6 Easy (and free) Tools to Manage Your School Year

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“Anxiety is caused by a lack of control, organization, preparation, and action.”

David Kekich

Do you wonder how some teachers manage doing everything and make it look easy? The secret to getting things done is organization and management. Teachers know the beginning of the year is one of our busiest times as it brings an onslaught of activities that challenge even the most organized of us. The amount of paperwork and things on your to-do list may become overwhelming, but with just a few simple tools you too can organize and manage everything that comes your way.

Start your journey to organization at TeachersFirst Edge, an extensive collection of resources for using technology in your classroom. Here you will find over 1100 tools for technology users of any skill level. Be sure to check the little ruler within each review to see the technology expertise suggested for each resource, this will help you stay in your comfort zone of use. First time Edge users may also want to check out the General Tips for using Edge Tools packed with many suggestions for using technology in the classroom. The Edge organizes content into many different topics to make browsing and finding content easier for users.

One of the most popular Edge categories is Organization. Here you will find many different organization and management tools including online seating charts, bookmarking sites, list creators, and much more. Don’t forget, all of these tools are free!

Here are some suggestions for some easy to use, end of the school year organizational needs:

  • Organize your time and your thoughts with an online to-do list. There are many different tools for this, but if you need something easy try Todoist. Todoist offers options for collaboration on shared tasks, and its simple look provides a distraction free user interface. Todoist is also a great tool to share with students to help them keep track of upcoming assignments and events.
  • Permission Click is an excellent tool for organizing field trips. Create permission slips and sign up parent volunteers digitally. No more lost paperwork!
  • Sign Up Genius is another tool for managing almost anything from end of year conferences, parent volunteer sign-up, use of school equipment, and more. Use Sign Up Genius as an excellent way to manage and schedule all of those end of the year events.
  • If you use Gmail, take a look at Boomerang. This download helps you manage future emails. Compose upcoming emails such as field trip reminders to parents, reminders of upcoming events, or newsletter when you have free time. Use Boomerang to schedule the time and date to send messages. You can also receive reminders if you don’t receive a follow-up to your email and mark emails for later reading.
  • Do you have files stored on your computer that you want to use at a future time? Saving to a disc drive is one way to do this, but even better is storage in the cloud so that you can access those files from any computer at any time. Dropbox is popular cloud storage tool. In addition to storing your personal files, use Dropbox for students to share information when working on collaborative projects.
  • Although Pinterest is a popular site to save and organize items found on the web, not everyone is aware that is an excellent organizational tool for the classroom. Create Pinterest boards for different subjects and topics to save favorite websites for use throughout the year. Create boards with links to videos and websites for upcoming units, then share with your students to explore at home or on classroom computers. You can even add collaborators, share with fellow teachers to make your job even easier. Pinterest isn’t just for home design and recipes!

Finding the resource that works best for you sometimes takes a little time and perhaps a bit of a learning curve.  Start thinking now about how you can organize your classroom. These 6 websites all provide valuable time-saving resources that will work for all levels of technology users. Have you tried these tools or do you have another to share? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.







About the author: Sharon Hall

Sharon Hall was a recipient of the Presidential Award of Excellence in Math teaching. With over 15 years of classroom experience as a National Board Certified teacher, Sharon shares her content knowledge and reflections on ideas for basic classroom technology integration with us.

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