Teacher Organization - Binders, Binders, Binders!!!

So it's that time of year again!! Time to get organized for school!! In the past I have tried to have one teacher binder that I kept everything in. Problem with that is, It got too cluttered and unorganized - yes that's possible. Everything was in it, it was 3 inches thick, and jammed full of so much stuff that it was difficult to retrieve things when I needed them. I had generic dividers labeled things like "School Information", "Class Information", "Data", and "Other". If I needed something school related, I had to search through that section flipping every page just to learn that I had filed it under Other. So inefficient. 

Then I went for the multi binder approach. This has been such a better way to organize life!! Everything has a specific binder and I can always find things!! But I still streamlined it - Only 8 binders work for me (technically 9, but one is my sub binder so I only use that if I need a sub). But some teachers may find that three or five work for them. 

 Recently I created and published my 2014-2015 Editable Teacher Binder

You can grab your own right now for 20% off in my TpT store. Just click the picture above. 
ANYWAY... I just got my binders and started to set them up. I found adorable, colorful 1 inch binders at Walmart in the Back to School section. I love new school supplies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
They are Avery brand and have the clear view pocket in the front cover. 
And I got all the pretty colors I could find!! Here they are after I had printed the covers and spines. I couldn't wait to set them up so I did it as soon as I got home!
I got one 1 1/2 inch binder for my classroom data (cuz you know that's gon' be A LOT!).

First, I printed out my entire 166 page product and got to sorting. I laid out all the section dividers and decided which ones would work best for me. Here's a snapshot of the dividers:

I decided on which ones I would need to put in which binder. Here are the binders I decided on and their breakdown: 
Binder #1
Teaching Survival Binder
This binder is the one that I will carry with me and keep within an arm's reach because it will contain everything that I will possibly need during the school year. And on weekends. 

I kept some blank "brilliant ideas" pages in the front pocket, in case I have a brilliant idea which is, like, always. 

Whenever I get notes or other handouts from school I'll hole punch and place here. 

For all those brilliant ideas I'll have for the following school year. Or next week. 
Here's some examples: 

Everything I'll need for the first open house is behind this divider. I'll keep copies of handouts so I'll have them at the ready for next year. Like this: 

And the ultimate section needed for Teaching Survival: 
THIS section has all the goods like class rosters, student birthdays, class emails, transportation, allergies, technology access, class checklists, etc. You know what you need to have at your fingertips so that would go in this section. 

I am also keeping a Quick Reference form in this section in case I need to contact a parent or grab some quick info about a student. 

I put each section divider in a page protector. I hole punched forms and placed them behind the dividers. I will have them at the ready when needed to make copies!!

Binder #2
Student Documentation
I start this binder out with another copy of the Quick Reference form so I'll have all the contact information about students. 

In this binder I put Parent/Teacher communication. 

I buy numbered dividers (each student has a number) and I copy several of the following forms and place behind each divider for easy documentation when I speak to parents. 

I also place student information in this binder, including their personal and family information sheet and any IEP or other pertinent information. These sheets will go behind their numbered dividers as well.  

Binder #3
Lesson Plans
Oh, the all important lesson plans. This is my planning binder. I use it every time my partner teachers and I meet to plan. So I start with my Long Term Plans as the first thing: 
At my school, we have a curriculum map that we designed meticulously with our partner school, ULS, that I also put with my long term plans. 
I also include this overview of the year. 

 I follow that with: 

This is where I put my Month at a Glance pages. I'll jot down ideas for the month and units when we sit down to plan further than the next week. 

Then I have my Monthly Calendars: 

In my product, I give you the choice to use a two page calendar or one page calendar. I choose to use the two page and place them back to back. I have to glue the right side of August to the left side of September, then hole punch it and continue the same way for all months. I hope that makes sense to you!!
I left the calendar blanks empty so you can fill in the correct dates for the year. 

The last section is: 
Here is where I keep each week's planning pages. 

Guided Reading plans
Guided Math plans and Center plans. These help me to organize what I'm doing for the week with my groups. I jot down ideas and some plans here. 
Then we have my Week at a Glance: 
I can flip to this page at the beginning of the week or the end of the week before, so I'll know what's in store. Following that comes the actual plans. 

Binder #4
Grade Book

This one is pretty self explanatory. 

I keep my grades here. I print out 4 of each two-page section and I glue them together the same way I do the monthly calendars, clearly labeling each grading period 1 through 4.

Binders 5, 6, 7, & 8
Classroom Data
Common Core
RTI Documentation
Daily CAFE

These binders are also pretty self explanatory. The Classroom Data binder stays pretty much empty until I start collecting data from my students. 

In my Common Core binder I put a copy of the standards, some examples of exemplar texts, and our Tour Guide - more on that later!!***

RTI Documentation contains all the information I keep on RTI groups and planning. 

Daily CAFE is my pensieve for, of course, the Daily CAFE!!.  Check out the 2 Sister's website to read up more on it. I will carry this thing around every single day. 

Well that's it for now. Know that in my product there are MANY forms and dividers from which to choose. I print out everything and keep the extra pages in the back of my Teaching Survival Binder in case I find I need one. I hope that this helps you with some ideas about setting up your own teacher binders. Please let me know what you think and have a great year!!


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