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mcbtcarolina's Message:

I have used the binder for several years and my students, parents, and me love them. It is a great resource for them to have everything in one place. I use the binder instead of a folder because they can take the "money bag" out easier and if I find something to add to the binder it is easier than the flimsy prongs on the folders.

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Discussion Review (newest messages first)
mcbtcarolina 08-06-2012 07:10 PM

I have used the binder for several years and my students, parents, and me love them. It is a great resource for them to have everything in one place. I use the binder instead of a folder because they can take the "money bag" out easier and if I find something to add to the binder it is easier than the flimsy prongs on the folders.

stressgirl37 07-19-2012 11:37 AM

I use a binder and really like it and parents do too. Mine are called FROG binders (First graders, Responsible, Organized, and Growing). Inside I include (in page protectors)the sight words (one trimester's at a time), a math page that has things like a 100 chart, coins, an alphabet page with lower and upper case, rules and uses of the binder that parents and students must sign. When I start fluency, there is a space for their passage of the week as well as their spelling list.

I get binders from Cosctco,as they hold up better. They have front and back pockets. Front is always for homework and anything else important going to or from school. The back is for things that stay at home.

Last, we use an agenda (planner) that fits in the 3 rings of the binder. We write down homework and important things each day and parents are supposed to sign when their child's reading at home is completed each day. There is also a space for notes and I use this a lot for quick notes to parents and they do same as well.

Most kids will keep their binder all year long.

hopeful10 07-16-2012 02:40 PM

I just went out and purchased several folders with 3 prongs in the center and 1 binder so I can see which will work better for me. I like the folder with the 3 prongs in them because they lay flat. Office Max has a clear plastic pencil case for 50 cents, I'm not sure what they were at Walmart. Target has avery economy 1" binders with a place you can insert the cover for your folder for $1.79. I am going to put together my sample tonight. I'll post more pictures when I'm done. Mine will be called FISH binders or folders. I can't believe you are putting yours together tonight too!!!! It's like you read my mind!!!! !!!!

Chloe_FirstGr 07-16-2012 02:36 PM

I will never go back to not doing binders. Mine are usually related to whatever theme I have for the year. This year, since I am having a cooking theme, they are "Chef Binders" (Children have everything for success). Last year I called them Travel binders. I really do believe that it teaches kids responsibility (I teach the wee ones) and is so great for parent communication. I mean. . .everything goes and comes out of that binder.

I have a blank calendar in mine each month that I put a smiley face each day in depending on how their day was (happy face, medium, or sad--sad faces I call home) which parents love. A lot of my parents have plans at home related to the face that they get for the day which just increases accountability for those kids and connects that home-school life even more. My parents sign them each night (Stickers are super cool to 6-7 year olds. So, they get 1 sticker each morning if they bring their binder back to school and 2 for a parent signature. Meaning, that the kids are all about those stickers so I know that the parents saw whatever was in the binder. I usually have a double pocket folder in them (one side for "Take Home" and the other for "Bring back to school" for papers that go home. I have a pencil pouch too which I love. I have a section for "notes" between parents and I back and forth (instead of being handed a million pieces of paper each morning for kids leaving early and whatnot. . .that I then misplace. I do a weekly newsletter too (which parents love) that goes home on Fridays for the following week. Then I have the usual daily schedule and all those other things in there too. Parents love them, I love them, the kids love them. . . I will never go back!

Good luck!

sonjateacher 07-16-2012 01:18 PM

Yup, and I even used them in K for 3 years They love the ownership they have over them!

luvtoread25 07-16-2012 01:04 PM

Thanks for the information so far! LakeTeacher I love your site! I spent a lot of time looking around and I got several new ideas. Your room is so organized.
I am so glad you both like using the binders. I wasn't sure how first graders would handle them.

LakeTeacher 07-16-2012 12:08 PM

I have used these for the past 5 years. I personally think they are GREAT! It does take a little bit of time to get them together, but once they're done you don't have to mess with them anymore. I am sending you the link to the page on my website that shows my binders. I love smiley faces, so my class has S.M.I.L.E. binders. Besides the things on my website, I also put the year's list of spelling words, Book It Forms for the Pizza Hut Reading Program, and monthly family activity calendars. They also include a take-home folder for homework and papers labeled in each pocket. Our Reading Folders also hitch a ride inside the binder to protect it while in transit. It just lays inside the back cover so it doesn't get ripped up in the kiddos' backpacks. Hope this helps! If you have any questions, please let me know. I'm always happy to help!

sonjateacher 07-16-2012 12:04 PM

Yes, I LOVE it!!!

I love the zippered pouches especially. I don't have kids shoving money in my face first thing in the morning if I'm collecting money for field trips, etc. They just put the whole book into the tub and I can deal with it as I have time. It frees me up to be less stressed first thing in the morning. I can focus on the kids intsead of on housekeeping!

I use the book to hold the home reading A-Z books that are going back and forth as well. I love that part of it.

I put an alphabet chart in there as well as sight word lists. Also classroom overview stuff, and this year I would like to add in a class schedule.

So to answer your question, yes they increased communication and cut down on time too! Love it!

luvtoread25 07-16-2012 11:49 AM

I have been reading several posts about organizational binders. I have decided to use one this year. I just went and bought binders and some pencil pouches. Walmart did not have enough in stock! Some of the things I am thinking of putting into the binder include a class list, daily schedule, do's and don'ts for the binder, discipline plan (explanation of clip chart), some type of parent/teacher communication form, some general information about the classroom. I am also going to try a monthly newsletter.
A few questions for those of you who have used these binders before. Did you like using them? Did they help increase communication with parents? Were they worth your time? What else did you include that was helpful to you, the student, and/or the parents? Any helpful suggestions will be greatly appreciated!
I am very excited to try this! I also want to thank a special PTer who PM'd me and got me really thinking about this! I hope it is as successful in my school as what it seems to be in her's. I am hoping if things go well, this becomes a school wide endeavor!

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