Last summer I spent a LOT of time on the computer. Researching...creating.... researching....digging... "borrowing" ideas ;) One I came across was the concept of a MOOSE binder. A MOOSE binder is a way of helping your students stay organized. There is no reason why they should lose a paper, or not have something if they keep up with their binder. I introduced these at meet the teacher night so parents would know what to look for. All 4 of our 4th grade teachers helped the kids make theirs on the first day of school, and when the 5th grade teachers saw them... they wanted to do them too! =)
This was the front page of my homeroom's DRAGON binder. I made copies of the cover for the other teachers since I only received 25 free covers from vistaprint.
Here are the DRAGON binder rules that we kept in the binder. We also sent home a contract that the parent and the student signed. The school bought each child the black communication folder. I printed out labels for the students so they would be sure to put the papers in the right spot. It worked most of the time :)
Below is a pic of the black communication folder. It held their behavior chart (front), graded papers that stayed home (on the right), homework and notes (on the left), and the weekly newsletter with a homework log on the back.
Now here was my almost fatal mistake.... I forgot to inform parents that we were going to cut the folders that the students brought to make dividers. The folders as dividers worked out great. I only had a few kids whose broke during the year; however, kids went home and told their parents that their teacher had cut up 5 of their folders and parents were not happy. But once I talked with them and explained it all, they warmed up to the whole idea. After-all it was helping their kiddo learn how to be organized and responsible.
I want to do this again, but I am a little hesitant with 6th graders... they might think it's too babyish... not sure... if I do do it again... rest assure- parents will know I am cutting up folders, and I will not cut any special folders (ones with Justin Beiber...ect) :)
Some helpful hints:
If you visit the site below, you will find an acronym for just about any animal you can think of. Last year my elementary was the dragons, so I did a dragon binder.
I made the cover sheet on printshop (get it at walmart for about $20---definitely worth it if you love creating your own forms) and uploaded it on vistaprint----who printed it for FREE. ( I uploaded it as a flyer.)