The Everything Teacher Binder Tote! ETBT

I have a deep seeded desire to be organized. I don’t always succeed, especially by Halloween when things have gotten pretty hectic. But I feel that if I give a home to my most important information, I’ll do okay. I am a little binder obsessed as well. I love how easily you can add things to them, and switch them around. However, I hated that I had to carry a bag big enough to carry a large binder, plus pens, pencils, sticky notes, calculator, keys, and all the other things teachers can’t live without.

So being the crafty diy-er that I am, I came up with the perfect solution. I made a fabric case for my binder that included everything I needed- even handles! Now I can head to a staff meeting with only my binder and I am the organizational envy of my coworkers! (I don’t know this for sure, but I would be envious if I saw someone else with my cool system!)

From Binder to Tote!

Supplies to make a ETBT
3-4 inch binder
5 dividers
5 plastic binder pockets
Binder 3- hole punch
Binder calculator
Binder Sticky Note sheet (Dollar Tree!)
Binder pencil case
ETBT cover (tutorial will be posted tomorrow! or order a custom from etsy)

At the very front of my binder I keep my pencil case. I made my own, but any 3-hole case with a zipper will work. In this I include many essential items:
pink grading pens
pink highlighter
whiteout correction tape
paperclips
lipgloss

Calculator that fits into three ring binder (if you can not find one like this, you should be able to fit a calculator into your pencil pouch)

Sheet of sticky notes that fits in binder. I found mine at Dollar Tree and want to go back and buy a lifetime supply. It is so handy! http://www.dollartree.com/school-office-supplies/Desk-Supplies/School-Supplies/Sticky-Note-Sets/291c434c428p308540/index.pro?method=search

Next, in front of my first tab I keep the monthly calendars handed out to me at the beginning of the year by my principal. I also include my daily schedule and any schedules given to me by specialist teachers, such as Title I Math or Reading.

First Tab: Plans
I print out my plan book that I made myself.Naturally I copy my pages on pink paper. Here is my plan page one, and here is page two. I type only the permanent things in. I write my daily plans in pencil a week at a time. Things come up often and its easy to erase and change plans! I will include a separate post soon on the ins and outs of my planning.
In pocket at end of section: My yearly curriculum map and lesson
plan book masters. I print my masters in white because it is easier to copy.

Second Tab: Class Info

I still keep a paper gradebook, even though my school requires us to use Thinkwave. I realize this is more work for me. But my classroom internet is shotty at best  and I am a pencil to paper person at heart. This allows me to see quickly who is missing what assignment if I haven’t graded it yet. I will describe more about my grading system next week. At the beginning of the year after I assign numbers, I add the names into my checklist here, and run copies for each subject as needed.

I also keep a student at a glance sheet that includes vital information on one sheet. Name, birthday, guardian names, phone number, first language, allergies and photo release information. I also record which students have IEPs, etc, but I do not keep the actual paperwork in my binder.

In pocket at end of section: Master of student checklist and several extra copies.

Third Tab: Procedures

Here I include all the paperwork I send home in my Family Handbook. My procedures are detailed and by the end of the year, covered in penciled notes of what to change for next year! I also include the list of textbooks that my school uses for each subject.

In pocket at end of section: Master of procedures that don’t have my pencil scratches!

Fourth Tab: Professional Development

I keep a log of all the professional development hours I accumulate. Since I am now at a private school, we get a lot less of this than when I was at public school, but it is helpful for induction programs and licensure. I keep a record of notes and handouts from these PD meetings as well. However, if it is an ongoing PD then it usually gets its own folder in my filing cabinet. Our ELL trainer usually hands out an entire ream of paper by the end of the trainings!

Our principal hands out agendas for every meeting. I love this! All I have to do is hole punch it and stick it in this section. I take notes on it during the meeting for my own information, and transfer any event dates from it straight to my monthly calendars or my plan book. One staff member takes minutes from our meetings and emails them to us, so I always have an official back up file on my computer as well.

In pocket at end of section: Master of Professional Development log

Fifth Tab: Forms/ Passes

Many of the forms and passes I use have been downloaded from the internet over the last few years. I do not have sources for all of them, but I will give credit where I can!   I mark each master with an M in yellow highlighter (this way I do not use my last copy of anything, and the M will not copy!) The forms I currently include are:

    • Bathroom Passes (I copy these on bright yellow)
    • Restroom/ Water log checkout
    • Wow report (I copy these on bright orange) upload
    • Oops report (I copy these on light blue) upload
    • Student Behavior Log
    • Parent Contact Log
    • Absent Folder Work List
    • Substitute Teacher information
    • Passes to sharpen pencils, get a drink of water, play games at recess, or have lunch with teacher (I sell these with behavior points)
    • I’m Telling sheet (I wish I could find the origin of this paper- I love it!)
    • Weekly and Daily behavior contracts for students who need them later in the year!
    • Material Check Out List

In pocket at end of section: copies of new forms or passes that I have not started using yet- that I download from all of you!

End of Binder: Misc

Anything that comes my way through out the year that does not fit in any particular section gets stuck in the back of my binder. Also my extremely handy binder 3 hole punch lives here too.

My binder tote includes a loop for a mechanical pencil, stick eraser, grading pen, and highlighter. This way I have my essentials handy at all times. I also have a key clip here. So when I go to staff meetings or trainings I can clip my keys on if I don’t want/ need to also take my whole purse.

The End, for now. That’s my work in progress for how I stay organized. I usually have to replace the binder after a year or two, but the cover has lasted longer than any binder inside it. It is very easy to make if you follow my tutorial. If you are a non sew-er or prefer to have it asap, you can check out my etsy store and order on for yourself.
Stay tuned for tomorrow’s tutorial!

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About teachinginpink

I'm a full time mom and part time fashion designer, and overtime teacher. I teach fifth grade at a Catholic school. Due to my slim parochial school budget and my naturally crafty ways, I love to get creative with my teaching!

Posted on July 26, 2011, in Back to School, Everything Teacher Binder Tote, Organization, Planning and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Great job..I love the tote..tomorrow I’ll go to buy the perfect fabric for my binder!!!
    Will you post also the binder pencil case tutorial? Here in Italy it’s impossible to find binder accessories (or even organization supplies for teacher or classroom), so I would make one for my binder!
    Thanks in advance..and sorry for my bad english.. 🙂
    Vera

  2. I’d really love to get one of these but your etsy store cannot be found. 😦 Are you still making them?

  3. I am interested in your binder tote… I left you a message in Facebook

  4. I made this before school started this year and I love it. The only changes I would make would be to insert a piece of ribbon in each of the side seams (in the area between the handles, both front and back) to tie the notebook closed for carrying and another in the top seam on the back to serve as a book mark for my lesson plan section. Thanks for the great tutorial – it’s wonderful to at least LOOK organized. 😉

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