Organizing All Those Digital Teacher Products!

Hi Y'all,

So last night, I spent a few hours reorganizing my computer's desktop. I had files that I thought were helpful, but alas I could not find anything I needed! Also, if you are anything like me, you have all of your products you have purchased, and or received as freebies from wonderful blog hops and giveaways, that are somewhere in the seemingly infinite space on your computer. I had a folder named Freebies and Products and subcategories named ELA, Math, Science, etc. but it still wasn't helpful enough. I wanted to be able to access the tremendous resources I have on my computer at the drop of a hat! I wanted to be able to easily determine which products would be helpful to whichever standard or lesson I was teaching at that moment. Whenever I would be starting a new unit, I would head to my Freebies and Products folder on my desktop in search of a relevant game or activity of my kiddos. I always became frustrated with my lack of organization! Now that I have the time, I decided to spend my evening last night reorganizing my desktop folders to fit my lifestyle a bit better.

Naturally, I didn't think this would become a post, so I did not take any pictures of the "How-To" portion of the adventure. But here is how it went down:

  • Open the main folder with your products and resources.
  • Within this folder, create new folders based on subcategories, such as ELA, Math, Science, Teacher Resources, Classroom Organization, Classroom Decor, Social Studies, Social/Emotional, Speech and Language, OT, Behavior, Adaptive P.E., Assistive Tech, etc. Whatever you need to include all of your products!
  • Start moving your resources into these categories
  • Open each subcategory folder and begin creating new folders with additional subcategories. For example, in your ELA folder, you may include Word Work, Sight Words, Spelling, Nonfiction, Fiction, Book Units etc. I decided to make them based on the specific skills or subjects I teach throughout the year. We have units on Fiction and Nonfiction in Literature. I also have a lot of Book Units I wanted to keep separate. I also have a Word Work station in my classroom, as well as a Literacy Centers station (different). I have a lot of Sight Word resources, so I wanted to include those in their own folder. My Spelling folder includes all of the lessons and concepts I teach during my Fundations lessons, such as contractions, homophones, r-controlled words, etc. 
  • Start moving your resources from your 1st subcategory folders into your sub-subcategory folders (there has to be a name for these that I am forgetting!).
  • Do this with all of your products in your main products and resources folder.
  • If you have any resources in other folders on your computer, go through these as well. Then, delete the now empty folder to make it less confusing.
  • From now on, take the time to move all of your new resources to these subcategories for easy organization!

Here is how it turned out:

 I renamed this folder from Freebies and Products to Teacher Resources. I think it sounds better - more professional even.

 Subfolders: Books (this includes all digital copies of any books I have on my computer), Centers (ones that include different subjects, not just geared toward one), Classroom (see below for a look into this folder), Daily Work/Morning Work/Daily Journals (my collection of products that include daily work packets, morning work activities, daily journal prompts, etc.), Literacy (see below for a look into this folder), Math (includes the different topics I teach in math for each subfolder), Preschool (for all of my preschool-aged products I have), Science/SS (see below for a look into this folder), SLP/OT (includes all Speech and Language and/or OT activities and lessons), Social/Emotional (includes all social/emotional skills training, lessons, and activities), Theme/Holiday Activities (includes all activities geared toward a specific theme or holiday), and Writing (includes all topics I teach in writing, such as parts of speech, sentence structure and composition, fact vs. opinion writing, informational writing, etc. I also decided to create two folders for writing and literacy. This was because I do not teach "ELA" as a block, but instead teach my subjects separately (writing, literature, and spelling). I also have LOTS of resources for these topics, so I wanted to separate them for my sanity).

 This is a look into my Classroom folder. Subfolders: Back to School (includes all of my back to school activities), Behavior (includes all of my behavior resources, including classroom rewards, expectations, and routines), Classroom Calendars (includes all calendars used for the classroom - read: not teacher calendars or unit plans), Classroom Decor (includes any classroom posters, classroom themes, welcome banners, classroom signs, etc.), Classroom Organization (this includes daily schedules, classroom procedures checklist, labels for organizing the classroom, etc.), End of the Year (includes all End of the Year or Welcome to Summer activities and lessons), General Graphic Organizers (this is my collection of blank graphic organizers that can be used with a variety of topics and subjects), Morning Meeting (includes my morning meeting questions, routines, activities, etc.), Objectives (includes classroom objectives visuals and I Can statements for students), Question of the Day/5 Minute Fillers (includes all quickie activities and Questions of the Day), Teacher Resources (yes, I'm aware that this subfolder is the same name as the main folder. This includes all resources strictly for teacher and teacher organization. For example, it includes lesson plan templates, progress reports and conferences forms, teacher binder resources, and my most used folder: IEP resources).

 This is a look at my Literacy folder. Subfolders: Book Projects (includes general book reports or projects that can be used with a variety of books), Book Units (this includes my collection of different book studies and units), Daily Reviews, Worksheets, and Journals (includes all literacy themed morning work packets, journals, or worksheets), Dictionary and Word Wall (this includes all lessons, units and tasks related to teaching dictionary skills, as well as resources for classroom word wall activities), Emergent Readers Books (includes all teacher-written books for emergent readers), Fact and Opinion (includes all fact and opinion activities related to literacy - read: different resources than fact and opinion writing in my Writing folder), Fiction Unit (includes all resources and topics used during my fiction unit of study), Fluency (includes activities and lessons related to teaching fluency in reading), Graphic Organizers (this folder differs from the General Graphic Organizers folder. This one includes graphic organizers related to reading strategies. This is similar to readers response sheets, but in graphic organizer format), Guided Reading (Guided Reading tasks and lessons), Idioms (includes all activities related to teaching idioms and other figurative language lessons), Literacy Centers (differs from the Centers folder in the main Teacher Resources folder, as this folder is designated for centers with a literacy theme), Main Idea (I included this folder, because one of my first units in teaching reading strategies is a main idea unit. This includes all lessons related to main idea), Making Good Book Choices (I couldn't think of a more succinct title - this will do. This folder includes lessons and visuals related to teaching students how to make good book choices, and "just right" books), Nonfiction Unit (includes resources and topics used during my nonfiction unit of study), Poetry (includes all resources and lessons used during my poetry unit of study), Reading Response Sheets (includes the various reading response and listening center response sheets I have accumulated), Reading Strategies (see below for a look into my Reading Strategies folder), Sight Words (includes all resources related to teaching sight words, includes different grade levels and lists of words), Spelling (this folder is vast and includes all of the topics I teach during Fundations, such as homophones, r-controlled words, prefixes and suffixes, contractions, etc.), Synonyms and Antonyms (includes all lessons and activities related to teacher synonyms and antonyms), Vocabulary (includes tasks related to teaching vocabulary, such as Word of the Day and Vocabulary Word Walls), Word Work Ideas (includes all resources and activities used during, or related to, my Word Work center).

 This is a look into my Reading Strategies subfolder in my Literacy folder. I included a Reading Strategies subfolder to include all the reading strategies I teach throughout the year. Subfolders: Cause and Effect (this includes all activities and lessons related to teaching cause and effect in reading), Comprehension (an umbrella category - includes any more "general" comprehension lessons that don't fit nicely into the other folders), Context Clues (includes all tasks and lessons related to teaching the skill of using context clues), Inferencing (includes all lessons and activities related to teaching the concept of making inferences during reading), Retell (includes all tasks and lessons related to the skill of retelling), Summarizing (includes all lessons and tasks related to summarizing text), Thinking Stems/Response Questions (this includes, you guessed it, thinking stems, and general response question forms or task cards related to using these strategies). The Reading Strategies folder also includes a great resource from Carmela Brown at Diary of a Teachaholic. This product is a Book List organized by reading strategy! Love it :)

This is a look into my Science/SS subfolder of my Teacher Resources folder. Subfolders: Science (see below for a look into this folder), Social Studies (see below for a look into this folder).

This is a look into my Science folder. I included subfolders for the topics I teach according to my school's science curriculum. Subfolders: 5 Senses (includes all lessons and tasks related to the 5 senses of the human body), Animals (includes all lessons and activities related to life cycles, migration, animal studies, etc.), Earth Day (includes all lessons and activities related to the study of earth day, including conservation and preservation related topics), Habitats (includes all resources related to different habitats), Health (includes all lessons and unit plans as outlined by my school district, including nutrition, drugs, hygiene, etc.), Solar Systems (includes all lessons and resources related to the sun, moon, the planets, and the earth within the universe), Weather/Seasons (includes resources related to different seasons and weather). Also included in this folder is a Science Word Wall resource created by Nicole Shelby of Teaching with Blonde Ambition.

This is a look into my Social Studies folder. I included subfolders for the topics I teach according to my school's science curriculum. Subfolders: Black History Month (includes all resources related to teaching about black history and/or Black History Month lessons as outlined by my school district's curriculum), Communities (geared toward younger learners, this folder includes all lessons and activities related to teaching about communities and community helpers), U.S. Government (not strictly "government" this folder includes all government-related resources, as well as U.S. symbols, and Presidents lessons and activities), Women's History (includes all resources related to teaching about women's history and/or Women's History Month lessons as outlined by my school district's curriculum), World Cultures/History (includes all lessons and tasks related to learning about different cultures, countries and world history).



I like to have my folders look clean and neat, so I like to "clean" them up. I do this for all of my folders, and I like to organize alphabetically by name. This was done with a Mac, but I believe you can do something similar on a PC by right-clicking in the folder, like I did with my "2-finger click"

Obviously, the folders you create will be dependent upon the products you have. Some topics I teach in my classroom do not have a folder within my Teacher Resources folder, because I do not have any teacher products aligned with that topic and/or standard. You may (and probably will) have other folders that I do not have, based on your collection of products. This is the perfect activity to do during the summer, because, come fall, you will be super organized and ready to go!

I hope this helps anyone looking to reorganize some folders. A future post will be dedicated to showing you how I organize my original teacher products, as well as a post for all of my blog-related things.

Oh, and I linked up with Technology Tailgate's Techie Tuesday! Find some other great technology-related resources by clicking the image below :)
Chat soon,
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3 comments

  1. I did this very same thing at the beginning of the summer. It took a long time but was TOTALLY worth it! I can easily find things I need and it has saved me time in the long run! Great post!
    Karen Rowland
    Adventures With Firsties

    karenrowland112677@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great post! I have to have my files organized! It makes things so much easier. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    Karen

    An Apple a Day in First Grade

    ReplyDelete
  3. Looks like you are super organized now!! I need to do this too...mine is embarrassing lol. I can never find anything! Thanks for motivating me to get it done :)

    Sarah
    A Sunny Day in First Grade

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for the comments! I look forward to reading them :)

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