Thursday, September 5, 2013

Blocking Organization!

When I first started teaching, I was self contained and only had to help the students keep their desks organized.  I utilized the "Desk Fairy" many times throughout the year.

Now, fast forward many years later and I'm no longer self contained, but I'm blocked (departmentalized). I teach Reading/Word Study to 3 different classes. Keeping the students organized has been a challenge, but a few years ago we came up with a GREAT idea to help the students stay organized.  We have the students keep track of a binder and they take ONLY the binder between the 3 classes.  All other notebooks are kept in the teacher's class and are usually kept in one of the BIG plastic 3 drawer containers.
Looks like this!

Included in our school supplies, we've asked the students to purchase a 1 1/2 inch "View" binder with pockets on the inside, 2 plastic folders with holes & pencil bag with holes.  Below are pictures of how we set up the binder and explanation of everything is used.

In the front "view" pocket, we type up what's included in the binder and where everything goes in the binder.

The front inside pocket is where the student's Word Work folder is kept.  We use these folders almost everyday and students will always have them to review for their assessment. (sorry pictures are a little fuzzy!)

Next, the pencil bag holds at least 2 pencils, computer log-in cards, lunch money, school store money (scissors, glue, markers, map pencils, ect...are kept in the class)

The student planners are next in the binder.  This is where the students write down their homework for the week. (Each student in our district purchases these at the beginning of each year for $3)

The first folder is used mainly for homework assignments.  Students put any homework assignments or field trip permission slips, ect... in the TO-DO side of the folder.

When they finish their homework, then they'll put it in the TURN IN side of the folder.

Once a week, the students take home all their graded papers, notes from the PTA, notes from school, ect...  The students place ALL these papers in the TAKE HOME side of the second plastic folder.  These are papers that are expected to go home and stay.  

On the other side of the folder, students keep their "stamp card".  These cards are their reward cards they use to turn in for things like stinky feet, sit next to a friends, ect... (I'll discuss the stamp card in more details in another post)

In the back pocket, the students keep their daily pages journal for writing.  This is where the students keep a journal to jot down any of their thoughts at any time of the day or night.

In the back view of the binder holds the students schedule.  We usually include schedules for special days like Early Dismissal or PLC days.  This way the students know what time we'll be switching, go to lunch, specials, library, ect...

Now, these binders can last all year long, but most of them will start to wear by mid year.  Also, some kids love those fabric binders that zip up (which I love those too!!!) and we don't mind which binder they use.  Parents really love the binder idea!  They've said that it really helps keep their kids organized.  In fact, I've noticed other grade levels starting to use the same binder system.  

If you are blocked and struggling to keep your students organized, then try out the binder system.  I think you'll be happy with it!  I hope this helps!

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