Lizzy Kelly is a second year teacher and part of a small team that started Connect Community Charter School in arguably the most underserved neighborhood in Redwood City, CA. Surrounded by increasingly affluent cities, Lizzy and Connect Charter School serve a student population that is largely socioeconomically disadvantaged students for whom English is a second language.
Connect Community Charter School adopted Organized Binder this school year and have had incredible success in the first few months of implementation. Lizzy sent the following to us recently:
"First and foremost, Organized Binder has been fantastic for organization (it's in the name, duh!) I love the numbering system for the assignments and the Table of Contents (Page H). Last year (and this is embarrassing) kids had two sections in their binder for me: ELA and social studies. Papers would go in randomly and end up in the bottom of their backpacks, the back of their desks, the floor, etc. While everyone's binder isn't perfect this year, it's MILES ahead of last year. Students rarely lose papers and I make so many fewer copies! Usually it's just a problem of putting a paper in the wrong place in the binder, which is easily fixable with a quick binder cleaning session for the class or a one-on-one check.
I'm also a big fan of the Weekly Lifeline (Page B) and Agenda (Page C) pages. Students know exactly how class starts each day, which has cut down on so many classroom management issues I had with transitions last year. I love reading their Learning Logs--they're such a good formative assessment for me to see what they're understanding, what they thought was fun, or what they're confused about. I check learning logs every day before they leave and I think it's a great time for students to process what we did in class and try to get to the heart of what's most important.
Overall I am so grateful to have Organized Binder, and I swear I'm not just saying that! Since I struggle with organization myself it's been easier not only for the kids, but for me too."