take brand new chances very seriously

What is my brand new chance exactly? Why, I have a new classroom. Here's the best part: The person before me retired and left nothing  hardly anything in the room! That means "A Whole New Beginning" for me and my classroom. 

I have some issues with organization. I don't think I'll ever be a separate-colors-and-whites kind of girl, but I really do need to make some improvements. Brand new chances mean brand new habits, right? In that spirit, I am launching my series B.Y.O.O. (Bring Your Own Organization). It's alias is "becoming a better organizer". Look for installments on my blog; they'll be labeled B.Y.O.O.

Goal: To have things *findable* in my classroom
Objective: To have clear, easy to find and use sub plans.

One of my biggest issues is leaving my room ready for a sub. I write up killer plans, but most of the time they are unprinted, scattered, spilled on. Sometimes I forget to leave notes about who is getting picked up that day, or the slip for attendance and lunch. Poor subs! And is there anything worse than not having "Puke Plans"? Lordy help anyone who tries to come into my room unplanned and without a map!

I came up with a solution. Note: this is not my original idea, but these are my original plans and designs. 

I started with a brand-new-chances binder. See how glittery and pink it is? See the fancy duct tape that not only matches my room but reinforces the binder? Genius. 

I bought cheapy paper tab dividers at Wally's. They were so plain that I had to spruce them up! I did that by getting a pack of scrapbooking papers in the colors of my classroom: black and white. I also bought some polka-dot decorative tape. 

The letter dots spell "Nurse", "lunch" and "attendance". I used the front pocket for the nurse passes, but I made the inside pockets by folding scrapping paper and gluing them in. I finished them off with the decorative tape, which I also used to line the edges of the divider pages. The lunch and attendance notes look like this:

The next tab features information the sub needs to know. 

The pages included are:
Contact and Important Numbers
Schedule (for the day)
Lesson Plans 
Special Notes
Class Seating
Attendance notes
Lunch notes

The best part is that this is a digital file that I can keep at school, at home, on my ipad, in our secretaries folder, wherever. It is a Word file with all the backgrounds, art and forms in place; I only need to go in and type the info I need into the forms. 

I loved this B.Y.O.O. idea so much that I just had to share! It's at my TPT Store, and for today it's absolutely FREE. You can customize it for YOU. And you subs, of course.

If you aren't crazy about the mustaches, then my Owls theme might be more to your liking! Check them both out...

See, already on my way to B.Y.O.O.!

Teachers Pay Teachers is an excellent avenue for sharing the items we all create. I love that I have a website store that was so simple to set up, and is straightforward and easy to post items.  Interested in sharing or selling your own items on Teachers Pay Teachers? I'd love to see you there! Please use my referral code if you decide to check it out!


  1. I have never read that story--I thought I had read all of judy's books! I am your latest follower--I would love to have you come by and visit my blog and enter my giveaway!

  2. Hey~ Thanks for the owl themed sub plan template. I have already emailed it to my school email. Having sub plans already done has ALWAYS been something I wanted to do...but I've NEVER done it. LOL! But hopefully using your template will help me out. I am your newest follower. Come follow me and grab my button at I'm pretty new to the bloggy world and I'd love to have you visit and see my owl room..well, what pictures I have posted it of it so far. I'm heading to my room around lunch to work some more.


  3. I love that book!! I also love "Earrings"...that was me when I was a kid! Thanks for sharing your ideas about the sub the binder organization.

    Craft of Teaching