Organizing Curriculum Units

If I put something into a filing cabinet, even with all of the wonderful intentions of colorful folders and labels, the items housed there seem to fall into the "out of sight, out of mind" oblivion.  I just don't go back to see what I have often enough, sometimes even making another copy of an activity, just because I forget I already have it prepped and ready to go.  {Hopefully, I'm not the only one that has filing cabinet issues.}

I love to store digital files on the computer. It's easy to see what I have and access them, but that's all they are: digital. At some point they need printed and often laminated, and then I go back to the metal conundrum at the back of my classroom.

This year will be different.

We started the Journey's curriculum last year. It was a hard adjustment for me. I loved novel studies, creating curriculum and activities. It was a change. It's still different, but I'm adjusting.

There is a lot to Journey's. Some of my students catch on quick. Others struggle with the concepts. Although the program offers some centers and worksheets, I've found the program at times to be a little boring. So I did some creating, to make centers and activities {especially for when working with small groups}. I don't want to forget an activity in the great gray abyss this year.

Introducing my binder system.

I love binders. I love the ability to flip through and see everything with out having to open and close a gazillion folders. The whole unit is sorted. For my Journey's units there are sections for vocabulary, spelling, target skill, decoding, affixes, and grammar activities; quick and easy to find.

The binder is big. However, I have all of the centers prepped. I like to take a day before testing to run 4-5 different centers for students to practice. I also mirror my classroom, so two groups are working on an activity at a time.

I co-teach with the special education teacher, so I'm hoping that this system works out a little better with sharing resources. The binders will be right by my desk, organized, and it'll be easy to take out an activity or two as needed. At least that's the hope for now.

How do you organize big units? Have you tried a similar system? How did it work for you? I'm hoping I can make things a little easier on myself!

{If you are a 4th grade teacher and would like to take a look at the resources I have for Journey's please take a look here}


  1. I'm also an out of sight, out of mind person. My file cabinet is just for storage these days. I've moved my resources to a cloud. I try my best to keep everything organized in specific folders with detailed names.


  2. I started off with a binder system exactly like this for my first teaching assignment. I ended up moving to a digital version, which is organized in exactly the same way. I have a folder for each unit, and then my subfolders contain all of the same heading as my binder tabs. I did this because I was getting frustrated trying to keep my master binder updated with the most updated version of everything (I didn't have access to a printer in my classroom). I also like that I can share it with myself at home (via dropbox) without having to lug big binders back and forth. :)

  3. I am on the same "journey", having adopted the same series. I am also moving to the same system but using 1" binders for each story. The teachers are changing classes instead of the students this year, so it will keep my resources at my fingertips regardless of the room. Great minds, huh?! ;)

  4. I converted to binders 2 years ago and I love how easy it is to find resources and how clean they look. My only problem - putting things in the binders throughout the year - I have a secret pile of pages and units and resources that need to find a binder home : )


I love comments! I also like to reply by email (so you can see my response). Please make sure that option is turned on in your profile settings so you can see my reply or leave your email address here! Thanks again for taking time to comment!!