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Success In Cleveland, Ohio

Posted by 
Mitch Weathers
October 7, 2015



School: Urban Community School | Cleveland | Ohio

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…

  • Students come in and within 3-5 minutes their Kick-Off prompt is complete.  (I have the binders stored on a shelf by group number and one student gets them and puts them away for their group).
  • Students are coming in and quietly beginning with their binder.  There is no down time.
  • By week 2 students are writing in complete sentences without reminders.
  • I have had NO problems with students losing papers!  All papers are safely tucked away in their binders!!
  • Students enjoy looking at their accumulated work and the progress they are making.
  • Students have figured out without my verbal prompting that they can find the answers to some of the prompts within their binder work.
  • Some students are already excited for their parents to see their binder at conference time.
  • I’ve seen students counting up their points and self-assessing the work that is in the binder.
  • When students share answers out loud to the daily kick off and its not in a complete sentence other students correct them before I can.

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,

Megan McIntyre


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