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It feels great to cross items off our to-do list! However, in a remote or independent learning environment, the school day can devolve into students simply racing through their to-do lists. We would never create a bulleted list of things to accomplish and call it a lesson plan, right?

With Organized Binder students can move beyond their to-do list and bring their learning to life! With a few simple adjustments, students are actively engaged every single day.

The Organized Binder sequence at-a-glance:

The daily flow of Organized Binder

Start with Reflection: Each day students are given the opportunity not only to complete their assignments or tasks but are also prompted to articulate what they are learning.

Make A Plan: There has never been a better time for students to learn how to schedule their days than now! A plan helps students successfully complete their school work, carve out time for fun, and begin to develop the foundational skill of time and task management.

Get Organized: We shared our Table of Contents as a free download for families and educators earlier. It is a godsend if your child is struggling to get organized. It is simple to use and helps students create unit-specific packets of their work and assignments.

Build Your Toolkit: Students use our Academic Toolkit as an appendix for their class. It is a place to collect all the tools and resources they need to be successful throughout the entire school year. Examples: Tips on how to write a sentence, maps, conversion tables, graphic organizers, the alphabet, the periodic table, etc.

End with Reflection: When students have finished the school day or work session they pause to articulate what they have learned today in our daily Learning Log.

Learn more about Organized Binder

If you are interested learning more about Organized Binder or brining the system to your school or home please visit here to learn more about the purchasing process.

We recently offered our Table of Contents as a free download to help families and students get and STAY organized. We've heard from many of you, and we are thrilled it is helping!

We are offering another element of Organized Binder to help your students and/or children get an academic bearing during this strange time. It's our goal setting template. After all, if you don't aim for something you're less likely to hit it. Download our goal setting template, watch the short tutorial, and set goals with your students and children!

Join our email list to access your Goal setting template:

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Goal Setting:

How-to:

Takeaways:

  • Print front to back or two-sided
  • 3-hole punch the sheet
  • Schedule time every four weeks to set and revisit/revise goals with your students
  • Model goal setting for your student by setting a goal for yourself
  • Refer students back to their goals frequently to determine if there is evidence of accomplishing their goals

User Guides:

Our Guide for K-12 Educators is designed to support families using Organized Binder at home. (click to download)

Get the Entire System:

If you are interested in bringing Organized Binder to your school, please visit organizedbinder.com to learn more about the purchasing process.

Teachers, we recently offered a free download to families to help them get and stay organized as they school from home. We want to offer the same to you!

These are strange and challenging times. We'd like to help you keep going! We are offering a portion of our education success platform that can really help as you adjust to teaching during the time of COVID-19. Read on for a couple of quick videos and links to resources. We are all in this together!

Join our email list to receive your Table of Contents download links and tips.

* indicates required

Table of Contents:

How-to:

Takeaways:

  • Print front to back or two-sided if possible
  • 3-hole punch the sheet if you can
  • List all assignments or resources on the TOC
  • Write the assignment number in the upper right corner on each assignment
  • Digital implementation:
    1. Create a folder
    2. Save each assignment with assignment number and assignment name.
    3. Update TOC
  • Use one TOC for each class - download and print multiple copies
  • At the end of this quarantine or the end of a unit staple it all together to create a unit packet

User Guides:

Our Guide for K-12 Educators is designed to support families using Organized Binder at home. (click to download)

Get the Entire System:

If you are interested in bringing Organized Binder to your school please visit our here to learn more about the purchasing process.

To your success,

Mitch

What does schooling in the time of COVID-19 look like for families who lack reliable internet access?

As we strive to figure out schooling in this time it seems most of the resources being shared are digital solutions. It makes sense - they are easy to share, no human contact, and students can engage in schoolwork at home. It seems like a win!

It can be a win IF families have consistent and reliable internet access. We work with many districts that issue every student a device. For many of these students, the devices are used primarily at school because they lack reliable internet access at home. In fact, one district reported an open rate of only 15% for anything sent home digitally.

Since the local public library or coffee shop are no longer available as sources for free internet access, what does schooling mean in the time of COVID for families without reliable internet access? What would it look like for teachers to send home lesson plans without email, or Canvas, or Google Classroom? Is this possible? Of course, it is, we are just in the habit of relying entirely on web-based digital solutions.

This issue does not only impact families who struggle with unreliable or no internet access. What if a family has one computer at home and three to four children? Or what if internet goes down? What if the instruction is in a language the family does not understand? Oh, and perhaps we should remember that too much screen time is not a great thing for young developing minds.

Let's be clear, we are not knocking web-based digital solutions. They are fantastic and have made the transition to remote teaching possible for many teachers and families.

However, when we look through the lens of equity we discover despite our most valiant efforts, we are leaving some students behind.

Here is where Organized Binder can help. Our education success platform blends together digital and analog resources into coherent, hands-on, lesson plans. When schools blend their digital resources with Organized Binder they can literally reach and serve all students in this remote schooling environment. For those families with reliable internet access, it is business as usual. For the families that can receive updates via phone call, text message, and snail-mail they are just as able to engage and achieve.

Here is the point, we must increase equity by blending technology and analog solutions to assure we are reaching every single student.

With Organized Binder student engagement is not dependent on internet access. With this approach teachers stay connected with families in whatever fashion is available. If internet access is a concern students simply need their Student Binder and a pencil or pen!

LEARN MORE!

To make schooling in the time of COVID-19 more equitable please consider blending your digital solutions with Organized Binder. If you do, you can guarantee all students stay actively engaged in learning with or without internet access!

We have a free resource for families to help students get and stay organized. However, we invite you to learn more by exploring our website to learn more about how Organized Binder can help.

Thanks for reading and sharing,

Mitch

These are strange and challenging times. We'd like to help you keep going. We are offering a portion of our education success platform as a free download to help you school-at-home. Read on for a couple of quick videos and links to resources. We are all in this together!

Join our email list to receive your Table of Contents download links and tips.

* indicates required

Table of Contents:

How-to:

Takeaways:

  • Print front to back or two-sided if possible
  • 3-hole punch the sheet if you can
  • List all assignments or resources on the TOC
  • Write the assignment number in the upper right corner on each assignment
  • Digital implementation:
    1. Create a folder
    2. Save each assignment with assignment number and assignment name.
    3. Update TOC
  • Use one TOC for each class - download and print multiple copies
  • At the end of this quarantine or the end of a unit staple it all together to create a unit packet

User Guides:

Our Guide for Coaches is designed to support families using Organized Binder at home. (click to download)

Get the Entire System:

If you are interested in bringing Organized Binder to your home to use during this time please visit our Quick-start for Families.

Other suggestions to help get through these times

Structure is necessary: Create a simple calendar and block out 30-minute chunks of time for school tasks and fun activities throughout the day. Consider having more fun stuff than schoolwork during this time!

Start early but not too early: It is good to get up and going early each day! However, don't start too early. Be sure to have a healthy breakfast and ease into your day.

Use a timer: It will keep you and your children on the schedule you have created. You don't want to cut any fun time short!

Less is more! Don't put too much pressure on yourself to be an all-star teacher/parent! It will just add stress to you and your children. Take this very unique to play, read, make bread or play dough, sing, create art. I think we will all miss this time once the virus has come and gone and we are all back to our crazy lives.

A parent implemented Organized Binder with her son at home and sent us this feedback.

"I just got my son all organized for school on Sunday night and already we have seen some improvement. The time it takes us to check everything nightly has been a lot but that's probably because we are just starting out. Anyhow, I just wanted to share something that happened last night. Jordan (my son) and I sat down late at night after sports practice to finish his HW. He was tired and struggling with this worksheet about using textual evidence in writing. Normally, I would ask him what the teacher said in class or if she provided any handouts and he would say no and we would struggle through it together. But, last night I told him to open his binder to the Academic Toolkit section and guess what was right there?? A handout that explained exactly what we were struggling with. She apparently handed it out earlier in the week and since we filed it away properly, it was right there. This may seem small, but I am sharing this with you because this would have never happened if we didn't reorganize in this way. Thanks again and I will keep you posted."  

Parent Shayna Sullivan - STEP, Stanford Graduate School of Education

We would love to see your favorite Organized Binder photo(s)

Megan McIntyre from the Urban Community School in Cleveland, OH sent us this picture of two 4th grade students using their Organized Binder's to complete an assignment in Social Studies! We would love to see your great Organized Binder photo(s) as well!

Follow these steps:
1. Find or take your favorite image(s).
2. If students' faces can be seen and you do not already have photo release permission please have parents/guardians sign this release form.
3. Email us your photos and completed form at [email protected]

We are excited to see your pictures!

Photo Release Form also here: Organized Binder Standard Photo Release for Minors

We are honored to announce that Sacramento City College has widened their Organized Binder pilot to 3,000 students!

In the spring of 2016 a handful of professors piloted Organized Binder at Sacramento City College. These professors were so successful that the college has taken the first step to expose as many students as possible to Organized Binder, with future plans to implement in summer success programs and expand even further next school year.

Many of the professors in the initial pilot teach in the college's English Acceleration Project. This model was designed in response to AB 705 and allows students who did not qualify for English 300 (College Composition) take a concurrent support course called English 108. By adopting Organized Binder in the acceleration model professors brought RTI2 Tier 1 Universal Level solutions into the classroom giving students daily exposure to goal setting, reflective learning, time and task management, study strategies, organizational skills, and more!

Read more about their initial success here!

This is an incredible report from the University of Chicago on the impact of noncognitive skills in the modern classroom. This report sheds light on why Organized Binder has such a significant impact to help teachers be more effective and students more successful.

 

This article by David Brooks in the New York Times highlights Paul Tough's emphasis on the importance of noncognitive skills. In his latest book, Tough asks, "how, concretely, can we improve students’ noncognitive skills." From my years of experience in the classroom I am convinced that in order for students to master noncognitive skills they require daily exposure to these skills. The trouble is that teachers are hired to teach content, where can teachers find the time (both planning time and class time) to also teach and model noncognitive skills.

Brooks said it this way, "Teachers are now called upon not only to teach biology but to create a culture: a culture of caring criticism, so students feel loved while they improve; a culture of belonging, so fragile students feel their work has value."

Organized Binder helps accomplish this and gives students daily exposure to many noncognitive skills. My hat is off to all of the educators around the country who use Organized Binder to create safer, more predictable, more dependable, and consistent classroom environments while giving students daily practice employing noncognitive skills, while simultaneously teaching the content of the course!

It is an honor to join you in this work!

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