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How to Color Code for Larger Special Education Caseloads

What happens when you want to color code your caseload, but your caseload numbers outdo the standard 12-pack of colors… what do you do?

Are you doomed to have to forgo color-coding altogether?

How to Color Code for Larger Caseloads

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Why Color Code Your Students’ Files and Work

Color coding is the ultimate way to get and stay organized. It teaches students how to easily find their containers, binders, pencil cups, and more. It helps you easily find the bins and binders that you need for each student so that you can get done with paperwork and data collection faster.

Color coding is a win-win for you and your students!

Going Beyond the Dozen

That sounds great and all, but what happens when you have more than a dozen students on your caseload? How can you color code for everyone without things getting mixed up?

Great questions! Let me introduce you to the wonderful world of Astrobrights!

Astrobright paper is one of my favorite things to use and the 25 color pack is the best way to color-code larger caseloads.

With 25 different colors included in the pack, you are able to provide each student with their own hue. That makes organizing easier for them and for you!

How to Use the Color Coding Options

The first thing to do is assign each student a color. That will be their color throughout the school year. You can even make yourself a cheat sheet so that you can learn to quickly associate that color with the correct student.

After students have been assigned a color, it’s time to organize their supplies.

Anything that you print out for them – a communication notebook, data collection sheets, etc. – should be in that color.

Since finding binders or pencil cups in the exact colors of the Astrobrights paper would be challenging, use a white binder, bins, and cups instead. Then print out the students’ names on their color paper and use clear packing tape to adhere them to the containers.

Not only does it give students practice with recognizing the color, but it also gives them practice with recognizing their names! It’s two IEP goals addressed at once!

How to Color Code a Resource Binder

Using one, large 3″ binder to store all of your student data instead of separate binders for each student? No worries! Simply print out a section cover sheet for each student on a different color paper and use that instead!

It will make it easy for you to find each student’s section as you slip through the book!

Use clear sheet protectors in the binder to protect each section page and then hole-punch or add an additional page protector for all of the materials for each child. Don’t forget to color-code their resources!

Things You May Need to Color Code a Larger Caseload

Here are the things that you will need to color-code your large caseload:

Using colors to get your caseload organized is an easy and effective way to make teacher life a lot less hectic and a lot more colorful!

Learn More

Watch how I explain color coding for larger caseloads in this fun video:


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I'm a special education teacher, presenter, curriculum writer, and educational blogger behind Mrs. D's Corner.
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