Monday, May 6, 2013

A Task Card SALE!

I know you have all heard about it by now, but please join me at my Teachers Pay Teachers store for the huge Teacher Appreciation Sale!

All of my items (Including 50+ task card sets) are 20% off.  Use the TpT code and get an additional 10% off!  That's a steal!  Hop on over.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Task Card Storage & Organization

I am SO excited to bring you this post!  I get emails, comments, and questions from people all the time asking me how I store my task cards.  I must admit, aside from my Task Card Corner bulletin board, I didn't have a good system.  I had tried shoeboxes, I had tried envelopes, and I had even tried Ziploc bags.  None worked for me.  I finally just started tossing them into bags and baskets when they came off the bulletin board.  I'm embarrassed that I have to show you this, but here it is...

It was bad...and now it's good.  It's OH, so good!  I needed to find the perfect solution.  I found this blog post from a mom who found a nice organization system for her children's flash cards, and I went off on a search for something similar.  Only problem was that neither of those items exist anymore.  Apparently, they are SO 2011 (I kid, of course).

So, the whole family went on a trip to Target. (Let me preface all of this by saying that if you have a Container Store nearby, I highly suggest you look there, too!  I really had to get creative here.)  I found the file folders I wanted right away (only $1 in the dollar spot...but they are always around, and I know they have them at back to school time as well).  They also have more expensive ones that are "coupon organizers."  I accidentally bought one, and I thought I would use it for my monthly task cards since it was bigger and sturdier, but when I put them in, it actually wasn't.  So don't spend the extra on that.

A peek inside one of the folders.  There are seven sections, inside each one, and they expand pretty well.
One other SUPER IMPORTANT note before you go on...Do NOT buy index card holders.  They are too small for most task cards.  Exhibit A:

Don't buy these!  They are too small for most task cards.
Then, I needed somewhere to put them.  I knew that the folders were just the start of an organization system--I didn't want them to end up strewn about my room or stuffed in my closets willy nilly.  I had to do this right.

So, off we went.  We searched through all the office supplies, through all the closet organization, the bathroom organization, the kids room organization, even the tool section, and NOTHING FIT.  NOTHING!  They were either too big, just a bit too small, but nothing was just right.  I felt like Goldilocks.

My husband wandered off, baby on his shoulders, and then quickly came back announcing that he had found the mother load of organizational goodies in the kitchen section. Ah ha!  Why didn't I think of that?

He was right.  He had found three awesome options for storing my files full of task cards.  Here they are...lined up in Target, being tested before they were placed in my cart.

I couldn't decide which one I liked the best, and they all seemed to have their pros and cons.  I knew I would need to test them full of task cards, too.  So, we bought all three and off we went.

Here is a handy picture so that you know exactly where to find them at your local Target:

I went to work making some cute labels for my card holders, laminated them, and began filling the card holders.  When they had cards in them, I put the labels on with permanent double stick tape (which I could remove if I really wanted to).  I provide the labels I used (not editable) at the bottom of this post.

I was so excited to put these all together, and truthfully, they are all great options!  The one on the right is my favorite option, but unfortunately, it is also the most expensive ($12.99) holder.  BUT! It holds a TON of task cards.  I have tons of them, and this holds ALL of them.  (I did go back and buy another one because eventually I know I will need a second option, when I will split them up by math and reading.)

Here it is:

Task Card Organization

Another view of my favorite option
Isn't it pretty?  And it's STURDY!  There are hundreds and hundreds of task cards in those folders collectively, and it is a very sturdy container.  This one is my favorite because it holds the most task cards, the folders fit in perfectly, and it looks nice.

You will notice the little labels in the top left hand corner of each file.  For math, I organized them by the units I taught like "multiplication," "decimals," "fractions."  For reading, I put three or four sets in each one, so there is a file with "Inference, Context Clues, and Main Ideas" and all of those cards are in that file.

Here is my second favorite option, with is the least expensive ($2.99)

The downsides are that the folders fit in their very snuggly (but it still works), and you can only fit about half the amount.  I would have needed at least 2 and eventually 3 to hold all of my cards.  But, if you are on a budget (and you don't have as many task cards as I do), this is a GREAT option for you.

And the third option, which I love the premise of, but it's not super practical.  It's actually a top holder (for pots).  They fit in very nicely, it looks great, but it doesn't fit all of them, and you can't move it around without them falling out.  But I wanted to include it here because it really does look nice, and if you have one sitting around, it might work for you!

My last dilemma was that I had a few sets of half page cards.  Sometimes when there just needs to be more content on a card, I have to make them this way, and my favorite "Theme" cards from Rachel Lynette are half page, too.

No worries!  Target has a $1 folder that is just a bit larger that works just fine.

I stuck them in one of the dollar spot file folders that I had from another Target trip, and it was the perfect solution.  I didn't organize them quite as much as the others since I don't have many, so I just organized them by subject.

You can download the "labels" that I used for free, but I can't offer them in editable format because the frames and paper are not mine, and I can't just give them away.  The frames are from the fabulous Krista at Creative Clips and the papers are from Sassy Designs.  The adorable font is from Jen Jones.  There are plenty of blanks if you want to write in your own, as I'm sure you will have your own organization system with these.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to leave a comment.  Do you have a fabulous organization idea? I would LOVE to hear it, and I would love to feature it on this blog!

Happy organizing!