Sunday, July 15, 2012

Daily Binders

My first year of teaching I used folders with brads as a daily communication tool between home and school.  I even went so far as to purchase better quality folders hoping they would last longer.  Never again.  The next year I scooped up a class set of binders during the Back-to-School sales at Walmart and I've been doing that ever since.  I make sure to get the ones with the clear pocket so I can slide in their binder cover.  I also purchase some sheet protectors for the pages that remain in the binder the entire year.

I have uploaded a free O.C.E.A.N binder cover in my TPT store.  You can grab your copy by clicking on the image.

I am in the process of tweaking my JUNGLE Book cover.  When that is complete it will be available in my TPT store.

I just write the child's name on the cover and slide it in the clear pocket on the front of the binder.  In the binder packets I am creating, there will also be a space for teacher name and room number.  I have found this information to be very useful when binders are left on buses or around the school during arrival/dismissal.  Teachers and other staff can just drop off the lost binder in my box and I make sure it gets back to its owner.

Inside the binder I have a pencil pouch for notes, absence excuses, or money that parents may be sending from home.  Behind the pouch is the child's behavior calendar.  Below is an example of the calendar I have used in the past.

Font and graphics courtesy of DJ Inkers

Click here to grab your copy of these calendars for 2013 (these will be updated each year)

At the end of the day, the children color in their banana whatever color their clip is on.  This page is not in a sheet protector so it's easily accessible to the kids.

For the past three years I have used Rick Morris' New Management system clip chart in my room.  If you have not heard of this system then click here to read about it.  I will post more on the specifics of behavior management next week but this will give you an idea of where I got each color from and what it means.  The next page in each child's binder is a copy of the No Monkey Business Report.  You can see that example below.  This page gives parents a "kid-friendly" explanation of each color on the clip chart.  This page is in a sheet protector and will stay in the child's binder the entire year.

Font and graphics courtesy of DJ Inkers

The next page in the binder is the JUNGLE Book Rules page.  This page lists rules for their book such as not to eat or drink around it, make sure they bring it each day, not to add anything that doesn't belong, etc.  This page is also in a sheet protector and stays in the binder for the entire year.

Other pages you might want to include in sheet protectors may be things like your class schedule, lunch menus, etc.  

I label each pocket inside the binder for things that either need to go home and stay home (student work, flyers, etc.) or things that need to be completed/signed and returned to school (permission slips, surveys, homework, etc.)

I am currently in the process of creating binder packets for various themes.  I am editing these pages since they are DJ Inkers fonts and graphics as well as adding new pages, labels, etc.  Once those packets are complete they will be available in my TPT store.  

Hopefully this post gives you an idea of how I handle daily communication in my classroom.  I will inevitably make some changes before school starts so be looking for an updated post (with pictures).

I have added several new packets on TPT.  You can grab these units by clicking on the images.

Binder covers for teacher files
Alphabet Posters in popular chevron pattern

Hope everyone is having a wonderful summer.  I have a busy next couple weeks ahead of me.  Lots of teaching, training, and conferences so I apologize if I fall behind on blog posts.


  1. I just found your blog through Ashley at Flying High In First Grade & I'm a new follower! I absolutely love your creations!! Welcome to blogging & I'm excited to follow along & share ideas!
    Learning Is Something to Treasure

  2. OH MY GOD!
    I LOOOOVVEEE the bananas that they color in themselves! Where can I get a copy of that calendar?!
    I love your binder idea!