To the Teachers: An appeal for paper sanity

Teachers, dear teachers, we send home papers.

We send them home daily. Homework, tests, classwork, permission slips, sports sign-ups, and the other reams of notifications that “must” go home.

They overwhelm parents with lists, and bullets, and due dates.

May I make an appeal?


Pick a Day

I pick Friday. All the corrected work, all the permission slips, all the everything paper goes home on Friday.

Not Monday. Not Wednesday. Friday.

I tell all the parents: Friday. Check the folder, things will be there.


Sort the Papers

Sort by subject. Sort by type: flyer, sign-up, permission, test, homework. Whatever.

Just sort the papers!

Too busy? Assign this to the kids. Your students love to help you, so give them jobs to do. Be sure that kids are only sorting UNGRADED papers!

Then make packets for each kid by type. So, for example, each child should receive a packet of all the sports materials, a packet of the permission slips, and a packet of order forms. You should file the corrected items.

Next Level Sorting


Make a folder for all the things that need to go home. I call mine the Friday Folder.


Because it goes home on Fridays.

Parents know to look for it, they know to empty it, they know to sign the little sheet inside that says they saw all the things.

Organize Papers in Class, Too

Create an organization system for yourself.

I used turn-it-in bins, basic stacking file shelves available at any bog box or office supply store. Label them in the following manner: Homework, Late Work, Notes for the Teacher.

Teach the routine: all homework goes immediately into the Homework bin. All late work goes in the Late Work bin. Everything else goes into the last bin. This includes permission slips, notes, and order forms.

Life: simplified. And it make sorting by type SOOOO much easier!

How do you organize papers to send home? Do you have a filing system?



3 thoughts on “To the Teachers: An appeal for paper sanity

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