Are you thinking about setting up your teacher binder for the year? Throughout my years of teaching, I have created some simple charts that I must have to help me keep certain classroom data organized. I have a 3-ring binder with tabs where I store several record keeping charts for both student interaction and parent contact. It is more than a grade book. It is the place where I keep a log of repeated student behavior. The binder holds a recording sheet for any parent communication. I also create an overview of my monthly curriculum and keep a paper copy of my semester grades. I keep all the documents fairly simple with few decorative borders or clipart. It is easier for me to see the essential information when my documents have lots of white space and are easy to read.
At the end of the school year, I “archive” my teacher binder notes to a folder for that specific school year in my filing cabinet. I always have a record of significant events if parents or teachers come to me with questions. In addition, I like having the curriculum overview piece because it helps me pace my lessons from year to year. I will remember that a certain novel unit took about a month. Or, I might recall that common and proper nouns went faster than expected. The curriculum maps are a good reminder of projects and lessons that worked or may have needed more time.
What are Some Tips for Setting Up Your Teacher Binder?
- Start with a basic 3-ring binder with tab dividers. I splurge and go for a fancy binder cover because it makes me happy!
- Keep paper grade sheets near the front. I like having a paper copy of my grade book even though I enter my students grades electronically too. I am convinced the electronic grade book will delete everything, so it make me feel safe to the have the back-up copy.
- Add a section for the “Parent Log”. This is a place to track parent communication. I jot brief notes every time I call a parent or have an in-person conference.
- Another tab is “Student Log”. Keep a chart for student issues. If I notice behavior that seems out of the norm (good or bad), I write a description of my observations along with the date of the behavior. You may not add to this on a daily basis.
- Include a divider for general school information. This is a good place for a copy of the main school calendar, the substitute list, and your teacher schedule.
- Other sections could include curriculum maps, reading conference logs for each student, things like that.
CLICK HERE to download the resource to help you organize your own teacher notebook. The freebie even includes some editable templates. Looking for more parent communication materials? Check out my Parent Handbook by CLICKING HERE.
Have a great school year!
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