Take home binder for 3rd graders?

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Bella2010, May 23, 2014.

  1. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    May 23, 2014

    Hi All,

    When I student taught in 2nd grade, my coop teacher made binders for the kids. There was a folder for homework, a folder for papers to stay at home, a behavior log, a homework log, and a folder or plastic sheet protector for notes and misc.

    Does anyone do something like this in 3rd? I like the idea of everything being in one place. I think it'd be easier for the kids and for me. Honestly, a large part of this depends on whether or not my new school gives me any start-up money. If they do, I might heavily consider doing this, but I'd like to hear opinions/experiences from you all before I put a lot of thought into it. :haha:

    Beth
     
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  3. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    May 23, 2014

    Sooooooo our fifth graders have binders. They have something like 10 tabs-it's crazy and ridiculous. I had the hardest time using them this year because they were so complicated. They holes in papers would tear, papers would be hanging out, they would forget them in their backpacks, etc.

    So in February after break, I moved to a simple homework folder. I picked up vinyl ones from Target for $.77 each and teh kids put homework/unfinished work on one side, and papers going home on the other. That's it. They have to bring it in every day and all papers have to go into it. We've gone to tables instead of desks, so they don't have anywhere to put their papers. I don't allow loose papers under desks-they have to go in the folders. They would never have actually undone the binder rings to put the papers in before-they would have shoved them in the front pocket or just into the binder. Now, they put them in the folder pocket.

    So that's my experience. I love the binder idea-I had an OWL binder at a previous school. But I think the homework folder is a much simpler option for me now.
     
  4. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 23, 2014

    Third grade...I send friday folders with corrected work and school notices

    I truthfully don't think most kids need a behavior log...manage behaviors...let patents know of inappropriate, unacceptable behaviors....it's third grade...kids need to start taking responsibility for their own choices.:wow:
     
  5. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    May 23, 2014

    I wasn't specifically saying I was going to use a behavior log. I was just explaining that she organized the binder so that everything was in one place.
     
  6. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    May 23, 2014

    Do what works for you...I personally think these binders are too high maintenance.:2cents:
    My kids have hw agendas...I don't need to inform parents daily of kids behavior...I manage it...I notify of problems, concerns, have kids on contracts who are 'habitual'..I don't have time to fill out forms on twenty kids when feedback on two will suffice.
    Make choices that conform to your team standards...just sharing what works for me.
     
  7. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    May 23, 2014

    I used to use a binder back when I taught third. I was a first year teacher and the other third grade teacher who had two years more experience than me had previously used them with her fifth graders. It was okay.... kind of a hassle at times due to holes tearing or kids dropping their binders and having everything fall out, but it did keep things organized all in one place. I left third grade after that, but, if I were doing it again, I'd just go to a two-pocket folder. My binders had a lot of "reference" type papers, but they really weren't necessary for kids to carry back and forth between school and home. I could have just sent those things home once and trusted parents and students to keep them in a safe place, or I could have posted those things to my website and trusted parents and students to go there when needed.

    A two-pocket folder with or without prongs would definitely be plenty for me now -one pocket for "keep at home" and one for "return to school". If there were really things I wanted to stay in the folder for reference, I'd put a page protector in the prongs and slide the paper in there.
     
  8. OhThePlaces

    OhThePlaces Cohort

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    May 23, 2014

    I teach 3rd grade and we use a home-school communication binder.

    We're departmentalized at my school, so the front pocket is where I (ELA) send and recieve papers, and my teammate (math) uses the back pocket. The three rings only holds four items... their agenda, where we have to write their daily behavior grade and any notes, the instruction page for their weekly math homework, the instruction sheet for their weekly spelling homework, and their weekly reading log. The sheets are all laminated (homework sheets) or in a page protector (reading log), so there are no loose or messy papers. It works really well for us! :)
     
  9. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    May 24, 2014

    I staple my 3rd graders' hw sheet and reading log into a file folder. Other important papers they're responsible for taking out of their mailbox and putting into their go-home folder that the school provides. They're also responsible for taking out any notes, permission slips, etc. they need to return to me and taking out and keeping things at home that need to be kept at home. Sometimes I need to remind them or their parents to clean out their folders, but I don't go through them so it's really their responsibility at this point. Having easy access to their hw sheet and reading log is nice though and I will continue to use the file folders for that. Sometimes they get beat up and I need to replace them but I just buy a huge box at the beginning of the year and it lasts me.
     
  10. Bella2010

    Bella2010 Habitué

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    Thanks for the opinions and ideas! IDK what I'll do right now. On one hand, I like the idea of them being mostly responsible for their stuff. On the other hand, I know that even my 5th and 6th graders couldn't keep with their stuff, lol.
     
  11. teacherintexas

    teacherintexas Maven

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    I am required to use binders and by this time of the year, they are huge messes. I check my sections of the binder but I guess the others do not. If you are self-contained, I think they would be easier to use.
     
  12. applecore

    applecore Devotee

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    May 25, 2014

    Sounds like that really worked for her!

    I'm with the "you need to find what works for you...." and at the same time what's acceptable in your grade level/team from your school.

    As a great level team, we chose to just stick with Friday folders if we wanted them--I don't have Friday folders because it took 30 minutes out of my non-prep time (meaning, in between the kids reading and cleaning on Thursday) and someone would ALWAYS loose their folder at least once a month.

    Sooo....my students have one homework folder that I ask them to be responsible for all year long. I send home graded work on Friday and newsletters and homework on Mondays...and I call home as needed.
     
  13. queenie

    queenie Groupie

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    May 30, 2014

    I did this last year. I spent a lot of time preparing them, organizing them, and teaching the students how to use them. TWO weeks later I scrapped the idea and sent home an embarrassing letter of apology to parents letting them know that I tried it and found it to be too much to keep up with. A couple of them were upset because they liked the binders, but most were happy not to have to deal with them. They are heavy and bulky in backpacks for the kids, and they are a MESS to deal with on a daily basis. I have take home folders and all correspondence between teacher and parent (including homework assignments) goes in the folder. SO much easier- literally takes me about 3 minutes to go through all of them each day!

    The binders were adorable and I was so proud of them, but for me they were WAY too much work and NOT worth it! :2cents:
     
  14. CFClassroom

    CFClassroom Connoisseur

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    Jun 1, 2014

    I HATE binders. They are bulky, get damaged easily in their backpacks and are a pain to flip through and store during the day. I too use folders.

    Orange folder: goes home every day for the parents and I to put notes in (dismissal changes, field trip permission slips, book orders). On Monday I send home all assessments and graded work in this folder.

    Red folder: Goes home on Thursday and includes all the flyers (karate classes, town programs, ads) and practice work that we either correct together or is not graded.

    I've used this system for 5 years and still love it.
     
  15. amakaye

    amakaye Enthusiast

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    Jun 1, 2014

    I have used a binder for 5 years in 3rd grade, and really like it. We don't put any papers into the rings. I have 3 folders--homework, take home, and keepers. They also have their school provided homework agenda and a zippered pouch, which we use to store things like flash cards for various units, a couple pencils for homework, and other easy-to-lose things (lunch money, Book It coupons, etc.). I am able to put the binder on my supply list, though.
     

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