This past year, I had the amazing opportunity to step back into the classroom as a long-term sub. It was a second grade, dual language, and hybrid learning classroom. I was so excited. But what I didn’t realize was that this would be my most challenging year yet (yes-even compared to teaching kindergarten!). The students and the curriculum weren’t the problems. The problem was the hybrid instruction piece. Teaching both in-person and online students at the same time made for a planning and teaching nightmare. As I struggled through my first few weeks, I realized that getting organized was going to be the only way I’d survive the next ten weeks. So in a desperate attempt, I reached for my trusty teacher binder duo: The Teacher’s Everything Binder and the Everything Data binder set to help get me through. Teacher friends, it t didn’t let me down!
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The Teacher’s Everything Binder Set
I’m sure you’re wondering what exactly The Teacher’s Everything Binder set is. Well, it’s a little piece of teacher organization magic! This set includes two binders full of all the information and papers you’ll need throughout the year. The Teacher’s Everything Binder holds all the “teacher stuff” you get throughout the year. Think important meeting notes, calendars, curriculum maps, gradebook printouts, lesson plans, and so much more.
The Teacher’s Everything Binder
It is designed to be a “home base” for all that “teacher paperwork” we collect throughout the year.
This was the first binder I created the last week of March after sobbing on my way home. At the time, I thought I was crying because I was unprepared for a meeting we had earlier in the day. But later, I realized I was crying because I felt so out of control. I didn’t have the typical systems in place that I usually would have, and that was making me feel unprepared and unorganized. I knew this had to change!
What to Keep in Your Teacher Binder
The best part of this teacher binder is that it can hold literally everything you need to stay organized as a teacher.
Pre-printed tabs are included to help you get started, but you can edit each tab to make them work for you.
In my teacher binder I have tabs for the following items:
- The 411– All the information I need for the rest of the school year. Here I keep a class list of names and phone numbers as well as emails/contact information for parents.
- The Curriculum- here, I keep a printout of the 2nd grade ELA standards, the social studies standards, and the district’s instructional plan.
- The Calendars- This spot is perfect for keeping all those calendars that are thrown your way. The school calendar? Check! Early release calendar? Check! I also keep a long-term pacing calendar in there so I can easily reference it when I am lesson planning.
- The Lesson Plans- You print them out…, now here’s a place to store them. Did you know your lesson plans can be audited? YUP! At the end of the year, they have to be saved and stored somewhere so that they’ll be ready if they’re randomly checked by the auditor. Save yourself the hassle of trying to find all your plans at the end of the year. Just put them in here for safekeeping!
- The Grades- After grades are submitted, print out a copy for safekeeping. As with lesson plans, your grade book can be audited too, so you’ll need a copy. Some school districts allow you to keep your online version as your “copy.” I’ve always printed out the grade that goes on the report card or progress report so I can easily refer back to it during conferences and meetings.
- Notes- This section is the perfect place to house all those meeting notes! Team lead stuff? Put it here… notes from a training… hole punch it and put it here. Now, you’ll always know where it goes!
The tabs are my favorite part of this binder set! You can check out this post to see an easy tutorial for creating your own tabs for your teacher binder!
The Teacher’s Everything Data Binder
Ok, let’s get real about data for a second: as a teacher, you keep a lot of it! And luckily, the teacher I took over for did have a ton of data and even put it in two separate binders for me. But with teaching two sets of classes and teaching hybrid, too, I found the two binder system she set up a bit overwhelming and hard to keep track of. In addition to the binders, she also had folders with more data. I was a little frazzled by the process!
That’s when I knew I needed to replace the two binders with one The Teacher’s Everything Data Binder.
This simple data binder helps keep you organized but isn’t overwhelming or too much. Everything you need data-wise for your students goes in this binder.
Teacher Student Data Binder Sections
To keep organized for the last quarter of the year, I used the following sections in my binder:
- Assessment Tools– at the front of the binder, I kept all my teacher copies of the assessment tools I would use. Think fluency checks, phonics assessments, and so forth. I kept it at the front, so I didn’t have to sort through all the sections to find what I needed.
- The Classroom Data- here, I kept classroom snapshots of my data. Since I was teaching a morning class and an afternoon class (plus students online!), I needed a spot I could find all my students’ classroom data easily. Some examples include class fluency checks, DRA levels, and a class snapshot of I-Ready scores.
- Individual Student Data- here’s where I kept all the individual copies of the student’s scores, such as their copy of the fluency spot checks, DRAs, and printouts of their I-Ready scores.
- Interventions- Under this tab, I’d keep intervention paperwork such as decision trees, intervention suggestions, etc. Keeping all that paperwork-type stuff made it easy to find when I needed to reference it. No more hunting around!
- Resources- This section is where I kept any of the resources I needed to reference, like leveling sheets. This binder includes a leveling cross reference sheet making it super simple to see suggested grade-level appropriate levels across many governing bodies.
The Teacher’s Everything Data Binder Set
By the end of the year, I was so thankful for this teacher binder set! Do you know all those many meetings you have to attend in those last few weeks of school?! I was easily able to grab my data binder and use it as a reference during the meetings. I was also able to place all the meeting notes in my Teacher Everything Binder so I could reference them without having to sift through piles of papers on my desk.
In short, these two binders helped save a bit of my sanity this past school year.
Getting Organized for the Upcoming School Year
Are you ready to get and stay organized in the upcoming school year? You can grab this binder set by checking it out here!