How do your students keep their materials together?
When I started teaching 5th ELA 5 years ago, I wanted a way for my students to keep all their materials together. I also wanted to help our middle school teachers by trying to teach the students some type of responsibility.
Each year I require my students to purchase a 1.5″ binder. I prefer a clearview binder so we can insert our cover pages. I also make them a spine label so we can see our notebooks from the side.
Everything that I give the students (with the exception of study guides) go in their S.T.A.R. binder. I always take the time to tell them which tab to put it behind and what to label it.
We have 5 sections that we divide our notebooks into. Of course, if you are wanting to use this in your classroom, your tabs might be a little different.
Our sections, or tabs as we call them, are pretty explanatory. All reading mini-lesson materials go in the Reading mini-lesson tab. Our ELA mini-lesson tab includes writing and grammar resources. Our small group tab includes anything that we do in small groups. Our word work tab includes our morphology work completed in the classroom, and our vocabulary includes practice and vocabulary planner sheets.
Each section, or tab, has its own table of contents. When we add something new, the students add the date and title to the table of contents. They keep the same table of contents and add to it for the entire school year.
Once a quarter, I take the binders up for an assessment grade. I also keep a binder myself as an exemplar example. I include everything we add to our binders in my binder as well. When it is time to grade, I take my binder example and create a ‘checklist’ to use as a rubric. Here is an example of what the checklist looks like. **please note that my sections in the checklist below are different than those mentioned above. I am changing them this year!**
Basically, I type the checklist, check off the pages present in each student’s binder, divide the total number of correct pages by the total number of pages. These become points and are used to get a grade. After the notebook grade, students continue to add to the same table of contents. However, I have them highlight the last item that was graded so it will be easy for me to know where to begin for our next binder check.
Here are a few more photos!
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