That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week by Ana Homayoun (2010)
& Seeing My Time by MaryDee Sklar (2012)
- A 1” binder for each subject – total 5 binders – different colors
- 5 packs of 5 tabbed dividers for each subject
For an example, see: http://www.staples.com/write+on+tab+dividers/directory_write-on+tab+dividers?
- A pack of 5 dividers – transparent, with pockets (sometimes these are with the folders) For an example, see: http://www.staples.com/Avery-Two-Tone-Double-Pocket-Insertable-Plastic-Tab-Dividers-5-Tab/product_710149?cid=PS:GooglePLAs:710149&KPID=710149
- Loose-leaf paper, with a reinforced edge, 3-hole punched
- A backpack that is big enough to fit 5 binders, plus a planner, and an electronic device, comfortably
- 3-hole punch
- Planner, provided by school, or a “friendlier” one, such as http://orderoochaos.com/shop-products#!/~/product/category=5059090&id=21117059
- Have a separate binder for each subject. Each binder should be 1”, with 5 tabbed dividers. (Of course, if a teacher specifies a 2″ binder, get that for his or her class. If there is a subject with very little paperwork, like wood shop or health, get a ½” binder for that class.)
- Put one clear/transparent pocket divider in the 3-rings, in the front of everything else. This is where you will stuff any papers that need to go back and forth from school to home.
- Behind the transparent pocket divider, put one pack of 5 dividers: (1) notes, (2) homework, (3) handouts, (4) tests/quizzes and (5) blank paper. Write these labels on the top of each tabbed divider. I like the plastic kind that you can write directly on the tabs; those little white slips can fall out and that’s kind of frustrating.
- In the very front of the first divider, put the syllabus for the class.
- Do not use spiral binders or spiral notebooks. Use loose-leaf paper from the back of the binder. If a teacher specifies a spiral binder, he or she may want you to paste papers into it, such as science labs or history hand outs. This can get very messy, since the handout is usually the same size as the spiral binder. See if you can find a Science Lab Book, which is bound and bigger than 8 ½ x 11, or a spiral binder with the spiral on the top rather than the side. These are easier to work with over the semester. For an example, see: http://shopping.netsuite.com/s.nl/c.ACCT126734/it.A/id.195/.f
Using This System:
At school, take the binder you need for your class with you (you’ll either carry it in your backpack or get it out of your locker). Put the binder on the desk and open it up. If you have to turn in some homework, take it out of the pocket in front and hand it in. Take out one piece of paper to take notes. When taking notes is finished, put it in the “Notes” section.
If you are in a rush, just put any notes or other papers you get in the clear pocket in front.
When you get home, take out all your folders, one at a time. Go through the papers in the front clear pocket. Put any notes in the Notes section. Do any homework you need to do, and put it back in the clear plastic folder to turn in.
If you get back any handouts or quizzes/tests, punch them with the 3-hole punch and put in the correct place.
- Everything should be 3-hole punched.
- At the end of every semester or quarter, take everything out of the binders and file them at home.
HANDOUTS: Papers of information that the teacher hands out go here. This is not homework. Sometimes, it might make sense to put some of these under the “notes” section. You decide in that case.
QUIZZES/TESTS: Quizzes are the bases for tests; tests are the bases for final exams. Keep all quizzes and tests, even ones that don’t have a good grade. It is useful to go back and review those ones in particular! (Parents: do not stress out so much about a bad score – your child may try to “hide” those quizzes from you, and then they get lost.)
PAPER: Reinforced paper is one of the best things ever invented. The back of each binder should have twenty to thirty sheets of this paper. (Otherwise the backpack gets too heavy.)
SCHEDULE A TIME WEEKLY TO ORGANIZE EACH BINDER. Find a time that works for both of you and one of your parents. For example, Saturday afternoon at 3:00 pm. Once you get used to this, you can go through 7 binders in less than 30 minutes.
Some students, especially those with ADHD, need to organize their binders daily. “Having a time every night to check binders and planners, organize papers, and get assignments sorted out will probably be an essential part of their daily structure. … For many of these kids, a timer is essential. For instance, setting a timer for twenty minutes before your son starts a homework block for him to clean out his binders, recycle necessary papers, make sure all homework is in his planner, and get any necessary materials to the space where he or she will be doing homework will help him or her to be able to complete the work with less distractions.”
PLANNER: Ideally, the school planner will have the block schedules noted on each page. It should have enough room in each block / column to write down the assignments. If it is too small or crowded, find another (larger) planner at an office supply store.