In the last post, I showed you how I organized my teaching manuals for Tapestry of Grace. Here, I'll show you the kids' binders. I love that TOG really encourages the kids to be self-motivated and self-taught!! I'm a firm believer that 99% of my job as a teacher is to teach them how to learn, not just fill their mind with information. If I teach them how to learn independently, the world is truly their oyster, and they can learn anything!!
Ok, kids' binders… I'll be showing you Katie's, but they're both the same. The only difference is that Katie's binders and notebooks are pink, and Danny's are blue. (They chose the colors…)
First, here's a picture of the front. I mentioned that TOG has front covers and spines for your binders on the Loom. This is the same cover and spine I used for my binders.
Nice, huh? :)
OK, for the kids' binders, I got a BUNCH of dividers. I prefer the plastic ones. Yes, they're more expensive, but they're SO worth it, since they're not going to get torn up nearly as easily. You're going to need 3 dividers with pockets on them, and 5 more that don't need them. (If you buy them in a pack, though, it's no big deal, really.) I labeled my pocket dividers as Assignment Sheets, Maps, and SAPs and Worksheets. The ones in the back say Unit 1, Unit 2, Unit 3, Unit 4, and Maps.
OK, we're going to start at the front. First is a page protector pocket that has the daily schedule for each child on one side, and a weekly calendar on the other. I print of the calendars every week, so they know what's coming up. Our schedule is loosely based off of the Managers of Their Homes system, which I HIGHLY recommend, especially if you have a child or children who really need a ton of structure, like I do.
Next is their Assignment Sheets. Remember my Master Assignment sheet? They each have one, too. Every Sunday, I take each child individually, and take them through the Master sheet. They copy their assignments down onto their sheets. It's getting them prepared to eventually read the TOG Assignment Sheets for themselves, and write them out (although, realistically, that won't happen until at least the Dialectic stage, about 7th grade). Theirs are written out, not typed, but they still save them as a record. Again, good practice in record keeping and organization. Plus, it keeps me from having to answer the never-ending question, "What's next??"
After their Assignment Sheet are the TOG Reading Assignments, Weekly Overview, Spelling Cards, and Writing Assignment sheets. We go over these on Sunday during our time together. Now they know exactly what to expect to learn this week.
Behind the Assignment Sheets section is Maps. This one is pretty easy. I just put any map they have to do this week into the pocket of the divider. Their maps are assigned on their sheet, so they know exactly when we're going to do them.
Behind Maps, is SAPs (Student Activity Pages) and Worksheets. The SAPs show them what activities they'll be doing this week. The Worksheets are, well, worksheets. ;) I also put any evaluations they have to do in this section.
For our Unit Tabs, I took page protectors and tabbed them, with the headings of Week 1-Week 36. On Sunday, when we go through our upcoming week, the kids take all of their assignment sheets and SAPs/worksheets, along with their calendar, and put it in the corresponding week's pouch. Permanent records! At the end of the year, we'll put them in our big bin for Upper Grammar, labeled by year.
For Maps, that's labeled by Unit. As they finish a map, it goes in the corresponding Unit pocket. It, too, will go in the bin at the end of the year.
So, that's how the kids' binders are organized, more or less. It's teaching them a lot about independence, and they really do enjoy having their own lists, and schedules, and knowing exactly what comes next. It also frees me up to deal with the littles, and not have to answer constant questions about what's coming up next!!