A quick way to organize notebooks in class?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Cicero, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. Cicero

    Cicero Companion

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    Jul 1, 2013

    This year I am going to have my students keep a composition book for their warm-ups, and I would like to have them keep them in class so they are available when needed. I have a bookshelf already I plan on using. What would be a good way to organize the notebooks so students can find theirs easily? I already plan on having a specific place for each class. I don't want this to add any lost time to the beginning of class as students struggle to find theirs in the class's stack.

    I had one idea... Maybe letting them choose a unique decoration for the spine of the notebook? Like a sticker or something along those lines. Has anyone tried something similar?

    It's just a silly little thing to worry about, but I have shorter class periods so I feel like every minute is important.
     
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  3. FarFromHome

    FarFromHome Connoisseur

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    I would put their name on the spine. Then maybe put them in alphabetical order by class. But it might take a while for the kids to get them back in order or take a little longer for you if you're going to put them back. Another idea is to put them in order of where the kids sit in class-so row/group 1 in one place and so on. Then they might be easier to put up.
     
  4. chebrutta

    chebrutta Enthusiast

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    I think that as long as you have a dedicated shelf for each individual class, it'll be fine. Just make sure they actually put their name on the front cover somewhere!

    I kept mine in plastic file bins, one per class. I let them decorate their notebooks however they wanted. When they walked in, they got their notebook. Before they left, they put it away.

    Of course, there's always the occasional kid who put theirs in the wrong bin (which was weird, since they would have to literally take the top off of the clearly-marked wrong bin) or accidentally took it home, and then waste class time looking through every bin.
     
  5. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    I like the idea of easily distinguishable spines. I'm pretty sure some creative duct tape will come into play.
     
  6. muinteoir

    muinteoir Companion

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    I use wash tubs for each class period.
    They decorate the cover with their names.
    They pick them up as they walk in, turn them in at the end of class.
    I've never had any problems.
     
  7. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    I have only one class- but I have 3 tubs. One tub holds the notebooks for 2 tables (about 8-10 students). One student is responsible for handing out a tub- so each of my 3 "table monitors" is responsible for passing out 8-10 notebooks and collecting the notebooks when we're finished. It's much faster than passing them all at once because they're passing out less and what they are passing out is confined to one section of the room. (Rather than say giving Lucy her notebook and then walking to the other side of the room to give Charlie his notebook and back to the other side to give Tommy his notebook- which is the way my kids seem to pass things out when they're given papers for the entire class.)
     
  8. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    The comp books also come in different colors, so each class could have its own tub, with 5 red books, 5 green ones, etc. That way they only have 5 books that could be theirs in the tub.
     
  9. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Your concerns are warranted. I had color coded folders by period on a bookshelf for extracredit. Because of the pain of finding their individual folder even only among their period, almost no students fished their folders out because it was too much trouble.

    I believe some type of spine designation would be necessary. Stickers sound nice. I didn't really know what to do with my students because folder spines aren't large enough to write on. A different approach might be some kind of tab you attach to the spine and write on the tab.

    I have to think if I will be doing the same thing next year or find a different way to approach it. I will also be doing lab compo books and am wondering if I should keep them in class, or have them take them home.
     
  10. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    You only have 10 kids per class?!

    Edit: Oh wait, read that incorrectly. WOW! That's a great idea actually.
     
  11. muinteoir

    muinteoir Companion

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    I keep mine in the classroom. That way they are always there. Of course, if a kid wants to take home for any reason, they are free too.
    I found that keeping them in class saved a lot of headaches.

    I'm starting to wonder about names now. When I said it wasn't an issue, it was at a school.where kids brought their composition books, so they were in a variety of colors and styles. Lots of regular black ones, but lots of other kinds too.

    This year I'm moving to an independent school and the books are purchased for them as part of their book fee. They are all the traditional black books.

    I'm thinking about getting large labels for the covers and letting the kids put their names on them.

    I'm going to have to think about this now.
     
  12. kpa1b2

    kpa1b2 Aficionado

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    I love the duct tape idea! Each group would be a different tape.
     
  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Here's white fabric spine tape.http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00914J9QM

    14 dollars for 15 yards not bad. Maybe give each student a strip they can decorate as they want, doesn't even have to cover the full spine, and then let them use that top distinguish theirs.
     
  14. Pencil Monkey

    Pencil Monkey Devotee

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    Ok, I had the exact same problem last school year. I got some of those dollar store dish pans and marked each dish pan with the class period. The kids brought in the comp books and they were all kinds of designs. I had a parent help me duct tape the spine. I had 4 different colors of duct tape. I used one color for each class period so that the books would not get mixed across class periods. The duct tape served two purposes. It helped the books stay in their binding all school year and it helped distinguish the books.

    As far as passing them out went I had a new pair of of helpers picked each week to do the passing and collecting. They did it as soon as they walked in while I took roll and did a hw check. By the time I was ready for students to use them the whole class had them already. I did not let kids just go and get their books when they came in. Because they would fool around. Instead they came in, filled out their agenda books and took out their homework. I had the hw answers on the board and they would check their homework over while waiting for their books. I also had a table of contents chart displayed with the daily update on it. The kids would update that as well. I walked around with my roster book and checked for homework completion. Once hw check as complete I would put my warm up on the overhead or board and we would begin the warm up and lesson.

    This year I am going to use a sharpie to write a number on each book and have a helper put them in number order for me. It will make it faster to check them for assignments. Hope that helps!
     
  15. Cicero

    Cicero Companion

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    Wow! Thanks for all of the great ideas everybody. :) I never would have thought of a lot of these things.
     
  16. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    honestly this is brilliant.
     
  17. cheeryteacher

    cheeryteacher Enthusiast

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    I used folders that needed to be passed out every day. I trained my students to pass the folders by putting theirs own top and then passing to the person to their right. They could not pass their folder until they got all of the other folders in their row or area. Passing out folders was also simple because when they got the stack of folders they would always take theirs off the top before passing the stack. I had one student pass out and collect the folders, which I kept in a plastic container. It was very simple for the folder passer to do his job because they were always in a certain order. It took maybe one minute to pass out and one minute to collect. If I switched desk arrangements I always took a few minutes to show students who they would be passing their folders to when they were passed out or collected. It has worked out very well for the past 3 years. I rarely have someone accidentally take their folder because no one else in their row can pass their folder until they get their stack. The kids usually treat it as a contest, so they are good about telling people to pass or reminding them to put their folder on top.
     

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