Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How I Use Student Binders

       I received a sweet comment from a reader about how I use organizational binders with my students.  It's probably a good idea to share that info with you! ;)

       Each student has a 1 1/2 inch clear view binder.  That way we can put those CUTE binder covers in there.  Inside, they have an agenda (our system provides these), and two pocket folders (the plastic kind).  The agenda is where students write down their homework and I place their behavior information for the day.  The first pocket folder is behind the agenda.  That is their "homework" folder.  This is not a folder with prongs - just the pockets.  I put stickers on each of the pockets: Keep at Home and Bring back!  I like to use the plastic because they hold up so much better, but if they don't have the three ring holes already punched - Watch Out!  It is a PAIN to punch them! 

The left pocket is for things to be "keep at home."  These things might be announcements, daily work, etc.  You know, those jillion things that are sent home that you don't need a reply for.  One of the rules on the binder cover is that they are supposed to clean out their Keep at Home section each night.  They usually do a good job of this.  Occasionally, you have to remind them!  The right pocket is for things that they need to return to you...homework, permission forms, lunch money in an envelope, etc.  Pretty easy so far, right??

The second pocket folder can be used for anything that you want, whether it be sight words, homework sheets, whatever you feel is best for your class.  I have used it mainly for sight words since the homework is taken care of in our students' agendas.  Last year, I didn't even use the second folder because I looped up to 2nd with my students and my students had already mastered all the sight words that our district requires.

Also, if I need to I will put page protectors in their binders if there is something I want them to keep in there.  That could be maybe a poem we are working on, a readers theater script, etc...anything!  The first year, I use plastic pencil pouches in the binders, but I found them cumbersome.  They just put 

I could say this is the only way to do binders, but that is sooo not true, but it is what works for my students and me.  When it's time to pack up, I just tell them which pocket to put their item in.  It keeps them organized, their parents are able to find what they need, and I love that they are not searching in the bottom of their bookbags for that homework or lunch money! 

I hate that I don't have pictures, but if you have any questions - just ask!

Till next time...


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