Taming that Paper Pile

Saturday, March 21, 2015

For years, I would end up with a pile of ungraded papers that was a mile high.  This year I finally found what works for me!

This paper tray was used for many different things over the years and this year I decided to re-purpose it!

I don't collect math homework because it is for practice. I want the students to be able to ask questions about the problems they had difficulty with the night before which can't happen if I collect their homework. They do get credit for the homework, but it is based purely on completion.

I do collect science and social studies homework and of course I have tests and quizzes to grade.

The trays sit on the corner of my desk. I made mini signs, printed them on cardstock, laminated them and then attached them with double sided tape (use this all the time in my classroom!).

I use the top tray for tests and quizzes because I allow the students to make corrections to those and it is really easy for them to just drop the corrected papers on top.

I think being able to see exactly how many papers I have to grade for each subject area keeps me from putting off the grading (I don't know about you, but that is top on my list of things I don't like to do!!) and getting a pile a mile high.


  1. Great, simple idea! Whatever works, right? I tried something similar with a labelled accordion file.

    Tammy @ Teaching FSL

    1. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the best. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. I think I may have to look for one of those!

    Terri Izatt

    1. We have something called Teacher's Treasures where companies donate products (usually slightly damaged ones) and we get to go shop every couple of months. I got this there many years ago, but since it's metal it has lasted. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I need one of these! I get the work graded, but I tend to forget to pass it back. This might help!

    Sara :)
    The Colorful Apple

    1. I've got two other paper trays for returning papers. The kids know that I hand them back on Monday with their weekly report, so they often remind me to get them passed back. Thanks for stopping by!