Submitted by Gretchen Taylor, Illinois

Idea posted August 19, 2002

Well, I think I've come up with a system that will help me consolidate everything for each grade (1 of ea.) and not be too burdensome to carry back and forth between home and school. I took some ideas and combined them. Here's what I've got:

I got two 1" binders, dividers (one per grade), and two few plastic sleeves for each section. I arranged the binders with my four morning classes in order in one of them, the afternoon classes in the other.

In the front of each binder I have a copy of my rules, procedures, grading policy, etc. (This is for my own referral needs.) Then, in each section, I have in order:

1) a class list complete with parents' names, addresses, phone #s,
2) the first plastic sleeve containing a general assessment table with names down the L side and columns running L-R, one for each of the areas I may be assessing (rhythm, singing, written, recorder, folder, effort, conduct, whatever). My thought is to have this handy more for in-class assessments (I'll write right on the sleeve with my grease pencil and then transfer them later to my perm. grade book),
3) inside, on the back of the first plastic sheet is a seating chart form with Post-it notes for names. Again, I'll mark any effort/conduct notations on the sleeve with grease pencil,
4) another plastic sleeve with my lesson plan form inside. One form covers both of my teaching days. Behind these items I will have any teaching notes I need to refer to for class, copies of song/lyric sheets currently being used by that class, a SQUILT journal guide, that class's "Rhythm Gym" pages currently being used. Then, I'll keep about six weeks or so of previous lesson plans and finally some notebook paper where I'll list songs, CDs, videos, a listening log & SQUILT assignments, and anything else that class is or will be doing.

These binders will go with me each way, but I also have separate binders (one for each class) that stay at home. In these I'll keep the older lesson plan pages, song sheets, etc. from my active binder.

Now, when I teach, I can grab either the a.m. or p.m. binder and have everything there together. I teach from a music stand, and the only other things I'll have to work from are my keyboard accompaniment binders, transparency binders, and teaching manipulatives. But those things I always have ready in the classroom, and that's where they stay. Whew!