How to Use Student Mailboxes to Control the Paper Chaos

I’m always looking for ways to make my job in the classroom easier. Today I’m sharing a quick classroom organization tip to help control the paper chaos. Let’s talk about student mailboxes.

I have never had a set of nice student mailboxes. They can be very expensive and it was something I never wanted to invest in. This classroom organization system cost me less than $15, takes up way less space, and hides the paper clutter that can become a huge eyesore. What do I use?!?

Crate Mailboxes

The past seven years I’ve used the “pick up folder system” and it has worked great. Instead of classroom mailboxes, I use a plastic crate and hanging file folders. I choose to use these green ones that way there is no arguing over who has what color.

Each child is assigned a folder with their class number on it. Inside their folder is where homework, graded assignments, notes, and miscellaneous papers go that need to be sent home.

Labeling Student Folders

One thing I did not like about this system at first was that the plastic tags that held their student numbers would easily fall out. I got tired of having to fix them all the time so I decided to make my life a little easier and save my sanity. I made these number labels on Astrobrights cardstock, laminated them, and taped them to the back of each folder so that their numbers would show.

Would you like these labels to create your own set of pick up folders? Fill out the form below to have them sent straight to your inbox.

I’m all about teaching independence in 2nd grade. I refuse to stuff their folders for them each day. I did that my first year and it took up SO MUCH time. This has solved that problem. At the end of each day, they grab all of the papers out of their pick up folder and put them in their take-home folder to go home.

This best thing about student mailboxes is that it is mostly student-lead. As the year goes on, I’ll allow students to place homework and other items in folders for me. I’ll check their folders daily to make sure everyone has cleaned their’s out, but other than that, students can take care of the rest most of the time. These are seriously the EASIEST student mailboxes ever.

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