Thursday, August 16, 2012

Teaching Binder Bliss

I am done with the set up of my binder and finally took the time to take some pictures. I bought a one inch binder and felt it may be too small, so I went to 11/2' and like it better. I really don't want to carry around a giant heavy binder and if I buy a three inch I will fill it up. This size will make me keep it streamlined with only the information I need. I plan to file some of the contents, like lesson plans at semester. When you purchase your binder make sure to get a "D" ring. They hold a lot more than the round ones and are easier to flip through.

My divider pages came from the Editable Teaching Binder by Nicole. I started with her free download and liked it so much I bought the one I could edit. It is only $3.00 and so cute! She also has many very cute ideas for other items as well. many of them are not specific to a single grade level. You can visit her blog at Rowdy in Room 300. It is definitely one of my favorites! Thank you Nicole!

Now for the binder pics!

Inside the cover I have a pencil case to hold post-its, pens, etc... I also have my thumb drive which has a copy of almost every document and flip-chart, PowerPoint, etc,,, (basically everything) attached to a ring. I have post-it note tabs on each divider page and they are inserted in alphabetical order.

On the inside cover I have my school's yearly calendar. Then I have my monthly calendar that I got free on Pinterest from It is color coded for professional development days, no School days, early outs,and Mentor meetings. This is a really nice calendar for free!

I also got this checklist sheet free on Pinterest I don't remember where and the author's names is not on it. The sheets are in different colors and adorable! I also have small tab to separate  my classes by grade level.

 My classroom management section holds class procedures, attention grabbers, a list of exit ticket question, and a behavior to document behavior issues on the spot.

The Common Core section has a pacing guide that I am currently working on and also has small tabs to separate each by grade level. 

I have my school schedule on the inside cover of my lesson plans section. to keep the size of the binder down I am using one half of a lesson plans page with the tops of the pages highlighted by grade level. I teach two sections of 7th ELA, 8th,ELA, and English I. I did not see any reason to repeat the lessons. The pink arrow lets me quickly find the week I'm on.

This Need/Want sheet is for next year. I always forget some things when I order at the end of the year. I hope that this will also save me time when I am doing PO's.

I will keep all assessment data here both State from last year and any from class. I print my grade sheets 
bi-weekly, I will take the old ones out and insert the new ones to keep the binder up to date.

I will keep all student contact information information as well as any usernames, passwords, medical, IEP modifications, etc,,,

 This log is to help keep track of the many different usernames and passwords I have. This was created by me and there is a link on an earlier post at the bottom of this page if you would like a copy,

 And finally, I have a folder to put papers that need to be copied or paperwork that needs to be filled out and turned in.

I am adding a section for professional development this weekend. (not sure how I overlooked that!)
I have a Pinterest board for classroom organization and it has several links for free teaching binder forms and covers. If you are looking for ideas to start one, it would be a good way to find some of the great blogs out there dealing with this topic. 
So that is my binder. Pinterest has allowed me to create it very cheap and it is very functional but cute. I would like to thank all of the creators of the various free forms and ideas. Leave me a comment and let me know what you are doing with your binder, or if you have any questions. I would love to hear fom you!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Seventh Grade Orientation Activity for Parents

For several years I have been doing an activity that really gets my year off to a great start! It is a homework assignment called "In a Million Words or Less..." and I assign it to the parents not the kids. However, they can help their parents is if they need to.

In A million Words or Less

The assignment: Parents you are to write an essay or letter to me telling me about your child. It can be on any thing that you feel will allow me to better know your child and help them to succeed. The requirements for an A paper are listed below:

  1. You can NOT use more than one million words! However, you may use less.
  2. The essay must help me to get to know your child. It can be about their academic achievements, hobbies, personality, emotional issues, etc.. The sky is the limit!
  3. This assignment can be typed or handwritten.
  4. An exemplary essay will have minimal grammatical and punctuation errors.
  5. This assignment is due by ___________________. 
You may email me your assignment at ____________________________,  or you may send it in with your child. Often parents like to drive their kids a little crazy after all of the teasing and send it in  a sealed envelope to keep their essay confidential. This is perfectly okay and I will not betray your trust.

Please remember that you are being watched carefully by your child. This is a great opportunity to model what you consider to be appropriate student behavior. Thank you so much for sharing your child with me and participating in our classroom. Good luck!

You should be able to just copy and paste this on to a document. I always get positive responses from parents and the information I collect is invaluable!!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Something the Kids Will Love!

I just went to an awesome site and just had to share. It is The site has rap for all types of language arts and social studies lessons, and all grade levels! Not just elementary!!!~ You can get a two week free trial  and the subscription only costs $7.00 a month or $63.00 a year. I know my 7th-9th graders will love it! Heck, I loved it! Check it out.

Just another ADD random moment. Have a great day!