*See updates at the bottom of this post!*
I have been getting into the “back to school” spirit lately! I’ve ordered some books recommended for beginning teachers, made some art for my room, and started by beginning teacher training classes this week. The biggest thing that I’ve done to prepare is to go ahead and put together my “teacher organization binder”. I used this all last year instead of the traditional lesson plan book, grade book and countless notebooks and folders for all of the different papers I have to shuffle. It was great! Here’s how I put mine together, with inspiration from this pin, along with what I’ve found works well for me. Before getting to the meat of the notebook, I picked out some cute scrapbook paper for the front and back pockets. If I have to look at this thing all day, it needs to be nice.
I made the whole thing in a coordinating font that I like (what can I say, I do teach elementary school after all!). I printed off headings on solid colored card stock and put them in sheet protectors. Divider tabs would work well, too. I used the following sections to organize the book:
- Calendars- Monthly calendars for the whole school year, my district’s calendar, and other ones that we get throughout the year (testing, remediation, etc.)
- Important Information- This is the stuff that a sub would find extra handy- class lists, schedules for my personal class, block schedules, lunch schedule
- Lesson Plans- I make my own template that I customize for my personal schedule. I just write mine in every week instead of typing them. I’ve tried both and like to jot them down as I finalize stuff. I put the plans in so that two portrait pages open up like a book (see the picture below)
- Grades- Once again, I like to have a hard copy of these, even though I try to put them into the database as soon as I have them. You never know what might happen to your computer! I just print off grade sheets from our grading program (NCWise) and stick them in the binder.
- Meeting Notes – I have some blank notebook paper as well as a little divider with a folder attached in this section to take to meetings.
- Curriculum Standards - I print out a copy of everything I’m responsible for teaching so that I can reference it easily when planning.
I also have an easy grader and some different colored pens stuck in there for when I need to grade stuff at home. SO much easier than trying to remember to bring everything home! This system works well for me for managing all of my teacher clutter… I know that I don’t have much experience, but I’m a firm believer that being prepared and organized will make any job easier. Yes for efficiency! The only thing that I don’t keep in here is all of my student data, which will all go in another binder with parent communication sheets – it’s just too much to keep in one notebook! Best of luck with a new school year to my fellow teachers!
An update on my teacher binder!
This binder system worked great for me last year, but there are a few things that I’m tweaking to fit my preferences for the new school year.
- Lesson plans – I am not including these in my binder this year (gasp!). I started using a cloud software called Planbook and I LOVE it. I’ll have to write up a more detailed post on it later on.
- Standards checklist - I am going to include a table with my curriculum standards and room to document when I taught and assessed each standard. I did this sloppily last year, and want to improve my system for the new school year.
- Master copies – I will include master class lists, discipline forms, and conference forms here. This eliminates having to print copies and then run them to the copier all the time.
I have also found a ton of font resources on Pinterest lately that I will utilize in my new binder. So many great choices!
Handwriting Fonts from Remaking June Cleaver
Chalkboard Fonts from Yellow Bliss Road
Font Combinations from Yellow Bliss RoadHere’s a tutorial on how to install fonts on your PC (It is simple!)