First, I want to provide ONE location which holds everything. When my students pack their book bags, it is too easy to leave something out. The same is true when they pack their book bag the night before at home. If their written assignment, completed homework, study cards, notes from parents or teacher, order forms and money are in many possible and different locations, something can be overlooked and even lost. Instead, this binder system helps the student stay organized by providing a specific labeled location for everything in one location.
Second, I want to provide a place where parents can locate my newsletter regularly. In years past, prior to using this binder system, I would send home our school newsletter as well as my classroom newsletter with weekly papers. The problem was that the newsletter went home one week out of the month and often parents put weekly papers in different locations, so when they need to refer to the newsletter for info, they have to hunt for it, and sometimes don't find it. In my binders, I include a clear pocket protector labeled "newsletters" for both school and classroom newsletters. I have my students slide them in at the beginning of the month, where they stay there until the next month when I had out new ones.
Third, I want to provide a resource location for study cards. In years past, I would tell students to study their multiplication facts or vocabulary cards, but all too often, they were either left in their desk or at home and eventually lost. In the binders, I include a clear, zipper pouch where parents can regularly find these resource cards when parents have extra time during the week to review them with their student. Inside we keep our science or social studies unit vocabulary cards or our multiplication cards. At the end of the unit, they put them in their weekly folder to go home for good. Generally, the multiplication cards stay since we work on speed fluency once the facts are mastered.
Fourth, I needed a specified location to look for notes and money sent to school. Without a special place designated for money and notes, parents put these important items in various locations (book bag pockets, lunch box, etc.). I use parent volunteers each morning, to help with checking in homework and other "housekeeping" duties. Students open their binders first thing and leave them open on their desk until someone checks for notes, money and homework. For this purpose, I put a label in the very front pocket so it will not be missed.
Fifth, I want the homework to be done, not on loose paper, but on the paper that is bound in the three rings, not to be removed until the student is back at school. In the back of the binder I included notebook paper and a pocket for homework handouts. If homework is in a separate location other than this binder, it is likely that it may be left at home. In my binders, the agenda (where daily assignments are written) as well as homework handouts and/or notebook paper for homework is kept in the binder. Except for worksheets, homework is not taken out of the binder. Worksheets have a labeled pocket as well, in he back.
Now, if I 've persuaded you to take the leap and try binders, keep reading and I'll lead you through it. Here are the materials you'll need:
- 1 1/2 inch binders with clear insert pocket on the outside front (I prepare 24, which includes a few extra for possible new students)
- lots of notebook paper (maybe 8 packs = one pack per 3 binders)
- a package of sheet protectors
- clear zipper pockets that have holes to fit in a three-ring binder.
- Labels (5 sheets)
1st step: Make copies of your binder cover.
I use colored paper since it is more economical that using colored ink.
2nd step: Print all the labels you will need:
3rd step: Attach the front and back pocket labels and add notebook paper. The "notes/money" label goes on the front inside pocket. I attach the "Homework Handouts" label on the side of the right pocket, where I can still see the "Homework Handouts" label, after inserting the notebook paper.
4th step: Attach "Newsletter" labels to the page protectors and insert into the binder on top of the notebook paper.
Step 5: Attach "Study Cards" labels to clear zipper pouches and insert them on top of the newsletter.
I found these in color this year from Wal-Mart for only 47 cents.
Step 6: Insert your school's agenda/organizer/assignment notebook.
Since we don't have this year's agendas until we return to school,
I inserted the one my daughter had from last year to show you where it is located.
It fits between the zipper pouch and the notebook paper.
Step 7: Insert your binder covers.
Click HERE to get your FREE copy of the binder cover page that I use. You can add your name at year at the bottom.