Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Teacher Binder 2015

Each year, one of the highlights of my summer is printing off my Teacher Binder for the new year!  I love the crisp new, blank pages and filling in the dates of meetings, etc.

My Teacher Binder is my everything... it is my calendar for both my school and personal life, meetings, my lesson plan book, my gradebook, my to-do lists, and my notes for everything!  If I lose this planner, I am totally sunk!  I know a lot of people like to use digital resources for planning out their lives, but I get too scattered for that.  I need the tactile-ness of writing it into my agenda, having it on my desk at all times and seeing what all I have going on that day/week/month.

(For previous posts about my Teacher Binder:  2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15)

To be honest, I was so pleased with the 2014-15 binder, that I just updated the dates and the subjects I'll be teaching, so if you are interested in the details or downloading my binder, please see the 2014-15 post above!

I did add a pacing calendar to the front of the binder, before my lesson plans.  I haven't starting using this year, but I really like the way it turned out:

But the BEST change this year was the binding!  In the past, I've tried several things, with varying degrees of success.  I love the look of the spiral binding that you can have done at Staples, but since I use my Teacher Binder for my gradebook, that wasn't an option since I wanted to be able to add pages easily.  I've tried 3-ring binders, but those don't allow you to fold them back for easy note-taking or for a smaller foot-print on your desk.  I've used the Mead Flex Binder, which is supposedly a mix between spiral and 3-ring, but pages did not turn easily and it was annoying to add gradebook pages, one ring at a time.  So, what to do?!?!?

This year, while having my Teacher Binder printed at Staples (I wanted thicker paper than I had at home), I was browsing around and found the ARC system.  The ARC system is a disc-bound system that I think I will really like!  Staples had a cute poly black & white cover for $2.49 and I got a set of 1" disc for $1.99.  The most expensive part of the system is the hole punch and my Staples was out (and I didn't want to drive across town to the other ones), so I ordered a hole punch on Amazon.  So far, I really love it! The pages turn smoothly on the discs and it is a breeze to add, remove, and move around pages in the binder.  I'm curious to see how well this system wears over the year, especially in terms of taking my binder back and forth from home to school.

Have you used the ARC system?  What are your thoughts?


Kathryn Freed said...

Mine comes in the mail today and I can't wait! I am literally sorting waiting by the door :) Your pictures are not helping!

rho said...

I looked through all my files and could not find what I used to make my binder last year and then I saw this post on Ricochet---and there it was! Are you going to post the 2015-16 update for us to use?

Amy Hogan said...

I like it. I just use a packet for my pacing calendar. My gradebook is online (in two places: one local, one online). My attendance is done weekly on printed packets since I rotate seats every couple of weeks. I also use a folder for all worksheets, lessons, and needed items for class. It's been working well.

I've used a small binder in the past, popping items in and out as needed. I might return to something like that this year.

Anonymous said...

My department has been requiring 9th and 10th graders to use those notebooks for science classes. For the kids, they lose a lot of the rings. It only works well if you fill it with a lot of paper. I tried it out for myself last year (since I was new to the school) and found that it was okay (you can get folders and stuff for it, which is nice), but that the most annoying part is that you need to be near that hole punch in order to find it really useful. And even at my school which has a few around the building, I never seemed to be near one when I wanted to add paper. But for a personal notebook, if you have your own punch, it probably works well! :) I might try again for myself this year, but I won't require my students to use it. I'm going to ask them to get binders instead.

Kathryn said...

I used this kind of notebook (just the generic notebook paper inserts) for my meeting notes this year, starting at TMC14 and I liked it. It was a good binder notebook hybrid for me. Thanks for pointing out this option as I'm in the process of making a calendar for myself for next year and I was going to go the spiral bound route. Maybe I'll be able to get some school funds to buy the punch.

Molly said...

Do you have a copy of your pacing guide shown above that you are willing to share? I l love it! Thanks for sharing your calendar!

Bhead said...

I would love your pacing calendar as well. Would you mind sharing it?