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Easy Ways to Manage Student Work and All Those Papers

Wow, back to school time already! I can hardly believe it. Today my goal is to get my Friday folders ready.

Managing student work and sending papers home used to be a real pain in the you-know-what. Sorting them into student mailboxes every day, getting them from the mailboxes into the students' folders on Friday afternoon, and then into backpacks seemed like a monumental task, or at least a never-ending one.

But I've come up with a system to manage student papers that really works and is absolutely ZERO effort for me. My students do it all. What was that? No work, students do it all? Tell me more!

Well, first, I got some plastic envelopes like these...

plastic folders

These particular ones from Amazon are a little pricey but they last all year and never fall apart. Even the little snaps kept working. In fact, they held up so well, I was able to save about half of them to reuse this year (unheard of!). See, here are some left over from last year. They still look pretty good...

Next, I get hanging files and put them in plastic crate like this...

I have one file for each student. These don't have names on them yet because I don't have my final class list.

Now, here's where the zero work for teacher comes in. I keep a paper tray next to my Friday folders where I toss all of my graded papers and things to send home. The stack just keeps growing, but I don't care because students will take care of it.

These are the two most important jobs in my classroom...


​​The paper filer checks the paper tray every day and files all of the papers into the hanging files. This happens whenever there's some free time, when their work is finished, or in the morning before the bell.

Then on Friday, my Friday Folders manager takes the papers out of each student's file, puts them into their envelopes, and passes them out to go home. Totally painless!

Now I don't just send these folders home and hope the parents look in them. Inside each one is a parent log sheet. Parents sign off that they looked at their child's papers and then send the folder back in on Monday.

​​The log sheet looks like this...

Friday Folder Log

I fill in all the Friday dates for the year so I never have to think about it again.

The log just stays in the Friday folder. And since the folders are transparent, I don't even have to open them to see if it was signed.

This is the PERFECT paper management system for me and I hope it helps you too!


Get a FREE copy of my job cards and an editable version of the Friday Folder Log! Just click the image below:

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