Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Staying Organized...Take Home Notebooks

My students are responsible for bringing 2 things to and from school during the week.  Their take home notebook and their reading folder.  These 2 things are my way of keeping my students organized and also staying in touch with their parents, whether it be grades, work or behavior.

Take Home Notebook:
I use 1/2 inch binders.  These are not on their school supply list so I purchase these every summer at SAMs.  These are used for notes, homework and their planner

When they arrive in the mornings they unload lunch money, signed notes, etc. and put them in my dropbox (just a basket on my table) and then place their notebooks on the entry shelf in number order.  It is an easy way for me to see who is here or not and keeps them from having to put it in their desk and take up space. 

I simply put labels on both of the pockets.


I have my students keep all important notes and newsletters in the front pocket.  This is for any notes from the office, myself and my weekly newsletter I send home on Mondays. It just gives them a peek into our week.  

The back pocket is for homework.  My students have spelling and math homework Monday - Thursday and short reading (which is kept in their guided reading folders).  

In the rings they keep their planner.  The planners are paid for through the schools supply fee that is collected at the beginning of the year.  Not all teachers use them so if a teacher wants them they are bought with her classroom supply fee money, which can also be used for construction paper ect.  A class set runs about $75.00.  

This is where we write down important reminders, parent notes, i.e Book fair tomorrow! and behavior log.  I like it because it's all in one place.  

Each of my students is given a number at the beginning of the year.  It main purpose is to help us line up in line order, but we also put our things away (notebooks, writer's toolkits) in order. 
I write the number on the side and use a die-cut to write their name on to place in the front sleeve.  I've tried different things over the years and this has worked the best for us! 

On Friday's my students take home their "Friday folder"  This is just a colored file folder that they keep in their desk.  As I give out graded work or they finish things I want them to take home and not turn in they will slide it into their "Friday Folder". I grade things the same day they turn them in.  It helps with feedback and it keeps me from having a stack of papers to grade on the weekend.  That is one thing I do before I leave school.  Has made my life so much easier.  It also keeps me from having a stack of papers to hand out and their parents receive their work each week so they can see how they are doing, but it doesn't make their take home notebook messy. They take them home on Friday's and returned emptied the following Monday.  

Their reading folder is kept separate because I like for them to turn these in and bring them to my guided reading table when they come during Daily 5 time.  I like to check reading logs, change out vocabulary or sight words that child might be working on, etc.  At one time, I put their take home book and reading log with their notes and things, but it got to clunky when they would bring it to my table and one folder really wasn't big enough for all that I wanted them to use it for.  I will be back later with how I organize their reading folders. 

Organization is my thing! I can't function without it and nothing makes me happier than organized students! I would love to hear how you organize your take home notebooks or what you use! Please leave me comment!

1 comment:

  1. Would you be willing to share a blank template of your Monday news note? Thank you.