Monday Made It! Homework Folders!


So here is my huge challenge for today, Monday Made It!  I am in that summer time SLUMP already when some of you are just getting started!  I even went into my classroom today to get inspired...didn't work!

So Monday Made It has inspired me to TALK about what my plans are for my homework folders this year.  It's always a big project but it pays off when the school year starts and communication is in place with my parents!  CLICK HERE if you want to link up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made it.

I have always used BEE books inspired by Jessica Meacham.  She was the very first site I started stalking following when I started teaching Kindergarten 7 years ago.  Her site is fabulous, she has tons of ideas and most if not all of her stuff is free!  I couldn't have made it through 3 years of Kindergarten without her! 

BEE books stand for Bring Everything Everyday.  I make mine from a 3 prong folder with a zipper pocket on the inside along with page protectors to keep resources in.

This is the label I made for the cover.  I also add a label with each child's name on it.

 These labels go on the inside pockets to organize papers at the end of each day.  Homework goes on the "Right back to school" side (right side!) and the papers that need to stay at home go on the "Left at Home" side (left side!)  I love this portion of the BEE books because it helps get those papers out of their folders and ensures they will know where their homework is when they get home. (These are labels from jmeacham.com)

I also make CONTACT INFORMATION labels with the school phone number, absence line, my email address, and the school website information. I put these on the inside cover.

The zipper pouch gets a sticker that says, "Notes and Money" and I train my kiddos to leave all notes and money in there!  I can't tell you how many times I have been handed a note only to lose it, lay it on my table only to forget it, or it gets lost in the homework pile.  If they stay in the pouch then I am sure to get them when I go through the folders each morning.  This is especially important at the beginning of the year when there are TONS of notes!

The page protectors (I usually include about 3) hold the district calendar, sight word lists, alphabet resource, and 100's chart resource.  I also put our monthly calendar at the front, and students get a "report" about their behavior each day for parents to review.  A stamp means we had a great day!  If a student needs to focus on a particular expectation I write the corresponding number  instead of a stamp.  This has been very effective over the years!  Here is an example of last years calendar: 
Here is the list of our classroom expectations: 
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1. Listen when others are talking. Escuche cuando otros están hablando.

2. Follow directions the first time. Siga las direcciones la primera vez.

3. Be kind to others. Keep hands, feet, and hurtful words to yourself.  Sea bueno con otros.  Deja tus manos, pies y palabras que hieren a si mismo/a

4. Take care of materials. Cuide los materiales.

5. Talk quietly without disturbing others. Hable en voz baja sin interrumpir.

 I am in the process of redoing these and making them "cute" as I have learned A LOT about creating in the last year!  I had the 2012-13 calendars free in my Tpt store and plan on doing the same with these this year.  Follow Me at Tpt and I will send out a message when I post the new calendars! 

So.....how am I going to change this up this year?  I could spend hours creating OR I could support fellow Tpt sellers and find something there.  Well, I found a real gem!  Fluttering Through First Grade has some really cute homework folder ideas.  I already bought the butterfly themed one but I think I am going to go back to their store and get this school themed homework folder: 


I am going to use all of my usual elements because they are working for me but I will add in the cute resources, that seriously would have taken me forever!  I am thinking about using a 1/2" 3 ring binder this year instead of a 3 prong folder.  I am not sure about this, I'm desperate for something that will stand the test of time!  What do you use to help your kiddos stay organized throughout the school year? 

Happy Summer! Heather