Binders over Notebooks
Why I love themMany teachers have talked about their experiences with notebooks (spiral or composition) BUT... I am here to say that I choose Binders over Notebooks. Any Day! My first two years teaching I was all about Math Notebooks, with that came along all the fails too. I was teaching one course Regular 7th grade Math and three courses of Intensive 7th grade Math with two blocks each, so I had 90 notebooks to keep track of. I think the first year I had almost 9 students lose their complete notebooks. Other students notebooks were losing their front cardboard covers. Many of the carefully cut and glued activities that were placed in notebooks were losing their adhesive qualities and missing completely. So, how could I hold accountability to the student if I am the one providing the glue for them!?
I didn't realize that I hated these notebooks until I realized what I was using as my master copy and answer keys for all my activities, quizzes and tests. It was a BINDER! It hit me, I was using interactive notebooks all WRONG! The immediate next thought was how can I hurdle over the obstacles that come with binders?
1. Papers falling out
2. Prongs not lining up
3. Interactive foldables
I thought about it all!
WELL... a lightbulb went off and problems were solved. I would treat my binders exactly like a notebook. Organization is key with notebooks, I was good to go on the organization aspects. I will talk about all my tips soon ;) Plus, it was summer and the store sales were upcoming. I was just going to purchase those little circular reinforcement labels. Super cheap. Here is a link to Staples for 1000/6.49 (First obstacle - completed!)
Next issue, prongs... hmmm. The issue is with how they are handled. After applied pressure the force on the prongs causes them to bend. No brainer. Well, I figured I kept my notebooks in the past in my classroom already. So that was no issue, they would be only used during my class period and when absolutely needed to study from. (Obstacle two - no problems - completed!)
Now this is where I weighed my options. I'm sure you have see them, the awesome foldables that everyone uses! I loved them when I was using my binders. But I didn't want to stop using them! I would just have them glued to notebook paper. My school at the time gave loose leaf out when needed since we were at a Title 1 school, those types of school supplies came very easy. (Third problem - eliminated! Muh-ah-ah-ah-ah)
The real fun begins... SCHOOL STARTS!
School Year Began and...
My third school year is when I implemented Interactive Binders. I offer FREE templates on TpT that I use with my own binder - Check them out Here. Over the summer I streamlined it so students could also use the same organization that I kept. Making grading them sooo much easier and less hectic.
Freebie on TpT - Check My Store Out!