Monday, July 9, 2012

Teacher Binder- Part 2

This is part 2 of what's in my Teacher Binder.
I put more thought into this tool than anything else (besides lesson plans) I use because it is SO important. One of the main things I try to teach ALL my kiddos is the importance (and effectiveness) of being organized. Of course, it's not a "Do as I say, not as I do" thing....I try to show them also and this binder is my main source of organization!!

So, let's pick up where we left off:
4. Lesson Plans- Our district has a curriculum department that has planned each aspect of our curriculum to make sure:
* Everyone is on the same page
* All the TEKS are met

Their planner is a 'guideline' and we are free to supplement with anything that meets our kids needs AND is curriculum appropriate.
SO, I DO supplement....big time!
But, our team meets once (sometimes more than once) a week to go over the lesson plans, and throw out ideas of what we are going to do. I LOVE LOVE LOVE my team! These ladies are opened to trying to new things and have some of the BEST ideas!!
Anyway, our lesson plans are kept online (for the boss lady to look at when she needs/ wants to/ needs some reading material for her spare time) but I always print a copy off and keep in my teacher binder incase of memory loss, computer crash, substitute or whathave you!
Here is a sample of our template this year (going with our grade level theme)

5. IEP goals and Accommodations- Each year, I have more and more students that are classified as SpEd. My oldest son has Down Syndrome and graduated High School in June along with my youngest son.

 The one thing that lead to him being successful in school, the one thing that made a HUGE difference in how he felt about school and him feeling accepted is all the WONDERFUL teachers he had that, when mainstreamed, made him feel like "just one of the other kiddos". They followed all of his accomodations, but did so without any big deal!! Cody loved school and I am SO grateful to all of the teachers he had!! I want to make sure that I give my best to all my students, but also that if I have a student with accomodations that I follow them to the letter to give them the absolute BEST opportunity to succeed. But if you are like me, it is sometimes a juggling act to figure out who gets what and am I following ALL of them???
By law, we are given a full copy of each SpEd students' IEP. I three hole punch them and keep them in a section of this binder for quick reference. But I needed something to tell me WHAT I am supposed to be doing for my kiddos at a glance without me having to shuffle through a gazillion pages of each IEP.
So I use a seating chart that I color code with the most common accomodations...and a small writing space for anything 'special'. (I make sure a copy of this is in the sub binder because of a fiasco I had with a SpEd student and a sub years ago---I'll save that for another post). Here is an example of my seating chart and what it looks like:

 6. Daily 5 Section- This is the section I keep all my 'stuff' for the daily 5. The first thing I keep in this section is my Check-in Calendar. This way I know who I need to conference with and when! This is my September calendar:

The next subsection of this is the Conference sheets-
And then the Strategy Group Sheets-

Anything else Daily 5 related will also go in this part of my binder.

7. Calendar- Our office manager puts out a monthly calendar wth all important school related functions filled in (field trips, assemblies, etc). I keep a copy of it in my teacher binder so if I have a meeting/conference with a parent, I can schedule around all the other 'stuff' I sometimes forget about until I look at my calendar!!

8. Committee/ Team notes-  This last section is reserved for any team planning notes I have or notes from our Leadership Team meetings. We have several committes and 'teams' we are on and I find it more convenient to keep everything in one place!

Well, that is a look at my binder! How do you keep your things organized??


  1. Wow you are super organized! My teacher files and info were so disorganized this year because we kept getting things added on throughout the year. Hopefully this year I can get organized.

    Congratulations on your sons graduating, you must be one proud mom!


  2. It took me years (and many failed attempts) to get organized to this level! And it's a struggle to stay that way!
    Good luck on finding a system that works for you!

    And, yes, I AM a proud mom!!! 3 kid out of high school, one a sophmore in college and one on his way to Marine Corps Boot Camp in a few weeks! Semper Fi!