Saturday, July 7, 2012

New Blog Design and Teacher Binder- Part 1

Did you notice?
I decided to change up my blog template AND I created a blog button! Yay me! We won't talk about how long it took me....but it's a fresh change and I am LOVING it! Thanks to the FREE, (my favorite price) templates at  The Cutest Blog on the Block, I customized it my little ol' self!

Okay...enough about's my original post:

It's my right hand man.
It's my go-to-guy.
It's my brain most of the time!!!
I'm talking about my Teacher Binder.

I am a binder person.
I know....some of you prefer files or something else....I've tried other methods, and ALWAYS ,,ALWAYS, ALWAYS go back to my binder system!!!

It's my quick reference for....
*Emergency Numbers
*Parent Contact
*Testing data
*IEP goals
*Lesson plans
*Anything else I can think of!!!

This is such an important tool, I am going to be posting info on this in several parts! TODAY is the first part.

I purchase a BIG binder (I bought purple  eggplant for my whole team),
(Love these because you can write on them with sharpie!)
 and sheet protectors and pockets.

 I start out by deciding what sections I want. Here is what I am doing this year:
1. Emergency contacts- this is where I keep the sheet I have the parents fill out on Parent Orientation Night. It tells me everything I need to know in a pinch. Here is the paper:
I got the idea for this last year, when I was blog stalking happened upon Mrs. Carroll at The First Grade Parade...and she had her info sheet listed as a freebie!! I took some of the questions from hers and tweaked them to fit my needs, added my own fonts and clipart...and this is what I came up with!
I run these front/back on two different colors (one for boys, one for girls, just because I LOVE color coding) and I print a label with the student's names AND STUDENT NUMBER  for the first blank at the top of the paper.This way, once the parents fill them out for me (legibly, I hope!) I can take them up, put them in number order and that section is alphabetized and color coded by boy/girl so I can quickly find what I need on each child!!!

2.Parent Communication- This is where I am keeping my Parent Communication Log. (My principal stated when she walks in our classroom this is the ONE thing she wants to be able to access rather than lesson plans...because of COURSE we are teaching our district curriculum!) I also bought one of those dividers that serve as a pocket (See above). This is where I will keep all the notes from home!
(Incase you missed it, my Parent Communication Log is two posts ago!)

3. Awards and Checklists- We give several awards in our school, grade level and in my classroom.I've already talked about the Postive Referrals. (I keep a sheet protector in this section with extra postive referral forms) In our grade level, each week, teachers choose a "Star of the Week". (I'll post more on this in the future)We have a grade level meeting and make a big deal about it.....they get  got a poster(that is SOOOO last year) to take home on Friday and bring back Monday.THIS year....they will get these little gems to take home...
CUTE!!! I found them at Really Good Stuff.
They are about 8 bucks for 24....and SO worth it because if I DO go with my Red White and Blue theme, they will fit in perfectly!! CLick HERE for the link to the product page.
We post them in the hall and they have special 'events' they get to have each day that week. This year, I am contemplating going with a Red, White and Blue theme in our hallway..(THIS is the picture from Clutter Free Classroom that inspired me)

..making our bulletin board a GIANT American flag (like the picture only making the stripes run horizontal rather than vertical) and putting stars all over our walls down the hallway. I've been so consumed with my classroom theme,I haven't given much thought to our hallway/grade level theme (and no, I don't like them to be the same because I would get sick of them very QUICKLY!) and with this year being an election year, Olympics and all, I am thinking the American theme will be cute..but that will all be worked out on another post..after July 23rd when I can get into my building.

ANYWHO, In my classroom, I also give a clean desk award (weekly) which consists of a certificate and usually a pencil or something.... and a CUTE idea I got  from Denise at Sunny Days in Second Grade but, basically you go to the dollar store (love me some dollar store!) and buy cheap kid socks (designed are the preference)....but any will do! Then you print these cutesy little tags (she has some but I made my own to fit my theme) and attach them to the socks and give it out as an award weekly to a student who has done something outstanding! THANK YOU DENISE!!! I love this idea and am SO excited about using it!
Here are my tags: ( I plan to keep them in a cute boot planter I found at some dollar store--picture to come later)In my class, the day they wear their 'special socks' they can take their shoes off in class...which is a BIG deal in my classroom!!!

Now, to keep up with who has had what award, in my teacher binder, I keep a checklist. Here is my template. Feel free to grab up!

I will date when each child has won an award so I don't get into that all-too-easy habit of picking the same ones over and over and forgetting someone!!!
Well, this post is long enough for now...and I may have overwhelmed I will post more of what is in my teacher binder later...because there is a LOT more!
(If you need pdf or powerpoint form of any of my documents, email me and I will send it to you!)
 Time to go grab some food!



  1. Your blog looks great and COMPLETELY understand the work that goes into it! You should be extremely proud and give yourself a big ole pat on the back from us!

    Love your teacher bible, I mean binder :)
    ~Christy & Tammy

  2. Cool look! Love the denim...the bits of print...very trendy! :)

    A Pirates Life for Us