That's right, it was 2008. Don't believe me? Here's the post.
No wonder I was feeling ready for a change yesterday as I tackled the next organizational chore on my summer to-do list: sorting through binders.
When Uncle Sam decided to move my family from Alaska to New Mexico, there was no way I could bring every single teaching resource with me, so I became a binder queen, sorted through all of the reproducible books I had, tore out the pages I thought I might need, divided them by month into wide, three-ringed jobbies, and donated the rest. It lightened the load considerably from what I started with, but the binders, August through May, were chock-full.
As my husband has retired and we've been in our home for almost two years now, I decided that it was time to look through my stash of reproducibles and whittle down as much as I could to free up some much needed space in my classroom cabinetry, though I really just wanted to update the covers on the binders that I've been using for lesson plans, student data and subs. It took self-bribery to motivate me: You know, if you take care of the monthly binders, THEN you won't feel guilty about decorating the other ones.
I may have also promised myself an iced vanilla chai as an added incentive.
See the eleven binders on the middle shelf? They're no longer there. I worked the stash of October-May reproducible pages down to TWO BINDERS. Teachers are natural hoarders but let me tell you, the occasional purge is liberating. Since the pages I removed are being donated to a local pre-school program, I don't feel like anything is being wasted.
And my reward to myself? Reworking the covers of my frequently-used-binders!
First, I had to trim a piece of 12 X 12 scrapbook paper so it would slide into the clear pocket/sleeve on the front cover:
Using page 5 of Kimberlee Fulbright's free Editable Teacher Binder, I used cardstock to make cover pages for my lesson plan, student data, substitute teacher and quarterly reproducible binders. I also used page 5 to print off divider pages for the quarterly binders: math, reading, writing, science and social studies, art and music, and assessments that I slid into page protectors.
To the left is the original cardstock size, on the right is the trimmed version:
After gluing the back of the cardstock, I adhered it to the scrapbook paper and smoothed out air bubbles and wrinkles with a brayer:
Saving ink, I printed in grayscale/black and white since I knew I was going to add cardstock punches that would provide a happy pop of color.
Bright and happy and hard to miss, organized binders save me a lot of time when planning, tweaking, and tracking down info.
Need some more binder inspiration? Visit:
~ Lindsey over at The Teacher Wife: How to Create Your Own Teacher Binder
~ Jenny at Luckeyfrog's Lilypad: Teacher Binder Remix
~ ... and Mrs. H at Once Upon a First Grade Adventure: Project Binder-ize!