Teacher paperwork. Classroom paperwork. Student paperwork. Parent paperwork. Lesson plans. Report cards. Field trip permission slips.
As a teacher you already understand. So. many. papers.
While SOME of it can be done electronically these days, certain pages really need to have a paper hard copy.
You know, for those times when you have a last-minute IEP meeting with a parent, the specialist teachers, and the principal – and you go to grab your running records on the computer – and the entire school intranet is down for an unknown period of time. UGHHHHHH!
I get asked a lot how to organize all the paperwork that crosses your teacher desk and then some.
One quick way is to make binders!
They are easy to store in a multitude of ways, they can easily be updated when necessary, and you can even have super cute covers that match your classroom decor theme!
Storing Your Teacher Binders in Your Classroom
There are several ways to organize your binders:
- On a bookshelf or window ledge standing up with binders out
- On a table with the cover facing forward
- Stack them flat (alternate the binder spine in opposite directions so you have a flat stack of several binders) in a cupboard
- My personal favorite: In a filing cabinet in lieu of hanging files with the binder spine facing upward
Where Do You Find Inexpensive Binders?
Having a limited classroom budget for supplies (if any at all), I have definitely gotten creative when looking for inexpensive binders.
The easiest way? Ask your parents if they have any 3 ring binders lying around that are no longer being used. I bet you’ll Get a ton!
I have also found 3-ring binders at the dollar store. Now, to be very honest, they are NOT the very best quality and the covers bend easily. Plus there is no clear pocket to add in a cover. BUT, they are functional and may very well work for the purpose, so don’t discount them before going to check them out.
I have found decent office supplies at the local Goodwill shop and/pr garage sales from time to time too. Not often, but sometimes you can find a whole box of new binders that someone donates or wants to unload.
Think about buying in bulk from a binder wholesale company and splitting costs with colleagues. That way you can pick the colors and sizes that will work the best and they will be new!
One last suggestion is to send a letter to local businesses asking for a donation to purchase binders for your classroom use. Many companies, especially locally owned, have specific budgets for donating to local organizations and you just need to ask. Target used to have a program to donate x-amount so much locally and I have gotten some really nice classroom supplies with those funds in the past.
In your letter, make sure to include a picture of the binders you want, a description, how many, the total cost, and how you intend to use them. If you do get the funds, make sure to take pictures of the binders once they are filled and send that in a thank you to the organization.
Classroom Binder Topic Ideas
Need some binder inspiration?
Perhaps one or more of the following will get your classroom organizational wheels turning:
- Different Subjects: Math, Social Studies, Reading, Spelling, Writing, Science, Physical Education, Art, etc.
- Data Binder
- Student Info
- Student Portfolios
- Lesson Plans
- Substitute Folder
- Field Trips
- Staff Meetings
- Parent Communication
- Behavior Management
- Anchor Charts
- Professional Portfolio
- Student “Love Notes”
Want some done-for-you choices?
Organized Educator offers FULL BUNDLE Sets that contain TONS of premade binder covers and spines that allow for editing so you can make adorable binder covers in a snap – and they match ALL the other items in the print yourself decor sets!
Click HERE to see what current themes are available.
What are your favorite go-to binder ideas? Where do you store them? We would love to hear your ideas in the comments!