Over 85% of students surveyed said the system helps them know what the class is doing each, whether or not there is homework, and when larger or important assignments are due. 67% of students report that Organized Binder helps them express what they are learning in their own words. 65% say that the system helps them get and stay organized.
"Absolutely love these binders!"
"I felt that the binder was very useful yet it was hard for me to organize myself because once you failed to update your binder it can be messy to reorganize the binder back again.
"It was a good approach to help students stay organized. I myself feel that it helped me be prepared for class and stay on track."
"I like the Agenda sheet that we used, it helped to look back on what is due if I forgot, it served as a great reference throughout the week or over the weekend. and I liked the Learning Log because I was able to express myself to the instructor and provide feedback on things the instructor wanted to know."
See all the results here: Sacramento City College Spring 2016 Student Survey Results
"In order to be a successful student, one needs to see him/herself as a student first. I witness that happen through Organized Binder each day and with each new student who comes to camp." -Abbie Korman Stendahl
The school and students featured in the March 2016 Newsletter must remain anonymous for student privacy and security. What we can tell you is that this is a residential County and Community School and serves incarcerated youth. Teacher Abbie Korman Stendahl has sent us feedback on how Organized Binder has had an impact on her classroom and students.
Abbie Korman Stendahl is an English and history teacher in her sixth year teaching. Currently, she works with incarcerated youth in the Court and Community Schools in Northern California. Previously, Abbie worked for five years at an urban, Title 1, comprehensive high school where she taught AVID, Read180, CAHSEE Prep, and every grade level of English 9-12. She knows what it is like to have three preps every year, teach classes of 36, and to have 170 students on your caseload to get to know, connect with, and teach.
Now, in integrated classes of 9th-12th graders, her goal is to facilitate learning and a sense of empowerment through engaging, scaffolded, and organized curriculum for small class sizes of incarcerated boys. Ms. Korman’s English and history course content are aligned and allow students an in-depth, multidisciplinary lens through which to analyze literature and gain historical thinking skills. In the classroom, students use the Character Based Literacy (CBL) program developed at the Santa Clara University, Markkula Center for Applied Ethics, tools from E3: Education, Excellence, Equity, and Organized Binder.
Most of my students self-identify as young men who were not successful as students before coming to court school. Many students admit that not only did they not have organized binders, but they “didn’t do homework and didn’t bring a backpack to school” either. At our court school, there are many of factors in place that allow students to focus on school in a way that was not a reality for them before, and a main one of those is Organized Binder.
My classes are made up of young men who live on-site at an honor camp and are monitored 24 hours a day. Students work each week in school and in their mandated after-school programs to earn their release. The transition to our school is a difficult one; for many, this is the first time they are required to do the work and homework expected of them. There is no truancy, there are few distractions, there is mandatory study hall in the evenings, and there are security guards in the room; students must try in school, or they will not be released.
While school is so important to students’ release, it is not something many students feel comfortable with or are ready for when they first arrive; their affective filters are high, they do not feel they have ready many tools with which to be successful, and it is more academic work than they are used to having to do. I believe Organized Binder is one of the main tools in the classroom which helps students transition and succeed.
I believe all students are uniquely intelligent and all are capable of success. Unfortunately, many of my students have a history of negative experiences in school where they have not felt that to be true. At camp, in my classroom, I believe it is my job to help my students see themselves as the students I know they can be. At camp, with clear routines each day, an organized binder, and a map of our day, week, and unit, students get the hang of school and know what is expected of them. The longer students are in my classroom using the Binder, the more and more academic they become. The youth begin to see themselves as students, and their mindsets change. I am losing track of hearing students say, ”you know, I don’t like school, but I actually kind of like school.” I think this contradiction comes from years of not succeeding in the classroom and finally feeling successful as a student at camp.
In a survey at the end of the unit, it is telling that 73% of my students reported being more organized now than they were “on the outs”, and the remaining 27% were almost all the students newest to our school. Because students attend our school as a court-ordered sentence, we have a constant flow students serving their six to nine months at different times throughout the school year. The Organized Binder is an anchor for students showing up at different times of the school year to our unit, but it can feel unfamiliar and unusual at first. For new students, Organized Binder allows them to look like everybody else, to jump right into our lessons, and to have all of the papers everyone has; it is easy to find the papers they need to be on task, and seated next to a peer who has been in class longer, they are able to catch on quite quickly.
In our class survey, students who have been at camp longer wrote about themselves that: they “take academics more serious [sic],” “I always do my homework”, “I actually learn a lot because I am organized”, “I do work, behave good [sic], show up to school, and learn”, “I am more open minded and learned to be successful in life I need school”, “I try here” ,“I get homework done. I am organized. I’m always on task”, “I do some of my work and its [sic] fun to learn.” While students are required to be in school each day and to complete homework each night, it does not have to mean that they actually learn or change their attitude toward school, but it is what happens at camp.
At camp, many students are able to finally see themselves as students, successful ones, who show up every day, know where every paper is, and are organized. Students say, the “organized binder helps because it makes it easier to access assignments” and “organize binders help me find my work easily.” When asked one way Ms. Korman’s class is different than other classes they have had, students report “very organized” and “i’ve been able to get my homework done more using the organized binder.”
This is similar to classes at the comprehensive high school I worked at - students remember and utilize our skills of organization on a daily basis, and it stands out to them. It empowers them. It is often the thing in my class that is reported as what they have learned most - not English or history standards that we, of course, are hitting each day. But that they have learned to be organized. I think this is because this is a tangible, measurable step for students to see their own growth. This is a clear first step toward success. In order to be a successful student, one needs to see him/herself as a student first. I witness that happen through Organized Binder each day and with each new student who comes to camp.
I have seen Organized Binder work in classes of 36 at a comprehensive high school, and I have seen it work in class sizes as small as four with incarcerated youth. It has worked in English class, AVID class, and history class, with ninth graders and twelfth graders, honors students and students achieving far below standards. No matter the curriculum and no matter the demographics of the students, I have always and will always use Organized Binder. It works, and it is transformative.
“What’s one thing you are proud of?”
“that im actually doing my work”
"I believe more schools should do the Organized Binder. it is very useful and will help kids become organized. It will also help kids do better in school."
"All schools should use Organized Binder because it helped me stay organized and helped me get ready for class everyday."
"Organized Binder helps my binder from being a complete mess of papers."
"I think that Organized Binder is really helpful."
Below are a few highlights from the survey. You can download the entire survey results from this Northern California County and Community School as a pdf by clicking the pdf icon below.
Two years ago Harbor High School implemented Organized Binder:Teacher. The effort, lead by principal Dick Davis, has been the model of a faculty committing to a reform initiative. All of the teachers who have participated in Organized Binder have committed to trainings, follow-up sessions, and implementing the system with fidelity and the results show their efforts. This past year Harbor High School was awarded the Gold Ribbon Award and received an additional award for being a Title I Academic Achieving School.
State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson said, "These schools are academically successful, vibrant, and innovative centers of learning and teaching."
You can see other Harbor High School highlights here.
When principal Davis got the news that Harbor was being given these prestigious awards he contacted us to share the good news. He sent us a letter explaining that Harbor's application was focused on the school's work with Organized Binder. Excerpts from his letter are below:
"Big Picture: Building student-ness through using structures - Organized Binder", a letter to Organized Binder from Dick Davis, principal of Harbor HIgh School.
"The Gold Ribbon visit forced us to examine our work with the Organized Binder. We built our application for this statewide recognition based on our implementation of Organized Binder. As we worked on our application "To build Student-ness" sounded good on paper; As we found out this week it is real. We are building student-ness using this system of organization. Organized Binder is guiding students to learning organization skills and helping teachers structure their lessons.
For the visit we gathered ten students to meet with the folks from the County Office, this is what they had to say:
“The most impressive part was that when we asked “what part of the binder has helped you the most” we got five different answers. This made us think that Organized Binder is working on many different levels and helping kids who have different needs. Some kids felt the Weekly Lifeline (Page B) was the most helpful because it kept them centered on the key area of the class. Students liked that they got a chance to think about the lesson in the Learning Log. They also said it helped them study for the test. Some students said that the Agenda (Page C) helped them stay on top of the assignments while others talked about the Academic Toolkit (Page F) as being the section that helped them the most because they could refer to it to do homework and to study for tests.”
Our Gold Ribbon visitors noted that the students had a common language to talk about their classes - "they all knew what a C Page was and they all could talk about the Academic Toolkit and they knew that class starts with a Kick-off prompt and that it ends with a Learning Log that reflects on what they learned during the period." They also reported that the students were incredibly proud of their binders. It was their work. They could "see" that they were learning something by the volume alone.
In writing up their gleanings from talking with the teachers, they noted that the teachers felt that Organized Binder had an impact on their teaching: Teachers agreed using the binder pushed them to have a purpose for each lesson, to prepare a prompt for the starter that related to the previous day or previewed the lesson. They also talked about how the Learning Log (Page B) pushed them to think about a closing question or activity each day.
It was clear to them that the Weekly Lifeline (Page B) was a powerful formative assessment and that it was obvious from their class visits that teachers used both the opener and the closure as ways to check for understanding. “In one class it was clear that the teacher had to re-evaluate based on the way that several students responded to the opening Kick-off prompt.”
We discussed the impact Organized Binder has on the instructional norms that we have set for ourselves at Harbor High School:
All three of these instructional norms are embedded in the structure that is set up by using Organized Binder. Along these lines, one parent whose son is Special Education and struggles with organization, said that her son not only knows when the tests are in his classes that use Organized Binder, but that for the first time he seems to know what to study in those classes!
We have done a lot and its impact has been bigger than I had realized. Students were more focused and were feeling more supported in those classes that were using this system. After our Gold Ribbon visitors left, I had a moment to clean up the office and was glancing at the binder that we put together for their visit. Looking at the timeline of implementation, I saw again that this was only our second year with this tool...
Our most vulnerable graduates who go to college overwhelmingly attend community college. The Student Success Task Force for Community Colleges recently reported that "more than 70 percent of community college students who enter the system are under prepared to do college-level work with the majority being first generation college students, low-income and/or minority."
I have always known that Organized Binder is a tool that could benefit community college instructors. Baily, Smith Jaggers, and Jenkins in their 2015 book Redesigning America's Community Colleges suggest that to "take control of their learning, students need to practice skills such as self-regulation, task planning, time management, note taking, and organizing study time effectively", all hallmarks of Organized Binder.
I am very pleased to announce that the first Organized Binder Community College Pilot occurred in the fall semester of 2015 at Sierra College in California. The data team at the college created and administered an independent survey to gauge the impact the system had in the classrooms that participated in the pilot. The results are in and the data is overwhelming! The pilot was so successful other community college campuses in California are adopting Organized Binder in 2016.
I asked professor Jason Roberts to share a snapshot of why he decided to implement Organized Binder and the impact he saw it have on his teaching and his students learning and achievement.
"After learning about the system I decided to pilot Organized Binder in my classes at Sierra Community College. While Organized Binder has been very successful in the k-12 space, my pilot was the first at a community college. I chose to pilot the program because I saw the absolute need for Organized Binder at the community college level. I would like to start by saying that Organized Binder never impinged upon the actual content of my courses, nor did it force me to teach a “certain way.” It weaves itself into the course, but it does not alter what I teach and, in most cases, it did not alter how I teach aside from helping me to be more prepared and better organized.
After 15 years of community college teaching – and constant revision of my curriculum to address student needs – Organized Binder has proven to be the most successful tool for students and for my own teaching. Many of my students need to understand how to “be a student” – and many of these skills are assumed at the college level. Some professors assume that students know how to organize themselves, how to study for exams, how to meet deadlines, how to set goals, and how to think. However, most students need exposure to and practice employing these noncognitive factors. To do so we need to reach students in a different, more personal way, which is the primary idea behind the Equity movement. Although this seems daunting to many instructors, Organized Binder manages this task for the instructor and provides a simple tool for student success.
My students immediately connected with the ritual of Organized Binder. Exemplified in the daily Kick-Off prompt and Learning Log on the Weekly Lifeline, students write at the beginning and end of class about what they learned or what confused them from the lesson. For students this is a key metacognitive piece, and as I read their responses each week, I was able to address individual students and their specific needs about course material. Additionally, I quickly assessed students who clearly understood the material and it made it easy for me to get to know each student on an individual level.
Building the Agenda as a class proved to be another powerful tool. Each day’s class content and homework were clearly addressed, and the entire class, including me, was literally on the same page. This helped eliminate missing assignments and late assignments as students knew exactly what was due, in detail, each day. Rather than looking to a course calendar I constructed on my own, we built the calendar each day in class. The process of writing the day’s work and the homework themselves was incredibly powerful. As a result, most of my students found Organized Binder to be a powerful (and even necessary) tool for the academic success.
Here is what some of the Sierra College students who used Organized Binder had to say about the system:
"I feel very strongly about the integration of Organized Binder in the entirety of the Sierra College Campus because it has tremendously helped me to keep myself organized, and engaged with the class. One of the greatest aspects of Organized Binder is its clarity, as well as its versatility. So to say, it's an adaptable form of organization in all classes, and when utilized correctly, can be the key to your educational success. Specifically: Easy Access- all the material in Organized Binder is always readily available. I have never had to say that "I left material at home" because as long as I had my binder I had everything I needed."
"This Binder setup is really helpful and I look to use it in other classes of mine."
"Best class I have ever taken at Sierra. I have learned so much and he made the class fun at the same time. He made sure that all the students in the class understood the material. Thanks a lot."
"Organized Binder helped me be more organized. I am not organized when it comes to keeping up with work and homework but with the organized binder that has changed."
"It helped me keep track of my work and it allowed me to find notes and information more easily than I would if papers were randomly put into my binder."
"I like the idea of using Organized Binder in this class, it was really helpful and if we can get other teachers to do that in classes it will be great!"
"Organized Binder would be very helpful in every class that I am currently taking. I would love to see it in my future courses."
We visited Ballou High School in the summer of 2015 to introduce the staff to Organized Binder. Within a month of that training Adam Evans sent the following email to the Ballou faculty. I appreciate Adam's honesty around his reluctance to implement and his observations afterward:
"Good evening, Knights.
I just wanted to follow up with these reminders and let you know I was very reluctant to implement the Organized Binder system, but most of my students have bought it fully....
Some of what I’ve noticed:
One of the best things about Organized Binder is it is encouraging me to be deliberate in both lesson planning and distributing materials. When students realize there is a well-organized plan on the part of the teacher, they will exceed your wildest expectations.
I know we’re all working hard – and a short week is never an easy week – but know we are already doing great things as a team in these first three weeks. Our kids are worth our best, even if they don’t know it yet.
Urban Community School is a K-8 school that provides primarily low-income children from Cleveland with an individualized, innovative, and challenging education. The school prides itself on welcoming a diverse student body, with a focus on serving low-income children. Urban Community School serves nearly 500 students with 78% living at or below the federal poverty level.
During the summer of 2015 we visited the Urban Community School to meet with the grades 4 and 5 faculty to train them on how to implement Organized Binder in their classrooms. A few weeks later teacher Megan McIntyre sent an update on how things are progressing in her 4th grade and 5th grade math and social studies classes. The feedback below is an excerpt from her email to us.
I just wanted to give you an update. We are on week 3 of using the binders and my students and I LOVE them! The first day was an almost disaster. Some of my students were more interested in playing with the binder and clicking the rings open and closed than following along to set it up. It took the entire hour of class the first day but day 2 was 200% better. This is what I have observed thus far…
Lastly, one day last week I had forgotten to put up the daily kick off and when my class came in it was a complete mess. Students were running to tell me at the door that there was no prompt and it was loud and kids were not settling at all. This really made me think about how peaceful transitions have been since starting Organized Binder.
I will continue to keep you posted,
School Information:Gateway offers a temporary program which provides students with a place to demonstrate positive behavior in the areas of academics, attendance and attitude. Students are placed at Gateway by the district schools for one or two semesters, and may, with the permission of the district, decide to stay longer.
"Three years ago we reorganized our school from the bottom to the top. Since August 2012, Organized Binder has become an institution at our school. Both students and teachers realize that Organized Binder drives our success. Expectations for the use and care of it are the norm in each classroom. Organized Binder gives everyone, staff and students, common ground to begin and end each class. We literally are on the same page!"
-Melinda Fore, Gateway Principal
“The importance of Organized Binder is to always be ready and know where your stuff is located, instead of going through everything and wasting valuable learning time.” -Gateway Student
“Organized Binder is helpful because I was never organized at my other school and I would lose tons of assignments.” –Gateway Student
“It feels good to have a clean, Organized Binder, it’s part of being responsible.” –Gateway Student
“I was not used to keeping my binder at school. I do like this method, when I used to bring my binder home at my old school I would forget things at home. Here I didn't and everything was there the next day.” –Gateway Student
“My Gateway students keep me organized by making sure my Table of Contents (H-Page) is always updated along with the classroom binder. ” -Sally Ploe, Gateway Teacher
School Information: Anthony W. Ochoa Middle School is located in Hayward, CA and is one of 5 middle schools in Hayward Unified School District. It is a public school that serves approximately 610 students in grades 7-8. Approximately 60% of students participate in a free or reduced lunch program and English is a second language for nearly 20% of the student body.
Ochoa Middle School, along with five other Hayward schools implemented Organized Binder the fall of 2013. With the thoughtful guidance of principal Ariel Dolowich and many staff members implementing with fidelity, Ochoa teachers and students have made incredible gains. Recently a middle school from Coalinga, CA visited Ochoa Middle School to see model implementation of Organized Binder. On the tour the visiting team observed teachers Adrian Estacio and Melissa Dohm in action. These teachers and their students so impressed us that we chose to highlight them in the June/July newsletter. Adrian and Melissa posed four questions to their students and allowed them to respond anonymously. Below are a few of their students' responses.
Question: What are your thoughts on organization before using "Organized Binder" and your thoughts on organization after using it this year?
"Before, I didn't use a binder and really I was unorganized and really did not care about organization. When I was required to use Organized Binder, I just thought, "Man, this is dumb! Why do I have to do this?" Later, I noticed that this was a whole way to keep my binder from being cluttered and this is why I am glad to have Organized Binder."
"Before using Organized Binder my thoughts were on how my papers were all over the place; losing my work. Organized Binder changed everything for me! Ever since I started using it everything is in one place."
"My organization was way more messy before using Orgnaized Binder. It was harder for me to find things but now my organization has really improved."
Question: What did you like using about the "Organized Binder" system?
"What I liked most about Organized Binder is that it is so easy to use and so convenient in a way that I know where a paper is in my binder."
"I like that I can get asked a question (Page B: Weekly Lifeline) before the lesson so I can get ready for what we are going to do in class. Also, I can use my Agenda (Page C) to see what I am learning."
"What I like about the system is it keeps everything in one place and makes it easier for me to find my papers."
"...I also liked that there is an Agenda page (Page C) which helped me a lot in knowing what we're going to do on a certain day."
Question: Any final thoughts or comments on the "Organized Binder" system can be written down here:
""Organized Binder" is very helpful! Every high school and middle school should have this system."
"I think we should keep doing the "Organized Binder" system."
"I'd say "hats off" to the founder/creator for making this!"
"I like how the "Organized Binder" system is designed and it really helped me in my organization this year compared to my 6th grade year."
School Information: Michigan has three criteria to categorize schools: Reward, Focus, and Priority. Reward schools are outperforming other schools, Focus schools have a large achievement gap in 30% of its student achievement scores, and Priority schools have achievement and growth in the lowest 5% of all schools in the state. Union High School was identified as a Priority School in 2012.
"Union high school is incredibly diverse with about 22 different home languages. The majority of our student population struggles financially. I came to Union in October 2013, during the 5th week of school. I left Grand Rapids Public Schools in 2010 and spent 3 years waitressing and teaching Diversity in Society for two local colleges. I was trained in using the Organized Binder in February 2009 and used it for 1 1/2 years before I left high school teaching. When I returned to high school teaching in October 2013, there was no question about using the system. I remembered how much success it brought my students previously and I wanted my students at Union to achieve the same level of success. I also believe that teaching a skill like organization is extremely important, regardless of the content. It's a life skill!
I have 129 kids and 25 failures. My failure rate is 19%. I haven't seen the data in awhile for the Foreign Language Department at Union High School, but the last time I saw it, we had a 35-40% failure rate. If I remove the 10 students with chronic absenteeism, I only have a 12% failure rate! I think that's INCREDIBLE!
I firmly believe that this is not my success. I believe more of my students would fail my class if it were not for the use of the Organized Binder. I also run a very structured classroom, and I think that helps reduce a lot of chaos which surrounds homework completion."
I think the Organized Binder is a system for everyone, not just students but also adults. I believe that every teacher in every class everywhere should have the Organized Binder if they really want their students to pass their class. For example, not only the hard classes like math, Spanish, and World History.
I like the Organized Binder because of the way it places papers in the binder. Not only are the main papers there to create new sections for my Spanish class, but they are also color coded for my teacher to easily tell us where to go in the binders. She can also see by looking around the room if we are on the right paper. Not only does it help the teacher but me also in my comprehension, learning, and organizational skills.
The binder has become really helpful for me. It’s a nice way to not lose papers and to be organized. I’m not so organized with my papers in other classes. I usually put all my graded papers in my backpack but the binder is different. It helps me keep track and keeps papers from the beginning of the year. I really like the binder.
The Organized Binder helps me keep things in place and helps me find the things I need. It could be helpful to students who have their minds going a mile-a-minute to keep things to find them so they can be organized better than their thoughts.
I love the Organized Binder a lot. As a student, sometimes I tend to get unorganized but in this Spanish One class I actually haven’t had papers out of order. Knowing I get a grade for having an organized binder helps me stay organized.
I like the organized binder because it helps me stay organized so I can find my work and notes faster and easier.
I can find my work easier. Everything is in one section neatly and in alphabetical order. The other people who were disorganized couldn’t find their work and it was just a mess. It’s so easy, I like it a lot.
The Organized Binder is helpful because it keeps things you need in a certain place. People who are unorganized could use this to keep their things in order and it makes it easier to find things.
I like the organized Binder because when the teacher says go to G10; I know exactly where that should be. Also, my binder is never a mess or cluttered.
I like the binder because it helps me find my papers easier. I have always been organized but this helps me more. Thanks for coming up with this.
It is a good system of keeping track of your work. The binder has greatly increased my work to stay organized while in my possession. Any person willing to stay on track and organized with their work should get the organized binder. The binder has been really helpful with me and others. I recommend getting a binder if you want to stay on track.
The reason why I like the Organized Binder is because it helps keep all my work in the correct spot. Without the organized binder I would lose a lot of work.
I like this binder because it helps me, as a busy student, to stay organized. I haven’t really been the type to be organized but since I started using the binder, I’ve gotten a lot better at it.
I just wanted to say that you coming up with the Organized Binder. It is the most efficient way to have organized work in a binder. I’m glad that you came up with the binder. It’s helping me and others at my school. Thank you!
The OB is awesome. The beginning of the year I had a hard time with it, now this is the most helpful thing. This binder helps out a lot of kids out and the teachers.
The OB has actually been a big help to us. It has especially helped the ones who were never able to keep track of their stuff. It’s a much easier and better way to have your papers in order without worrying about them. It’s a great tool.
I love the OB. It has helped me out so much. I never have any missing work because of the Organized Binder. If I wasn’t here for something, it was easy to find what I was missing. I think this would really help students who are struggling in school because they are disorganized. This binder keeps everything organized and all my stuff is in one place.
The OB helps me keep all my stuff organized really well. It actually helps me keep track of everything. I don’t lose stuff and when I need to find stuff, I just go to that section and find it. I really like the Organized Binder.
During my two years using the Organized Binder, I have stayed organized and have become more organized. It has allowed me to find something with ease. Overall, it is a great tool that will help someone become more organized.
Utilizing the Organized Binder allows students to stay organized and be more productive given its concept.
The Organized Binder is a sophisticated way of organizing in the modern day classroom. It also helps us with our organizational skills and understanding the content. Also, the OB helps me find my materials quicker than a regular folder, which loses materials at times. Thank you for the Organized Binder.
I like the binder because it helps me keep my work organized and can help others be organized with their stuff. And it helps me look for papers faster!
The Organized Binder is good because it keeps all of my papers in order and I know where all of my papers are. It also keeps me from having a big mess of papers everywhere.
The Organized Binder is really helpful because it makes things much easier. I have everything in one place and I don’t need to worry about having so many random papers in my back pack or losing them. Our binders have sections for what we’re going to do, our bell ringers, notes, homework, and our Articles of the Week. The way our binders are organized is so helpful to find what I need or what I have to do.
School Information: PQE is a nonpublic school that serves students with emotional, behavioral, and learning challenges; arguably the highest need students in their region. Students who can no longer be served by public institutions transfer to PQE where they can learn the tools and strategies needed to return to a less restrictive environment. PQE adopted Organized Binder four years ago. At that time the school was struggling to develop both a safe and effective learning community. Since then the school has transformed into a thriving academic community culminating in the highest WASC Accreditation in the Spring of 2014.
When asked about the impact Organized Binder has had at PQE the Director and CEO, Ronda Jaggers, had this to say,
"The main change I have seen on campus is the pride of the students. They are very proud of their binders and their work. When the CA Department of Education (CDE) came for a visit students hand delivered their binders to show their work and what they had learned. Students were very reluctant to leave their binders with our CDE representative and came back before they left for the day to re-collect them. Any time you walk in a room, you can ask to see a binder and the students are able to walk through what they have done with fantastic verbal explanations.
As far as the teacher perspective – Organized Binder has brought a unity to our campus. It doesn't matter what a particular teacher is teaching or the level of their students, they are able to collaborate with other teachers on Organized Binder strategies and share what is working and what isn’t. It has been fantastic.
During our WASC visit, one of they key components is looking at how students are learning. We were able to present the Learning Logs as evidence of student involvement in the learning process – this element was vital! Their binder checks as well as having a master binder for reference were much appreciated by our visiting committee."
Navin Sharma, 12th Grade
I have been using Organized Binder for three years now. Three years ago, I didn’t even want to come to school. My grades were bad. I had a hard time with classes. My teacher started me with the Organized Binder, and I started to learn how to organize my work. Now, I can find whatever I need quickly and I answer questions the teacher asks the class all the time. The Lifeline Page helps me remember what I learned. The Table of Contents keeps me organized. The Agenda Page helps me to make a schedule and keep a calendar. The Academic Toolkit Page helps me find and learn important things I will need further in life. Organized Binder has helped me earn straight A’s on my last three report cards.
Denzel Smith, 12th Grade
I love the Organized Binder. It is a great system. It helps me be organized and know exactly what I have to do each day. We just had a big test on the United States Constitution. I was able to study and find all my notes easily for this unit because of my Organized Binder. We have competitions and games in class, and I win a lot because I am organized and can find answers quickly. Organized Binder is helping me stay on track to complete my senior project. It helps me learn in all my classes. Probably the biggest thing about Organized Binder is it helps me be very responsible with my work. My teacher and parents are very proud of me.
Jaceri Moody, 12th Grade
I never used to do work in any of my classes. You can’t do that with the Organized Binder. It forces me to stay on track and be organized. I am surprised that it is actually really fun to do too! I like doing the Kick-Off question at the beginning of class. We discuss it, act it out, research stuff on the smart board, and draw stuff. We talk about what we learned with the whole class after we do the Learning Log. We talk about how it will help us for college and career. My teacher teaches us about Common Core standards. Organized Binder helps me learn them because we write them on our Table of Contents and Agendas and we talk about them. I feel like I’m being responsible because of Organized Binder, and that will help me in college.
Junior Lopa, 11th Grade
Organized Binder, that’s my “boy!” The other day in my IEP, I told everybody about how I use my Organized Binder. First, we come in and do the Lifeline. “Understand me?” Then we check our Agenda for our assignments. We don’t have to ask the teacher what we’re doing or what page we’re on because it’s all there. Then, we do our lesson, and we make sure we write the assignment number on it so we can write it on the Table of Contents. We keep our assignments in order behind the table of contents so we can find them fast. “Understand me?” Then, we take big unit tests, and we have all our papers to study all stapled together with numbers on them to help us study. Then, I get a big, fat “A” (or a “B”). “Ha ha ha!” They told me in my IEP meeting that I am doing a “fantastic” job in my class.