Sunday, July 1, 2012

Fabulous Idea!

I've loved reading about everyone's fabulous finds at Fun in Room 4B's linky, so I've decided to share one myself.

My purchases have been focused on basic organization. Nothing too fabulous.  I have found some fabulous ideas from reading blogs, so that will be my fabulous find to share.

So many bloggers have been sharing about organizational binders for students.  I had folders and notebooks last year, which worked for some, but not nearly all, students.  This organizational binder idea is one I'm thinking about trying.

I really enjoyed Lisa's post at Fourth and Ten about her S.T.A.R. binders.  If you haven't already, you should definitely check out her post.  She gave so much detail!

Here are some things I really liked about her binders that I'm going to try incorporating into my classroom:

  • Zipper Pouch for classroom currency.  I don't know how many times I heard "I lost my Charger Bucks!" last year.
  • Things in sheet protectors: questions students always use and when you finish early games.  This would cut down on so many copies AND really make the point to students that things carry over throughout the year.  I felt like a lot of my students didn't notice, even when I pointed it out, that we were using the same graphic organizer or set of questions as before.  If it's the same paper, they have to realize, right?
  • Folders all in one place, in a specific order.  I also really liked the idea of one folder for things that don't fit with a specific subject.

Some things I think I might add:

  • A folder for keeping lined and white paper in so that students can just get the paper out. This seems like it could be much quicker than having students pass out paper.
  • A "ready to be turned in" folder.  I had a lot of students want to turn work in early last year.  I let them because I was so afraid they would lose it, but it made an organizational nightmare for me because the whole class set of assignments wasn't together.  I spent at least one or two hours each weekend just sorting papers so that each assignment was together.  Then, I still had to grade.

I'm still trying to figure out exactly how to get the supplies for this.  I can't ask the students to supply the binders because it isn't on our grade-level list, which already went out to students.  Many students have already ordered their school supplies for next year through our PTA, so I can't add something to the list!  I did buy half inch binders with another idea in mind.  Maybe I'll figure out a way to make those work or return them and try to get 1 inch ones.


  1. Dani,
    Thanks so much for featuring my organizational binder post! :)
    My grade level list did not have binders on them. What I typically did was resend the grade level list with the addition of the binder and zipper pouch on it with my welcome back letter. Most parents were more than willing to purchase those two things, which typically cost .97 each at Wal Mart at back to school time. At meet the teacher night, extra zipper pouches and binders were on my giving tree, and this helped secure extra binders for kiddos who didn't have them. I purchased a few extra binders/pouches and either returned them if I got extras come in/used them for a different purpose. Our Dare officer even donated some extra zipper pouches (he gave them to the kids at Christmas with school supplies in them) for me to have on hand if some zipper pouches broke.
    Classroom Direct has really good deals on binders and zipper pouches, but if you want to walk in and buy them, you can't beat Wal Mart at back to school time. :)
    If you would like a couple of the letters I used to request items for my Star Binders, it's fully editable, please email me at and I'll be glad to send it you! :)
    Fourth and Ten
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    Formerly Stories From Second

  2. Gosh, I love this idea. Thank you so much for linking up :)

    Fun in Room 4B