Can you / do you require binders?

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by Lindsay.Lou, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. Lindsay.Lou

    Lindsay.Lou Companion

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    Jul 15, 2008

    For my 9th grade World History class, I'd like to required organizedd binders and do regular binder checks. I want to do this because they have their standardized state test at the end of 10th grade, so I'd like them to have an organzied study resource to look back upon as they prepare for their standardized test. They won't be tested on the material they learn in my class for 1-1.5 years.

    Anyways, on to my question. To do this, I'd like to require my students have 2" binders with looseleaf and dividers. My teachers did this for many of my classes when I was a high school student, so I didn't think it'd be a problem. Do you any of you guys require stuff like this for your classes? Should I ask administration first? (For what it's worth, I work in a very high-income community. I'd be willing to buy the materials for students who couldn't afford it because I'd sure those students wouldn't number more than a few, and I cleaned up at Staples' penny sale!).
     
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  3. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    I don't think requiring a binder is unreasonable. My seniors build portfolios and use binders and dividers. I always offer to purchase these for students that might not have the cash (and I've always had 1 or 2 students take me up on it each year). I usually phrase it something like, "if cash is tight right now have a conversation with me and I can help you out ... you can pay me back when you are able." I NEVER remind a kid to pay me back, if he does, he does, if he doesn't, oh well.

    Students may not like bringing a 2" binder to class all the time, and the binder may get beat up in a locker (we have tiny lockers). So, if it were me, I'd probably let them house contents in a filing cabinet each quarter and then spend 1/2 class day each quarter organizing the binder. I use those milkcrate hanging file folder boxes for students ... they pull their file or put stuff in their file when they need to and that way they aren't messing around with MY filing cabinets.

    As a teacher that has students the year they are tested I would LOVE knowing my students had a binder full of info to use for test prep ... I might even incorporate it into my curriculum if I could trust students not to lose the binder of the summer.

    Good idea!
     
  4. michelleann27

    michelleann27 Cohort

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    I teach 8th grade and we require the students to have a binder for either all subjects or divide them up. We give them a grade for keeping up with their materials and for being organized. This helps them get ready for highschool.:)
     
  5. chemteach55

    chemteach55 Connoisseur

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    I require binders for my class and they store them in the classroom and only take them home when needed. I have had students e-mail me when they were in college telling me how helpful their chemistry or physics binder was to them in a college class that they took.
     
  6. Rockguykev

    Rockguykev Connoisseur

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    If you have AVID on campus talk to your AVID people about their binder requirements. If you don't have it, then by all means do it yourself!
     
  7. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Their MCAS won't be on World History it's only on US History.
     
  8. billybob

    billybob Rookie

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    I did the binder thing with my middle schoolers for a few years. Perhaps it will work better with high schoolers. It did not fare well at all with my 6th graders. :sorry:

    Things were always falling out. Papers would get lost. All kinds of foreign objects (notes to friends, papers from other classes) found their way into the binder. :eek: Yes, some handled it well, but, sadly, they were in the minority.
     
  9. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    I require bound composition books because the pages don't fall out. I used them last year with my seniors and it worked out great! They do in-class writing in one half and vocabulary in the other.
     
  10. Lindsay.Lou

    Lindsay.Lou Companion

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    I realize they won't be directly tested on the World History frameworks, but my mentor teacher told me a lot of the important concepts (causes, key events) of WWI, WW2, etc. that are first introduced in 9th grade World History are often given less attention in American History under the presumption "the students already learned this". (along with general ideas like communism, republicanism, etc) I thought it would be great for them to have a resource where they have a lot of timelines and definitions to study, know what I mean?
     
  11. AshleyP

    AshleyP New Member

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    You should definately try the binders. I teach 9th grade English and my students are lacking serious organizational skills. I was the only teacher that required them to keep an organized binder last year. If more teachers did this in 9th grade, students would be more prepared for the higher grades and life for that matter. I teach in a very low-income area and the students were able to come up with the binders and if they couldn't, I gave them the binder.
     
  12. slinkytoy

    slinkytoy Rookie

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    I have always required Binders. I don't use a textbook, so my students need the binder for all their informational handouts as well as their vocabulary and returned papers. I also have them keep a journal in their notebook.
     
  13. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    It's a good idea I just wanted you to know that World History won't really be on the MCAS.
     
  14. Budaka

    Budaka Cohort

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    Up to last year I have always required my students (Spanish and English) to have a binder. But last year I found out that my Spanish students didn't need to have it (organized little buggers). I will still have my English students have one though.
     
  15. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    All my classes have a binder (my APs have 2), they are all graded.
     
  16. allisonbeth

    allisonbeth Comrade

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    I do binders with one of my classes. We had a problem a few years ago where all the teachers wanted 2" binders and they would not all fit in the lockers. So, we all sat down and worked out a plan where only some classes needed binders. In my other classes, they have pocket folders.
     
  17. ku_alum

    ku_alum Aficionado

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    Ha, Allisonbeth ... I can totally see that happening at my school!
     
  18. dovian

    dovian Comrade

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    I require binders with dividers, although I am going to try a different grading method next year where they give me stuff I think they should have rather than my collecting all of the binders and wading through them. I do tell them that they can share the binder with another class if they want, and many of them do. I think it is important to check binders in some way because 90% of the time, a kid who is not doing well has a disorganized binder (and that might be either the cause or the effect of the poor grades) but it can be a good signal to you that the kid needs help.
     
  19. Engsis

    Engsis Rookie

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    I don't use binders but I still remember a social studies teacher I had back in high school who had a really unique grading system for our binders. He used to make the point that, if a student is organized, all the papers in his/her binder should be neatly and securely bound in the binder. He would test this by going from desk to desk and opening binders upside down in the air. If a paper fell out of your binder, this affected your binder grade. Additionally, he searched for three random papers and he had to be able to find them quickly because our binders were supposed to be organized chronologically. I'm pretty sure he used to finish binder checks in one period.
     
  20. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    I require binders, but do to the socioeconomic status of my students, I provide them. That way, there's no excuse for not having what I want.
     
  21. kdw1913

    kdw1913 Companion

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    Jul 30, 2008

    I am planning to do binders this year with my 7th grade math classes. I plan to have dividers for classroom procedures/rules, warm-ups, notes, class work, and graded work. I am hoping this will help with my student's organizational skills!
     
  22. CindyBlue

    CindyBlue Cohort

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    Jul 31, 2008

    I require binders with sections for notes, homework, and tests. I do an "organizational check" at the beginning of each quarter, meaning that I check that the above named sections are in existence, clearly tabbed and labeled, and in correct order. I used to collect binders for checking every semester, but discovered after many years that the A kids had A binders, the B kids had B binders, etc. - it was a waste of my time. Now I just do the organizational check - I can do it at the beginning of a period or during homework time in class.
    I do use the binders as a tool to help kids who are not doing well in class...I sit down with them and help them organize, and look over their binders with them fairly frequently...most of the time, the disorganized kids are also the ones not doing well in class. Helping them organize has really helped some of them improve their grades. I also ask parents to check the binders of these kids, so they know that there will be some oversight of their work - this helps with work completion and accountability, which also has helped with improving understanding and thus grades.
     
  23. leisurej

    leisurej Rookie

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    I love binders

    I hole punch everything. I've been using the interactive notebooks with my 9-12th grade students for the past 5 years. We number all the pages as they go in the notebook. I keep a copy of their note book for them to reference when they are absent (This really helps when the kids are absent). So every student has the same on page 10 and the same worksheet on page 50. In the back they are requred to keep their quizzes and test in order and dated.

    ASSESSING their notebooks...EASY. They have to find the info, I refuse to take up their notebooks and look through their stuff. the quiz looks something like this

    NB_Q1

    1. On page 5: Objective: TSW...solve ______ step linear ______.

    2. On page 15: What is the correct answer to #5? ______
    (If they didn't make their corrections...to bad.)

    3. On page 20: What was the 3rd term we defined? ______

    4. What percentage does your test count as? ______
    (they are required to keep parent letter and syllabus on pages 3 and 4)

    5. Copy the original problem from #3. ____________________
    (If they didn't do as instructed for the work ...copy all problems and show your thought process....this is where I'll find our)


    I've found that so many of my students, whether bright or not, lack organizational skills. And I've had several who have moved that have come back only to say thanks for helping me get things straight. It's really good for the special ed students.

    They are required to use a 1 inch notebook and then bring 4 pronged folders for each quarter. (I watch the sales and can usually get these in bulk for 10cents each, then I sale them to the students for the same amount). Come the end of the year they have 4 of their own math books.

    We separate the chapters with colored paper. After the chapter test they get to pick their color and get to do the activity on the board. Simple activities: draw a picture using only straight lines, draw a picture using only curving lines(No straight lines), draw a picture using only triangles, write a journal about how math is used in one sport (you pick the sport), or something else. these chapter pages are graded through the notebook quizzes.

    Be creative with the notebooks, have fun with them, the more the kids interact with them them more they will value their end product..their own subject book.
    ;)
     
  24. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Students in the AVID program (a national program....does your school have it?) are required to have and maintain ONE binder for all their classes. I hope that you guys who require binders for your class would be willing to let those students dedicate a space in their AVID binder for your class!

    I'm a new AVID teacher this coming year and just got back from the big AVID summer institute. Now that I understand the rationale behind the single binder idea, I'm all for it.
     
  25. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Cassie--I'm not a high school teacher, so sorry, but what is the AVID program and what is the rationale for one binder (it makes sense to me, but that's because having everything in one place is the easiest thing for me)? My daughter, who's going into high school in September was asking me what she needs/should have to keep her notes, etc. I'd love the input.
     
  26. leisurej

    leisurej Rookie

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    Good to know. My school is starting the AVID program next year. How large of a binder do the AVID kids have? How are the AVID binders used? Would like to know more before I start getting my syllabus ready for this year.

    Thanks!
     
  27. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    AVID is an acronym that stands for Advancement Via Individual Determination. It's a program for students to get motivated and prepared for college by helping them get organized and succeed in rigorous coursework and mainstream activities.

    Students in the AVID program typically have GPAs in the 2.0-3.5 range, average to high test scores, and have the determination and drive to succeed. They must meet at least one other criterion, such as being the first in their family to go to college, low income, typically underserved in 4-year universities (e.g. underrepresented as a racial or ethnic group). AVID students are kids in the middle who are often overlooked academically.
     
  28. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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  29. languageart83

    languageart83 Rookie

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    I require the binder in my class. Last year I bought 90 binders on my own for all my students. This upcoming year I used my entire school purchase order (100 dollars) to order a binder for each student. I used construction paper as dividers last year because it was cheaper than the dividers. I like the storage in the class idea. I may get the milk crates for that so the students do not have to carry them every day.
     
  30. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    I require it too. If I was in a low income area, I would maybe talk to the principal first.

    I also buy up stuff cheap, but I offer it to my students to buy from me for cheap. I throw the money in a drawer for when someone forgets their lunch money.
     
  31. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    How Big is the binder? The way my organization system works, I'm not sure that would be possible.
     
  32. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    It's a large binder, usually about 3".
     
  33. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    I could get that to work. How would you handle collecting the binders though for a grade.
     
  34. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Would you be keeping the binder overnight? That would be tricky, since AVID students have to submit to a binder check weekly. It's actually a big part of the AVID curriculum, which strongly emphasizes organization.

    The only thing they could do is double-up on the notes, and keep one set in your binder and one set in their big binder. They'd have to photocopy handouts and hand-backs.
     
  35. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    Probably, with out new 55 minute classes there is now way for me to do otherwise. I think I would probably have to grade the class over a few days, that would work.
     
  36. LMath85

    LMath85 Companion

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    This year I am requiring my kids to have a binder. I didn't do this last year & kids were so unorganized and some even were using a notebook for two different subjects. When it came time to regents review they either didn't have the notes or couldn't find them.
     

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