For more than one reason, actually. She sent me a copy of her new book, Awakened, and it is absolutely terrific. I read it and felt like she was speaking to me personally. My review is coming soon.
Today, however, I’m thinking Angela’s a genius because of the section of her book, The Cornerstone, that is about handling paper. She breaks down the avalanche of paper that comes into a classroom each day into a lot of different categories (more than I had come up with on my own), and emphasizes that “there is ONE place for EVERY paper.”
That’s the rule I live by at home — every single thing that comes into my home has a place where it belongs — but I hadn’t quite figured out how to make that work at school. I still haven’t completely figure it out, but I am getting there. Here are Angela’s seven steps for avoiding the paper trap:
Step 1) Temporary Places for Incoming Papers
Step 2) Binder for Lessons, Grades, and Reference
Step 3) Frequently-Referenced Forms and Papers
Step 4) Student Papers
Step 5) Activities and Worksheets You’re Using Now
Step 6) Teaching Resources for All Skills Taught
Step 7) General Files
I’ve managed to get through steps one and two, and it is awesome. PLUS, I actually have a clean desk. I clean it off every day when I leave school, and have maintained an orderly desk for an amazing three whole weeks. My assistant teacher says it’s pretty different from last year, and every other person who has worked with me would not recognize my desk at all. I even have room for a flowering plant on it!
So I’m a big Angela Watson fan. If you haven’t checked out her blog yet, you should! Better yet, buy the Cornerstone.