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Deedee Wills - Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

Better than a Take Home Folder: Student Binder Organization

Student Binder Organization helps you start the year off right like no take home folder can! Learn how I organize my student take-home binders.

Student Binder organization helps you start the year off right! I have used the organizational tool since my first days in the classroom. I like student binders instead of take home folders because they hold up better. Recently I found these cute images, so I decided it was time to update the front cover… one thing led to another and it wasn’t just the cover page that was updated.

How much do student organizational binders cost?

I collected a supply fee at the beginning of the year that covered the total cost of these take home binders (about $11.99) Each student would then get their own binder at the beginning of the year. Here is the cost breakdown per student:

  • Durable binder $2 per student (Costco has very 3 ring binders that last all year long.)
  • Zipper pouch $1 per student at Wal-Mart
  • 3 hole poly plastic folder $1.25 per student on Amazon (Wal-Mart has cheaper versions during back-to-school time.)

 

Student Binder Organization helps you start the year off right like no take home folder can! Learn how I organize my student take-home binders.

What do you put inside a student binder?

Inside the take home binder

I want a great place for parents to slide notes and lunch money in that would stay secure unlike in a take home folder where it could easily slip out. This is also a perfect place for me to send notes back home to the parents as well. So I added a zippered pouch. I usually find these in the pencil pouch section at Wal-Mart and they run about $1.00 each. 

Student Binder Organization helps you start the year off right like no take home folder can! Learn how I organize my student take-home binders.

I included an alphabet chart that is placed in page protectors for nightly practice.

Student Binder Organization helps you start the year off right like no take home folder can! Learn how I organize my student take-home binders.

I included a high-frequency word list for the year. Our class schedule was also inside the binder – you couldn’t fit this into a take home folder alone!

Then I had poly pocket folders that would help keep important papers straight! 

Student Binder Organization helps you start the year off right like no take home folder can! Learn how I organize my student take-home binders.

Here is a close-up of our newsletter. I also copied our weekly reading log on the back. In this way, I could be sure it was seen each week. As a parent, I know life gets busy… so I want to be sure the newsletter gets home in the student binder. My students can help in this process. These class notes are a perfect way to keep parents in the know when it comes to field trips and due dates.

SIDENOTE: I have ALWAYS included my cell phone number on my newsletters. I tell my parents, “I would rather have you call me if there is a concern or issue, than worry about something all night.”  Teachers, have you ever worried about something and then it festers. For me, I worry and fret like a pro! 

Wouldn’t it be nice to just pick up the phone and talk to someone about it? And when it is your child, the fret can multiply. Wouldn’t you rather have them talk to you so you can reassure them than take it to Facebook? I have taught in a variety of schools with the full gamut of parent types. Like I said, I have always included my cell phone number and I have NEVER regretted it… EVER. 

These classroom newsletters in PowerPoint with editable components. You can highlight what you are teaching in the different subject areas. I usually completed the newsletter right after I completed my lesson plans for the next week Looking at my weekly planner while it was still fresh in my mind was a huge time saver.

Student Binder Organization helps you start the year off right like no take home folder can! Learn how I organize my student take-home binders.

I liked to change the theme every so often so it would look fresh and new. So there are 22 different themes included in this packet for your student organization binder and take home folder. It bears repeating… I always made sure to include my contact information at the top of the page.

Student Binder Organization helps you start the year off right like no take home folder can! Learn how I organize my student take-home binders.

We also have a monthly calendar where you can add:

  • special dates like holidays
  • deadlines
  • important dates like conferences

 (This has been updated for the entire year and will continue to be each year).

Student Binder Organization helps you start the year off right like no take home folder can! Learn how I organize my student take-home binders.

Welcome parents and students

As soon as I get my student list, I send out these letters to the parents. I also let them know about the class schedule and some of our daily routines! Knowing this class information takes little time and lets the parents know more about me as a classroom teacher.

Student Binder Organization helps you start the year off right like no take home folder can! Learn how I organize my student take-home binders.

And these postcards go out to the students. Getting mail is a big deal when you are 5.

Student Binder Organization helps you start the year off right like no take home folder can! Learn how I organize my student take-home binders.

These are available for FREE and you can download them at the end of this blog post.

Managing a binder organization system

Once school gets rolling, it is a good idea to work on teaching students organizational skills. Regardless of the grade level, time invested to ensure important notes don’t wind up falling into backpack black holes is time well spent. The binders travel from school to home in the student’s backpacks. During the first few weeks of school, it is a great idea to conduct a binder check. I want to be sure the organized binder stayed organized!

The first year I used a binder system, I knew it was the answer. I hope you love them too!

You can read more about parent communication and classroom organization by clicking on the following links:

Free Substitute Binder for Teachers 

This substitute teacher binder is a game changer.  AND it is FREE!

You can check out this resource and download the preview to see what is included and more information on these editable pages for your student binder organization and take home folder.

Your FREE file for Student Binder Organization

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Student Binder Organization helps you start the year off right like no take home folder can! Learn how I organize my student take-home binders.

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Deedee Wills

Deedee Wills

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!

Hi, I'm DeedeE.

My teaching career allowed me to experience teaching in different classroom environments and grades. My heart belongs to early childhood education. My job is to make teaching FUN, ENGAGING, and EASIER. Welcome!
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18 Responses

  1. OOPS! My internet was the download problem Thank you for the GREAT Freebie!

  2. I love this! Thank you for sharing, Are you going to be hosting a summer book club?

    1. I REALLY want to, but I have not settled into a plan yet. I am thinking about an interactive writing one. MAKE me commit!!! ha!!!! I think July will be the best month. What do you think?

  3. Hi There!
    First off, I have purchased several of yours and Mrs Jumps curriculum and will be busy all summer prepping and getting ready to implement it all! Yay!
    Questions about Student Organization Binders… how do you manage collecting these? Do the students turn them in daily to you and if so can you explain what that looks like? Or do they go home on Monday and come back Fridays?
    Thanks for your help and all your amazing work!

    1. Hi there!

      My students took them home and brought them back each day. I did not collect them, the students simply put them in their desks. At the beginning of the year, I would do binder checks every few days to get them in the habit of cleaning them out. After that, I would just do a binder check once a week. A binder check was just, “put your binder on your desk so we can check that it is cleaned out.” Nothing fancy and it took just a minute or two to do. I hope that helps.

  4. I tried binders this year and it was a miserable fail. Every time a binder was dropped, the rings would pop open and everything would spill out. I even tried putting zipties around the base of the rings. How do you store the binders during the day? Did you have problems with them being dropped?

    I’d like to try them again, but need to figure out a better system first. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. My class had desks, so students put them in their desks each day. I never had a problem with them being dropped. The rings stayed shut and everything. I know that the binders I got at Costco were 10 times better than the ones I had gotten one year at WalMart. They lasted GREAT!

  5. Deed,
    I saw in a post, which now I can’t find, a really cool binding machine. I know only a teacher would say that. Can you tell me about it? Where you purchased it? Etc. Thanks! Joan

    1. I am seriously OBESSESSED with my binder. My dog better get out of the way. I got it off of Amazon (naturally)! It weighs a ton (poor Mike, our UPS man). Here is a link to the one I got:
      Binding Machine

  6. I would love it if you did an interactive writing one. I am really wanting to focus on writing this year in my room. That would be perfect!!

  7. Hi! Love the binder idea. I feel the need to get more organized with every passing year! I usually buy the cheap paper folders for my class and switch them out with new folders every quarter, however, if I move to binders, I won’t have to deal with that mess…so I’ll be doing some shopping at Costco soon! Can you tell me what size binders you used? I was thinking 1″ but not sure after seeing all the things that go in the binder.

    Thanks for sharing your wonderful ideas!!

  8. My students have mailboxes. Each day their binders are placed in their mailbox. Just an idea.

  9. Am I missing the links for the labels (one for zipper pouch and one for inside the folder)? I downloaded the file, but could not find where they were to print ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Hi there,

    Was wondering if you can send again this awesome freebie to my email? I would appreciate it.
    I didn’t receive anything. I did check spam as well. Thank you so much!

    1. Hi there!

      It looks like your school email is blocking this. I can’t even email it to you (also blocked). Can you try a different email and you should be good to go! ๐Ÿ™‚

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