Turning File Folders Into Binders


So who loves big projects that turn your house into a mess, but will hopefully make you more organized in the long run? This girl.  And, I’m sure many other teachers out there. I’ve seen a few teachers blog this summer about turning their files into binders and I’ve been wanting to do the same thing for years. Since I’m moving into a new school I decided this summer was the time to begin this huge and I mean huge project.

First, I took all of my files from 1st and 3rd grade and went through them.  I like to keep everything. Like many teachers, I am a bit of a hoarder.  But, no more of that – I threw out a few boxes of stuff! I was very proud of myself.

Here’s the mess…. (and this is just a bit of it)

Then, after purging it was time to organize.  I decided to organize things in a few different ways, but all that made sense to me.  For each person, I’m sure organization of this part might look different.  I decided to have a variety of binders, different sizes depending on what was going in the binder. 
Here are some examples – Reading Literature, Reading Informational, Writing, Story Prompts, Fluency, Phonics, Language, Conventions, Science, Social Studies, Holidays, Number Sense, Operations, Geometry, Multiplication, Division, Measurement, Story Problems, Graphing, Money, Time, etc.  As you can see I have a lot of binders. I like having things divided up by topic and my hope is that it’ll make me more organized throughout the year. 
Within each binder there are dividing pages.  For example, Fluency has Reader’s Theater and Poems.  Parts of Speech includes nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, and pronouns.  Each page, project worksheet, etc is in a page protector. Some are grouped together if that made sense and some are in their own.  Like I said, this project is up to what works for each person.
I made covers for each, binder spines, and dividing pages that I also laminated.  See examples below….

So, I’m about halfway done with this project. Once you start you kinda have to finish so even though right now I’m cursing myself for starting, I’m sure once I’m done I’ll be glad.
How are your teaching materials organized? Do you use files, binders, on the computer? Leave a comment below and let me know. I always love getting new organizational ideas.
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