I personally think it would be wonderful to implement your system at our school because it would help to make what we are already doing more systematic, and I'm sure would benefit students immensely.Middle School Principal
I was in your Organized Binder workshop at Saturday's conference, and just wanted to send a quick message to let you know how much I enjoyed it and to ask a couple of questions.
I really enjoyed your workshop and got a lot out of it; in fact, it was my favorite workshop of the conference. I'm on my 10th year of teaching high school history (I'm currently at Franklin High School in Elk Grove), and over the years have tried implementing various aspects of your Organized Binder system on my own, but I never had it refined or streamlined into a workable, useful system. And, in all honesty, it was great to hear that someone else is also doing the same things I've been trying out or considering the past couple of years (i.e. just having students be in their seats with their binders open by the time the bell rings, rather than having them start the "Kick-Off" before the bell rings). The Organized Binder program seems to be a great way to tie all of these different organizational skills and practices into one cohesive system, and I'm planning to start implementing it when I get a new group of kids in January.Sarah Nelson, High School Social Studies Teacher
“Want your students to study more efficiently, stay organized, and learn skills that will carry over to all curriculum areas? Organized Binder not only organizes students but your whole class. Expectations and assignments are clearly laid out. Students become learners with Organized Binder.” Middle School Teacher
"You have an incredible product which has transformed my classroom."Eva Behr, High School Science Teacher
Organized Binder is a outstanding program for all students. I have used it successfully in two schools, and am now looking at introducing it to my new district. It teaches students to be organized, and actively take part in their learning. It helps students at all levels, and contributed to improved success in both of my last schools."
Lori Villanueva, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services - Coalinga Huron Unified School District
"I was going through my son’s binder for fresh year and saw that several of his teachers use your system. I am very drawn to it and would totally teach it if I were in front of kids. Kudos. It makes this so clear, so that learning can happen vs. just chaotic lack of organization of basic stuff." Glenn Kenyon - San Francisco State University
"I'm not exaggerating when I say that my life was turned around when I attended Ana's Organized Binder session at the CSTA in Palm Springs and began to use the Organized Binder in my 8th grade science classroom! I am about to start my 3rd year with the Organized Binder and it has evolved to the point that it works beautifully in my classes. However this year, I've been assigned my usual 8th grade and one 6th grade class. I've been talking with Mitch for the past week about my trepidation in using the system with students transitioning from elementary school, and I'm told that you have had some success with upper elementary school students! I would love to get some tips and hints from you if possible. I know there is a big difference between 6th and 8th graders, and I'd love to hear about how you code switch between your classes to make the binder a tool for success with younger students.” Roxy Yanko - Santa Fe Middle School, Monrovia Unified School District
"I want to thank you for presenting the Organized Binder at the KIPP Summit this year! Your session was actually one of the most useful that I went to. I know I need assistance in being organized and I want my students to be organized as well. The Organized Binder will definitely help me get started with being organized. Aaricka Washington - KIPP Houston, TX
"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." Shayna Sullivan - STEP, Stanford Graduate School of Education
"Our trainer was a great presenter. We only had an hour and he managed to explain everything about the way Organized Binder worked before the hour was up. I walked away feeling very confident that I could implement it in my classroom, and was completely sold on the effectiveness of the program. It was just a very, very useful hour. I also appreciate that he treated us like adults (rather than making us go through the motions, like students).Workshop Attendee and High School Teacher
"My name is Angela Mayo and I attended your training at Silverado High School on August 6th. Since the beginning of the year I have been utilizing the Organized Binder system in my classroom and it has been extremely effective! My students are well aware of their assignments and grades. They are participating in a learning log every day. The whole class seems to function in a more productive manner. So I wanted to provide you the feedback you asked for.” Angie Mayo - Victorville, CA
"You are a genius. Your last point hits on the most potent problem every student I have interviewed has an issue with. Honoring the syllabus, reading it, studying ahead of class in preparation for exams and whatnot... I am excited to see these points and to know our students will be receiving this instruction. You have elated and excited me.” Melba Beals - Author and Professor, Dominican University
"Just so you know, our school made approximately a 50 point API gain this past year, so thank you for all the work you did to support our teachers and kids-it all HELPED!” Jeff - East Palo Alto Academy, CA
"I was in attendance yesterday for your training at Ballou High School in Washington D.C., and, first, wanted to thank you for your time. Although I was interested in Organized Binder before the training, but hearing your practical advice for implementation has me excited to implement at Ballou. This is the consistent system of organization we have needed. Thank you again for your time and enthusiasm at Ballou. I look forward to seeing where we can go with your system.” Adam Evans – Social Studies Teacher and Department Chair - Washington D.C.
"I am a new speech-language therapist in the district and attended your Organized Binder workshop. The system is exactly what my students on the autism spectrum need...it's brilliant! I just found out that I will be teaching a class solely to spectrum students at Carlmont. I was hoping you could tell me how to get pre-made sets of the system if that exists. I appreciate your help!" Michelle Morris, SUHSD
"I am so excited and so appreciative of your generous offer of letting use your program to help my students! You are an amazing person and an above and beyond teacher!!!! You have seen and taken action on what so many teachers tend to overlook- students lives outside of school are unknown! Students who do not know how to be, act, learn, like a student don't know how because they have NOT learned it!!!! Not only did you take note of this, but you came up with a way to change it. I so admire your dedication, your wisdom, and your caring that it is difficult to put into words!!!!! Thank you again! Linda Haver-Romeo
"Organized Binder helped me be more organized. I am not organized when it comes to keeping up with work and homework but with Organized Binder that has changed." Community College Student
"Dear Organized Binder Team, I just started Organized Binder today in my 5th grade SDC classroom. The students seemed very excited about it. It surprised me actually that they liked it as much as they did. One of my students asked me to take pictures of the pages on my phone and text to his mom so she could see his binder…I am very pleased with the response from my students with these binders. They took them right out this morning and I didn’t have to repeat myself.” Tammy - Herbert Green Middle School.
"Thanks for your presentation yesterday. My name is Julie and I am going to be teaching English II and English II Support at Sequoia. I am interested in using Organized Binder in my classrooms. Thanks so much for your help with the process. I believe it will be an excellent tool for myself and for my students. I have heard great feedback about it." Julie Davis - Sequoia High School, Redwood City, CA
"For students who need to learn how to be a ‘student’, i.e. how to approach schooling in a classroom setting with a disciplined sense of time, task and effort, it is absolutely invaluable.” Jean Lythcott Ph.D. - Stanford University
"It's Gina from E3 at Dominican. I just wanted to say thank you so much for sharing the Organized Binder with me! I have been using it and am already seeing a huge difference in my classroom. Here are the highlights of what I've noticed:
- Students are working from bell to bell. Having a starting and ending procedure gets us off to a very quick start and a solid finish.
- Students who are ordinarily lost or off task are feeling more confident about the tasks at hand.
- My EL students can spend less time worrying about if they are even looking at the right piece of paper, and more time doing the best they can to acquire content.
- My students who are behavior issues are suddenly now the first to ask "Does this go in my H pages?". The system seems to make them want to be successful, which is HUGE.
- It is helping ME stay organized! Knowing that I have to update their agenda with them and be ready to show them what we are adding to our H pages really forces me to be prepared!
Gina – Novato High School, Novato, CA
"Thank you for the resource. I will definitely be passing it on... the more I work, read, and explore, the more I am convinced that executive functioning and social skills are the two most important things we can teach our students." Zachary Walker - University of Central Florida
"My name is Steven Almazan, and I am a Special Education Teacher with KIPP LA Schools. I attended your workshop on the Organized Binder last week at the KIPP School Summit in Anaheim. I was blown away by this amazing resource, and I would love to implement this system to my classroom." Steven Almazan - Resource Specialist | KIPP Sol Academy, Los Angeles, CA
"I can say unreservedly that Organized Binder is the best teaching tool I’ve found in my time at Olympic. Teri and I will never teach without it. Benefits to Organized Binder in my view are:
- Students have work organized and can find it again. I no longer spend 20 minutes with them creating graphic organizers, only to have students stuff the G.O.s in their pockets and lose them The concept of actually having a place to put each piece of paper so you can find it again is quite new to many students and I believe was a major factor in their past academic struggles.
- Organized Binder provides a very strong classroom format. Students know exactly what to expect each day. When the bell rings I flip on the overhead to show the Kick-Off, and students know that class has begun.
- There is a strong literacy component to Organized Binder.
- Organized Binder serves as a study guide for district benchmarks.
- Organized Binder gives me an insight into what students understand (or don’t understand) as a result of my lessons. The Learning Logs give me a convenient, quick way to reteach a concept.
Nancy K – Olympic Continuation High School
"First, I would like to thank you for your presentation on Organized Binders. I am excited to try this in my classroom for the upcoming school year. Will you please send me any information and materials I will need to get started." Heather Sutherland - KIPP Academy of Opportunity, Los Angeles, CA
"I could not have done it this year without the binder. The GS in my classroom, in all his 11 years in education, could not believe that no one ever asked for a pencil, missing paper, and took pride in their binders. He said he's never seen anything like it. He observed as students were constantly going to their binder...sharing with each other...really took pride in their work. Jennifer Angers - County and Court Continuation Schools
"I attended your Wednesday afternoon session at KSS and am 100% sure of implementing organized binder in my social studies classroom." Bianca Sanchez - KIPP San Francisco, CA
"You "done real good" on the presentation. It was really excellent. You are a natural presenter and the program you have designed (Organized Binder) is creative, relevant, and powerful. I was especially struck how you have identified an element of classroom management and turned it into a metaphor for a bigger idea. The Weekly Lifeline (Page B) is so much more than a warm-up activity. It addresses the Course Standards, is a formative assessment, creates a packet of study material students can access and teaches study and organizational skills. Students also gain a sense of accomplishment when they realize what they have created. The insistence on correct grammar does some of the same things. It worked for me. I've never been so focused including the period at the end of my sentences. If I had more time, I was going to make my periods on this email red and the size of a tomato - so you would not miss my effort to meet the standard. I was also intrigued by your observation how important it is to have all students start the Kick-Off prompt on Weekly lLifeline at the same time. You created a situation in which academic behavior is modeled by all. Clever observation. Organized Binder is an effective management tool but it is so much more! I could go on and on. I left the seminar thinking about what you had presented which is a good test of the value of a presentation for me. I also heard many many positive comments from others about the ideas you presented, including my car mates on the way home. Hope we have more opportunities to talk about your ideas." Scott O’Connor – Retired High School Principal and Professor of Education
"I would like to thank Mitch for such an excellent presentation at KSS this week. It was easily the most informative one I attended. I am very interested in implementing the Organized Binder system in my classroom and my Principal would like our 9th and 10th grade Teachers to do the same. Ryan Weidmann - Spanish I & II Teacher, KIPP SF College Prep
"An Organized Binder tale of success: I have an 8th grade student with a history of poor study skills, failing test scores, and frustrated parents. In 7th grade he discovered that he could be successful with his Organized Binder. I give extra credit if they get a perfect score on the first check, so for the first time he was getting bonus points. Sometimes it just takes one successful event to turn around a student. He maintained great Organized Binder scores, and then he started to do a little homework. He did ok on it. He did more, and he was no longer getting an F. He kept up Organized Binder and homework and decided to study for a test. He got D's instead of F's and his science grade was a C. Last week he scored his first ever A on a test. Thanks, Mitch!" Nathan Fairchild – Redding, CA
"I wanted to thank you again for running such a wonderful session. I and a few of my colleagues (copied above) attended the session and were absolutely blown away. What would be the best way to get those materials from you? Thank you again, for doing such wonderful work. Josh Frankfort - 7th Grade Humanities, KIPP Los Angeles, CA
"Organized Binder has been great for my freshmen and we're using it in our frosh honors classes again this year. I think the biggest benefit has just been how little I need to do to be able to keep this organized after I implement the system. In all honesty, the first week of school is typically the worst for the sole reason that we don't have our Organized Binder routine down yet! Once they get into it, I can't imagine the structure of my class without it.” Sophie State - Westlake High School, Conejo Valley Unified School District
"I thoroughly enjoy it as a dynamic component in my Biology class and my 2 sections of AP Biology. It aligns perfectly with CCSS & NGSS, making students read, write, and think!” Adam - Evergreen High School, Eastside Union High School District
"I am in a credentialing program, and had the opportunity to see the Organized Binder system in action during a required classroom observation. I am hooked, and I'm not even a teacher yet!” Heather Dennington
"Thank you so much! It was very helpful and this time all my questions were clarified. I started this system with my ELD students. (I just took this class starting this semester), the day after the workshop and I am already noticing a difference! Thank you." Juliet Gomez - ELD Teacher
"Thanks again. I can't tell you how much easier it's been since I've made this system my center of gravity. It really gives me a sense of cohesion and clarity for units and the year.” Jose Rosario - English Teacher
"I truly love when my students whisper to each other "wait, what number is this?" and start getting all academic...” Beth Kassler - County and Court School Teacher
"I hope this email finds you doing well and I hope you had a nice holiday! Things are going well here on the East coast! Organized binder is a hit with teachers, guidance counselors, parents, and students!” Morgan - Pine Hill Public Schools
"I love the organized binder. This is the first year that I can implement it from the very start of the school year. I almost have my system down pat, and I can use my binder from last year to improve my lesson planning and pacing. I was just thinking today how wonderful it is to not have to collect every hing my students work on on a daily bases, and still hold them accountable to finishing their work and using that as a resource to study for their assessments. I just handed out the periodic table yesterday to everyone to put in their Academic Toolkits and I had no qualms, doubts, or fears that they would be thrown away or lost. I am so grateful to you and your system - it has saved me and made my life a lot easier. I think my students like it to (even though they complain, because they're 13) especially more-so now that we're in the 3rd unit and they know what to expect with grading." Roxana - Middle School Teacher
"Just an FYI - one of the WASC evaluators came to visit my class at the end of last year. He saw the process (Learning Log portion) work at the end of the class where all were settled and ready except one
student who was turned around and talking. The other students "encouraged" him to swing round and he saw we were waiting for him. He immediately turned around and knew what to do. The evaluator remained during my prep and we had a long conversation. It turns out he was in charge of overseeing students having a tough time making it on his campus. He was interested in bringing the process to his campus.
The evaluator included in his section of the WASC report a suggestion that the Organized Binder be considered to support especially those students at-risk. Thank you for coming out yesterday." Wendy Jordan - Evergreen Valley High, San Jose, CA
"Day 2 (and maybe I am speaking too soon) and I have never seen kids take to this system so quickly. I swear, having the Kick-Off up each day, having them come in and have that routine down by day 2!!?? Amazing! Thank you so much! Cheers!" Molly McNinch - High School Math Teacher
"I work at Connect Community Middle School and I am the Lead Middle School teacher. Lizzy shared with me Organized Binder - such a wonderful program! This is a teacher's dream; all in one place! Where have you been all my life?!” Janel Catalano, Connect Community Charter School
"Funny thing happened today: I had a parent conference (guidance counselor, vice princ., all other teachers, student, and his mom). He is literally failing every one of his classes and has been all year, due to lack of effort and caring, not understanding. He doesn't keep any papers in any folders, teachers were complaining that he throws everything out and doesn't write anything down. I could go on forever, really. But, when it was my turn to speak, well, it was different (of course, you know where this is going....OrgB saves the day and/or student, lol). Although he is still failing my class, I was happy to say that he has all of his assignments in his binder, organized and in order, although not completed, they are there (25/25 on binder check). The solution we came up with centered around OrgB's green agenda C page. I suggested that his mom check it each day after school to see what he did in class, if he had homework, and see if a quiz/test was coming up, then she could initial it each day or week. The student agreed, no problem, and the guidance counselor said great idea!
I'm not a huge fan of charlie sheen, but can I just say....WINNING! I was so proud of my student for feeling in control for a split second and feeling proud of himself for keeping his binder at least organized with every assignment needed to catch up in my class, and a little proud of myself, too, for implementing OrgB and having it work so well for my students." Morgan Zielinski - Overbrook High School, New Jersey
"They recently took a chapter test, and my averages were higher than normal! I asked the students if the binder helped, and they said it helped having everything in one place! It's totally changed the way I teach also. In class worksheets mean more now, since they are for points in the binder and I use problems from class much more for tests and quizzes. I'll be putting data together in the coming months to show my administration the differences.” Nicole Shepard - Redlands Christian Middle School
"I have a student who was formerly failing, that student successfully passed 8th grade last year and scored proficient on the state science test. It takes a lot of pieces to make that pretty picture, but the Organized Binder was a key to starting it.” Nate Fairchild, Redding, CA
"I wanted to let you know that when I started my internship I was struggling with getting myself organized. I had a wonderful NU supervisor that was very supportive. However, as an intern and first time teacher of record I struggled with the organization. Throughout my teacher program at National nobody ever taught how to manage grades and lesson plans. When I was first introduced to your program I thought, oh great!! another thing to do. However, I found Organized Binder a very useful tool for my students and myself.
I have always believed that a student needs to be taught how to be a student before they can be a student. Knowing the struggles that many students, especially students with disabilities have, I understand where they need to go. The idea has been to have a backwards chain and figure out how to get them where they need to be, it starts with knowing how to be a student.
Next, I found that as the system was implemented and became more of "just what we do" the social environment in my class began to grow. My students had a sense of connectedness to the class, we were all doing the same thing so they knew they belonged. This included me, I was doing it to. As a teacher, I have all these ideas and plans in my head of how to meet the learning objectives based on the students needs for that day or moment. I struggled with getting them written down. Again, I figured I need to work backwards to get where I needed to be to set the example for the students. As I created the "Master Binder" I found that I became more organized and was able to track grades more efficiently and in appropriate times, saving me time and work because it was all there.
Also, it became easy to get lessons in a lesson plan book. The system became an overall point of reference for me and my students.
Thank you for having a system that was one of my supports through my internship. I look forward to getting back on track using a system I am comfortable and familiar with at my new job!!!" Brenda Keen, Palmiter, PQE, NU Intern
"Thank you so much. You are changing the world in ways which few people can imagine. I am so glad to have met you all those years ago in Oakland, CA, and to be able to continue applying what I learned and share the GOOD.” Nat Berkowitz - Des Moines, IA
"Thank you for the presentation yesterday regarding the Organized Binder. As an elementary K-8 Counselor in our district, I am hoping our 6th, 7th, and 8th grade teachers will hop on board with this program. It would make it so much easier for me when working with students on academic counseling. Great job presenting!" Lynn Page - Counselor, Gateway Unified School District
"There is never data collected or calculated for Foreign Language, as far as I know. So I just spent some time collecting my own data and thought I would share what has occurred in my classroom in the 4 weeks and 2 days that I have been at Union High School. I taught Spanish for 6 years at Creston High. My last two years at Creston, I adopted a system called the Organized Binder. My failure rate at Creston dropped from about 45% to 9% after successful implementation of the system. My first two weeks at Union, I simply tried to learn student names, establish procedures, and learn about Union. At the beginning of the 3rd week, I started using the OB in all of my classes. Here is what happened.
First two weeks:
1st hour - 16 students were failing/ out of 31
2nd hour - 13 students were failing/ out of 28
4th hour - 6 students were failing/ out of 20
5th hour - 8 students were failing/ out of 19
6th hour - 16 students were failing/ out of 39
My failure rate was 42%
1st hour - 9 students are failing/7 have poor attendance/ out o 31
2nd hour - 8 students are failing/6 have poor attendance/ out o 28
4th hour - 1 student is failing/I've only met him twice/ out of 20
5h hour - 4 students are failing/ 2 have poor attendance/ out of 19
6th hour - 6 students are failing/ 1 must have dropped the class/ out of 39
My failure rate is 20%
My failure rate dropped by half in just two weeks thanks to the Organized Binder! 7% of my students are rarely here which means I cannot help them pass if they are not here. Just thought I'd pass this along.” Diane Nienhuis, MEd, - Spanish Teacher, Union High School, Grand Rapids, MI
"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!" Sierra Community College Student
"Slowly finding our feet. I can tell you from my perspective I am sold hook, line and sinker. My kids are so trained and it's only September. They call me out when I forget to update or do stuff. My guys really love it because I let them use their binders on their test I figure they are just going to google the answers on their phone when I am not looking so if they are smart enough to reference their notes they should be able to answer some pretty tough assessment questions.” Kristie Nickel – Mount Clemens High School, Detroit, MI
"I am VERY pleased with all of the sites and how they are doing with Organized Binder. Again, we are rocking and rolling. I am super proud of my folks! See you soon. I will be attending the site Follow-Up sessions-- I think Ochoa and Winton. “ Dr. Reeves - Hayward Unified School District
"So I'm in my second week of college and these are the courses I'm taking; Chemistry, Chem Lab, Intro to writing, ROTC classes, and ANATOMY! I still have all my H packets from Organized Binder and I refer back to them when I get lost, really helpful. Once again thanks so much for being my teacher junior year and a mentor as well. I was wondering if I can send me an H page (Table of Contents) to use in my college classes.” Jazmine - college student
"Thank you, again, for sharing! Please know that many students out here in Boise, Idaho have been cured of the "exploding binder syndrome" because of you!” Jess Westhoff –Boise Idaho
"Thanks for your quick response. We discussed implementation at our faculty meeting this week; some teachers are doing a fantastic job. Today, I noticed students are helping teachers from class to class as their understanding is growing, too. Caleb has really studied and was doing a great job from day one. I love his explanations as he guided his students through the process. We are loving the beginning of class; the hallways have been empty for the most part when the bell rings.” Marla H. Stock - Principal Loyalton High School, Loyalton, CA
"Absolutely! I have my CI kids 4 hours each day and I think teaching them to use Organized Binder will relieve a lot of their anxiety. Having something broken down like this will build their confidence. They'll get to participate with the rest of the school.” SPED Teacher Detroit, MI
"Thanks for the excellent training yesterday at Harbor High. I thought it was very inspiring. I remember my Aha! moment student teaching when I realized that if you don't have classroom management in place, you can't teach because you're spending all your instructional time on behavioral issues. An Aha! moment at the Organized Binder training was realizing how that parallels students not being able to learn if they're not organized: if they don't know what they're supposed to be doing, how can they learn the content?
Classroom management enables teachers to teach.
Organized Binder enable students to learn.
It seems like the binders are a great step towards having the students ready for the task at hand. Thanks for bringing it to Harbor!" Shannone Greene – Harbor High School, Santa Cruz City Schools
"I was very happy with all things worked out yesterday. I think we will have a solid core of freshmen core teachers using the binder. You were an endearing presenter. Even my most difficult teacher is on board. I think it is because you have provided a solid approach to a very real but often undiagnosed problem--and it is a key issue in the work to close any achievement gap. You made me want to get back in the classroom." High School Principal
"I am part of the team, the group loved the presentation. A small team of us met after you left to discuss a couple of things. The entire staff is so geeked to try the program we just hope the district is going to purchase the program. I know you are working with Dr. Wahlstrom on a few of the issues. I am so glad you were able to come, the staff loved the idea and the presentation. By far Organized Binder was the best presentation of our PD week!" Kristie – Mount Clemens High School, MI
"My name is Allen Altenburg from the district’s Mt. Eden High School and I spoke to you yesterday about applying Organized Binder to Special Education, specifically my Moderate-to-Severe Severe Handicap and Medical Fragile populations. My Mild-to-Moderate colleagues service student populations (ED/RSP) that mainstream. Using Organized Binder will help many in the SE world." Allen Altenburg - HUSD
"I was at a conference at UC Davis. A woman Kelly Tyrona from Del Norte County was raving to our TAW group about Organized Binder! She loves it.” Eric Wycoff
"Way to go Mr. Weathers!! You are an awesome teacher... You sure did a great job in keeping everyone in line while I was at Sequoia. I still have all my Organized Binder from science class!" Stephania Contreras
"In my AVID classes last week usage was spotty due to field trips, but proved so useful again this week to get back on track! For my students who struggle with disorganization…I am seeing eye contact and practical participation rise." Maria Lacebal-Valdez - AVID Teacher
"I hope you get just tons of press. What you do so NEEDS to be out in the wider world. You are changing the fulcrum the earth rests upon!" Natalie B.
"I attended your seminar at the conference and am interested to implement Organized Binder in my classes next school year. Can you please send me pdfs of the pages you introduced in the seminar. Being a parent of 3 rather "organizationally challenged" boys I'd be grateful if you could send me a copy of Organized Binder: Student (the parent guided system), too. Thanks again for the amazing seminar, for me it was the most useful of the entire conference." Martina Kroll - Texas
"As you are probably aware, I've become a HUGE proponent of the Organized Binder and I'm very excited that our admin team is interested in learning more about it, and the numerous ways that it can benefit Franklin High. It can lead to gains in literally every classroom, from IB to SDAIE and even Resource classes and, with faithful implementation, can truly raise the performance of all of our students (and our staff!). Nick Goucher – Franklin High School, Stockton, CA
"My students really like the system, and how it helps keep them on top if their assignments and prepares them for assessments! I ran a report of missing assignments from last marking period to right now, and WOW- it's amazing how the students have been keeping up with their work!” Morgan - Overbrook High School, New Jersey
It is a flexible organizational tool and you can use all or part of it. A powerful piece for me is the systematic organization of all materials in one spot. Also, the Weekly Lifeline (Page B), is an excellent opening routine which reinforces several skills such as copying a question, finding the answer in notes or textbooks, and writing a grammatically correct sentence. Surprisingly, many of our students are weak in punctuation, capitalization, spelling, and constructing a sentence with an noun and verb. The repeated daily practice is helping to build this skill. The Lifeline also affords the opportunity for kids to reflect on a concept you learned or something that was confusing. This is very helpful for me and helps direct what I teach. Doe Newiger – Taylor Middle School
"Thank you so much for taking the time to come present at the science conference yesterday. Your presentation was so helpful in figuring out how to make Science binders work in my 5th grade classroom." Elementary School Teacher
"Thank you for your great presentation this morning. So far your material is the most useful takeaway from this conference." High School Science Teacher
"I am currently a Student Teacher at UCSB. I would love to see some more materials about the program as I begin my teaching career." Graduate Student
"I did a survey at the end of last year, and most of my students stated that the Organized Binder helped them stay organized for class, and a majority wished that every freshman teacher implemented the system." High School Teacher
"Things are going great for me with Organized Binder as well. It's actually kept me more organized and forces me not to let grading pile up, an added bonus! Megan Smith – Novato High School
"Thank you so much for joining us at Dominican last night. I have to admit, that because of my experience with the AVID binder I was a bit of an Organized Binder skeptic, but I have been won over. It really hit home that the Hidden Curriculum skills (noncognitive skills) are a huge advantage to those who have access to them. “The Secrets”. Lisa Crawford – Grad student at Dominican University
"Organized Binder provides meaning for every single thing that is worked on/completed/accomplished in class from warm-ups to activities to homework assignments to notes… The KIDS see the value in keeping everything because it helps them learn and study in addition to being prepared/organized.
I don’t spend time telling kids who were absent what they missed or what they need to do, they just know it. Kids who were absent get the class binder, go to the agenda, write what they missed, locate any missing papers (handouts/worksheets) based on what number it is in the Table of Contents in the class file area and get right to work.
I am able to instruct bell to bell. Kids are ready to go the second the bell rings and know that they are expected to be working the entire period. I don’t have to wait while kids get things out of their backpack or find their homework. If they aren’t ready, they are tardy plain and simple. That means a lot here and they take it seriously. They know what taking notes look like, they know where homework goes, and so on. Essentially, they take charge of their own learning. Ana Mello - High School Math Teacher
"Boy do I wish I had the Organized Binder when I was in high school and college!" Elementary School Teacher
"I am teaching 7th Grade Life Science at Walter T. Helms Middle School. I am using Organized Binder....the kiddos LOVE it and I LOVE it! It has made me a more organized teacher. Thank you. I need this tool in my teaching. Thank you for creating this AMAZING product! The teachers in my "house" at Walter T. Helms Middle School LOVE Organized Binder!“ Laura Brodman Larson - Walter T. Helms Middle School, San Pablo, CA
"I started Organized Binder again this year. This time at the beginning of the school year instead of second semester. I have always used a my own modified system of this for the last 6 years, but Organized Binder is well constructed and it is easy to use. This year I have 95% of my students using the system. The reluctant students are picking it up as they see other students using the system.
This is a recent interaction I had with a student that did not have a binder:
Student: "I hate this teacher, too many papers, this is f___ed."
Teacher: "I hear that you are frustrated with all those papers, here is a binder, put your papers in order and turn to Weekly Lifeline (Page B). Record the Kick-Off prompt and respond to it and then I will stamp your work."
Student at the end of the class: "Thanks, I get it!"
This student will pass my class and may even graduate this year. I can't imagine starting class without Organized Binder.” Teri Cooper, Olympic Continuation High School Concord, Ca
"I introduced Organized Binder to my Biology students on Friday... this is what one student said ... "I have never been this organized in my life!" Jennifer Rilea - ESUHSD
"I just read through the Pre-Implementation Questions and realized that I needed to set some things up in my classroom for Organized Binder to be successful. You are a lifesaver.” Jyothi Sunkara – High School Teacher, Woodside High School
I teach 7th grade English - which is part of why I think the kids like Organized Binder so much, they loved having the structure! The feedback I got from my students about the Table of Contents was super encouraging ("Why haven't you been doing this the whole time!!!")." Samantha Solomon - Claremont Middle School, Oakland CA
"The beauty is in the ORGANIZATION! I LOVE IT when I see students flip in their binder for answers. They remember where to find stuff. They have access to what they've already been taught. To me, that's the most important part of the binder. It makes them feel smart and if they have a lot of days like that in a row, they've start to believe they are smart, and then suddenly they are successful. you know I could go on and on!” Diane Neinhuis – Union High School, Grand Rapids, MI
"I started using the Organized Binder system for the last 4 marking periods 2010-2011. I found a tremendous improvement in classroom management and time students spent on task. The Organized Binder system helps students understand what the expectations are and students of all levels have a sense of belonging in class. For EL students it clears up a lot of confusion for them and they immediately know what to do when they enter the classroom. I strongly recommend that we have a PD training for all of our teachers." Continuation School Teacher
"I don't know that I could do it (teaching) without Organized Binder, it makes such a difference. Sub's think I have such great classroom management, but really it is the routine!" Maribeth Kelly, Cloverdale Middle School
"We are continuing to do a great job implementing Organized Binder. We have our onsite state review next week and Organized Binder are a big part of our evidence of learning." Ronda Jaggers - Principal, Point Quest Education
"I attended one of your seminars a few years ago and have found the Organized Binder a truly valuable tool with my middle school students. Our AVID teachers love the format." Chrystal Anderson
"Students who were already organized like the system. The ones who have really benefited are those who were disorganized before. They much more often know where to find their assignments and notes, and they don't stuff their papers into their backpacks anymore. I also like that they feel more responsible for their learning. It's not just "the teacher gave me that grade," but they see how they earned the grade they got. I like the fact that binder checks are worth either full points or 0. When I check the binders, no one want to keep a 0 if something is missing; they all work to fix it and get all the points. The Learning Log is a key piece to getting students to realize what they are learning. My problem is that I forget to stop for it, so I've brought a timer from home to remind me. I'm still working at doing the Organized Binder better, but will definitely continue the system next year. It's improved my organization of class time as well." Teacher - Santa Rosa, CA
"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." Community College Student
"Well...Organized Binder in my science classrooms the rest of the day was a HUGE success! It was amazing to see students working and wanting to become scholars. I asked them, "How does it feel to be a scholar? They said, "It felt great and that they were doing excellent." I had some beautiful sentences from the Learning Logs. I cannot wait to read them on Friday. I told Principal De Leon that it already was a HUGE success. Thank you again for creating an amazing system....not only is this making me be more organized as a teacher....this is creating an environment that is more organized for students to be scholars!" Laura Larson – Middle School Teacher
"I LOVE ORGANIZED BINDER! I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT!!!! I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT!!! And, my students are really excited, too! I thought you were nuts when you said the bell work and agenda only took 3-5 minutes, I thought you were totally crazy. You weren't, 3-4 minutes tops.Thank You!" Daniela – Mount Clemens High School, Detroit, MI
"Well...I just finished first period. I implemented The Organized Binder and it was a HUGE success. I saw two kids who typically do not do work....do the work! It took all period...a 49 minute period to implement....but well worth it. Thank you again for creating this great system.” Middle School Teacher
"One of my biggest frustrations with our profession (education) is the feeling I get sometimes (sometimes all-the-time) that we, as classroom teachers, are such a small cog on this runaway-train called the education system and have such a small chance at making a positive difference outside of our individual classrooms. I'm a techno-nerd, so these ideas of cloud-based, actually USEFUL things being done that can actually have a positive impact in the classroom is SO exciting for me. I'm just very excited to be a part of this adventure in whatever capacity I can be. Let me know what I can do to help as things move forward for Organized Binder in our district!" Nick Goucher
"I asked students from Dominican University to write out evaluations and hands-down, they all LOVED Organized Binder and its practical use for lesson planning and structuring classes. The only one complaint was that they wished they had it first thing in the semester! Way to go!" Juliet Schiller - Dominican University
"Thanks to the successful implementation of the Organized Binder in my classroom my students now keep all of their homework! Without Organized Binder I would not be able to change homework patterns in my class.
Now I am telling students to KEEP all of their work in the H section of their Organized Binder. A day or two after it is assigned I will walk around the room with a clipboard and physically check each assignment. I correct their mistakes on the spot and am able to do immediate re-teaching. (They are usually working on a new assignment while I walk around). I love the immediacy of talking to kids about their homework! On the spot! If they have it partially done, I give out partial credit and tell them that I will give them full credit when they finish it but they have to bring it to me after school.
I love this! It works for me! It works for the kids! It works because of the Organized Binder!! Not ONE student has raised an eyebrow about the changes, which is great!" High School - World Language Teacher
"I'm still a big fan of the Organized Binder and I continue to use Formative Assessments (the Lifeline) every day in my college classes as I now teaching at the college level at Davenport University." College Professor - Davenport University, MI
"When teachers are worn out in the Spring and need a bit of new life breathed into them - this is a great time to implement Organized Binder. They are feeling bogged down with the sameness of teaching. And, they are looking for something new. Anything new. Our school first adopted Organized Binder at the end of February. I think that the reason so many teachers jumped on board was because they were looking for something new and fresh! At that time in the year, teachers already have a handle on which students are going to fail, which need more help, more organization, etc. Organized Binder is perfectly suited to step in and help!" High School Principal
"I have many IEP and EL students who are reading below grade level. I use a lot of graphic organizers to help them understand and remember high school level standards. Although students would put a lot of effort into completing the graphic organizers, as soon as they were finished their assignments got stuffed into a backpack or between the pages of a folder – never to be seen again. I’d ask them to pull out a diagram we completed last week and get blank stares. Since adopting Organized Binder, students can find and review their work. Now I can tell students “check your G9 page” and they can turn right to it! Students that could not track an assignment from one day to the next now have perfectly organized work. At my last binder check, a student who was formerly struggling with my material calmly handed me a perfect binder. Absolutely everything was in place. He is now passing quizzes because he can find his notes." Continuation School Teacher
"This system gives students a place to put every single piece of paper I hand out. Class procedures, the course syllabus, work expectations, extra credit work all have a specific place in the binder. I have to hand these documents out only once, because everyone can find them." Middle School Teacher
"Organized binder has helped me solidify my beginning and end of class procedures. It has helped students keep track of their own progress in multiple areas by way of having documents locked into their academic toolkit! Unorganized students take more pride in their work, and I can see it on their faces! I have pared down my homework and assignments to only relevant material for the student to study from. Handing back papers is fun now because students are secure in knowing what should be done with each returned assignment. It has helped me in several fundamental ways that go deeper than just the routines and practices in my classroom. I feel ownership over my class, students feel ownership over their learning, and thus my classroom management is better.Organized binder has helped me implement what I knew I wanted, but did not know how to achieve.” Roxy Yanko - Santa Fe Middle School, Monrovia Unified School District
"I had my sixth graders take out their chapter one units of 35 parts on the Table of Contents. I wanted to make sure they were organized and had everything. There were only three that were missing more than two!! I was amazed. This is everything we have done for the first seven weeks and they have it all. I was so proud and amazed. Thanks for changing my classroom." Ana Frye, University Preparatory, Redding CA
"I could see a lot of what I imagine you provide to your school and district. I’ve worked in over 500 schools with about 20,000 teachers. About one in a thousand acts the way you do. I couldn’t tell you exactly what the qualities are but I noticed one thing about you that is a really big clue: you made time to fit me into your day. Beyond the excellent rapport you have with your students, beyond good ideas like Organized Binder, beyond what you do for your department, you went a little beyond for me. The greatest educators I have worked with have always had this kind of generosity of spirit about them. It’s something I value a lot. It’s also something that sustains me when I encounter it in others, so it’s not too surprising, I guess, that I work pretty hard to find people like you. And when I do, I’m as direct as I can be about things I think we can accomplish together.” Steve Peha - Teaching That Makes Sense
"My school has a major truancy issue. Organized Binder allows for predictable routines for students to integrate themselves into class with great ease. Other students help them, but also hold them accountable for sticking with this routine. It is quite effective when used across a building." High School Teacher
"Last night I spoke about Organized Binder to all of the parents for each of my classes - it was Back To School Night. I had a presentation that started out with my three core rules: be prepared, be respectful, and be on time. That led me into the B page and what it means to be on time. I mentioned how the B page was standards based and helped prepare the kids for the STAR test. I also talked about the learning log and how it was a personal conversation between their children and myself. I emphasized the importance of the need for complete, grammatically correct, sentences. A wise man once said (to paraphrase) “It should be called Literature because teaching English is the responsibility of all teachers.” They LOVED that. I then talked about the Agenda and how it is where the parents can find the homework, and if it isn’t filled in that means their kid isn’t paying attention in class… I then discussed the “meat and potatoes” of Organized Binder - AKA the Table of Contents. I talked about how at the end of each chapter the kids have on their own created a resource that can be used to study for the test. I then went on to talk about the binder checks and the importance of being organized. All in all, it was fantastic!" High School Teacher
"I really feel like using this system has stepped up my classroom expectations and student performance. To students, I come across as having extremely high expectations right off the bat and that is followed up with continuous feedback, and so therefore they really seem to be stepping up to live up to my expectations this year...at least more than normal. It requires me to be more on at the beginning and end of the period, which honestly was a place I'm prone to getting lazy with and Organized Binder doesn't allow me that option." Sean Bird - High School Teacher
"I am a mathematics instructor at a charter school in California. During last school year I attended a presentation on Organized Binder. I have been to many conferences throughout my professional career and this was by far the best conference I have ever attended. Mr. Weathers is a charismatic presenter whose topic is incredibly relevant to helping students be successful. I was so impressed with Organized Binder that I worked to bring his system to our school. We began implementation of the system just two weeks ago and already the impact is palpable. Not only are the teachers finding success, the students are embracing the system with open arms." Charter School Teacher
"Thanks Mitch! I am good to go! I have reread the Organized Binder website once again, have bought my binders, colored paper and I collaborate with the Special Ed teacher so that is the one I am going to use this year. I am excited to get this year started, no "F's"" for this teacher this year!! I can hardly wait!! Just keep sharing, you have started a major reform in education and have passed it to me, and I will pass it along as soon as I slowly remove the "tar" from underneath some teacher's feet and they see the results!! NUMBERS don't lie! Here I come with Organized Binder in my briefcase!!! LOOK OUT!! Tons of thanks Mitch for such a SIMPLE ACT of CHANGE." Annette Wiederholt - Teacher
"Amazing! SO very excited to use Organized Binder again this year. I "piloted" it the last semester. It really helped with test prep (I used release questions for my Kick-Off prompts). It helped focus me on what standards I was teaching and well as my students! I am going full force with it again next year. My other mission is to show off to my co-workers in hope that they will become interested and we can get the whole school using Organized Binder!" Theresa Oyster - Teacher
"I wanted to let you know that we did an end of the year assessment of our professional development this past school year. All the teachers reported that the Organized Binder training and implementation were the most useful thing we did this year. Thank you!" Ronda Jaggers – Principal Point Quest Education, ED School
"I can hardly wait to start in August. Mitch, you have no idea how helpful and may I say what a "savior" you and Organized Binder are for me. I am beginning my 18th year of teaching Math and just had a really tough year. Far too many F's and therefore I failed as well. I need and WILL Fix it! Tons of thanks for the ideas, the Organized Binder blog, it is such a eye opener and it is rejuvenating my philosophy and energy to create successful, smart Math Stars at Rosemead High!" Teacher - Rosamead High School
"I wanted to let you know that our comment box at the workshop generated some very positive responses about Organized Binder. People were very impressed with your presentation and ideas. Verbatim, some of the comments included, “Mitch Weathers Rocks!!!!” and “Mitch’s presentation should have been all day. He was spectacular!” and “Get Mitch Weathers – make him part of intern program!”. I think it’s more than fair to say your material was well received and people loved your approach! Jamie Lawler – National University
"Hi Mr. Weathers!! Not sure if you remember me but I was in your Biology class at sequoia in 2003. You were, and still are, my favorite high school teacher. I will never forget my first Organized Binder. Every binder I have in college now is just as organized!!!" Student
"This is a direct quote from a student that is in my class as well as Nancy’s: “This is my first binder in years, at my old school they didn’t care if I was organized.” High School Teacher
"I just got home from the CLMS conference and wanted to thank you for your workshop! I left your workshop feeling energized, inspired, and ready to get to work. I took scrupulous notes throughout your presentation and I hope I got it all." Cinnamon Johnsrud - Middle School Teacher
"I was in your Organized Binder workshop yesterday - it was the best one that I had in all three days. I really appreciate your enthusiasm." Chitra Dasgupta - Middle School Teacher
"I just got all of my students on board with Organized Binder last Monday. Already, I'm impressed with the change in all of my classes. The structure the program provides is apparent to all and the students are really liking it. It also helped me with my own organization and accountability to my students." Donna Cirelli - Cloverdale High School
"Learning Log Sentence of the Week: "I learned that two alleles segregate from each other so that each gamete carries only a single copy of each gene." This is from a early intermediate language learner that rarely does (or so I thought) anything in class. He'll pass the CAHSEE this year!" Continuation High School Teacher
"Mitch, I did start today with the Kick Off covered and had the students with their binders out ready to write. I am already seeing a difference at the start of class! Thanks for the pointers!" Middle School Teacher - Cloverdale Middle School
"I tend to be a pretty organized teacher but the Organized Binder system puts me to shame. It is FANTASTIC! I love EVERYTHING about and particularly love the Weekly Lifeline (Page B). I want to try to use the CST release questions for my Kick-Off prompts.” Middle School Teacher – Eagle Peak Middle School Redwood Valley, CA
"Thank you so much! You were inspiring and the system is really cool! It seems simple enough for me to be able to implement immediately and I think it will really benefit my students. I really like how you emphasized the different aspects of teaching (the water molecule) as well as your emphasis on finding ways to spend more time celebrating victories and teaching! This brief introduction to Organized Binder was one of the most inspirational sessions I have ever attended! THANK YOU!!!!!” Inga Davis – Middle School Teacher
"I was enthralled with your presentation yesterday! I have sent my Program Manager the link to your site and told her we need to get you into work with us sooner than later! Our Community School students are mostly referrals from a neighboring district and if we could implement your binder system in our classrooms those students would have such an advantage when they return to that district because they use Organized Binder.
For the last 8 years I have been on special assignment: math coach, intervention teacher, BTSA on the side, and every classroom I go into I am just appalled that there is little organizational skills being modeled for our students. Prior to this, when I was in the classroom I did have a binder system and binder checks of my own design but they were nowhere near as thorough as yours. I hope our paths meet again in implementing the organized binder in the Court and Community Schools." Instructional Coach – County Schools San Mateo, CA
"Just a quick note as I get busy for tomorrow day. I was at the Good Teaching Conference this past weekend and really enjoyed Organized Binder! Thanks so much for sharing all these SIMPLE ideas and the best reminder for me was to be sure not to "assume that our kids know" - was pretty much the "hello duh"!" Teacher feedback from CTA Good Teaching Conference
"The main reason I attended the conference was to get information about the National Boards. After 16 years of teaching, I need a new "spark" and decided that maybe to look into that. I was very much committed after attending the National Board session and then I ended up at yours. As you might know, the National Boards rely heavily on evidence from students and then my reflection towards the lessons. What an awesome idea to have my students use Organized Binder concept and as I prepare for the National Boards, it seems that they go hand in hand. My mind has been rejuvenated and am beginning to make plans for summer.” National Board Certified Teacher - El Monte, CA
"Working on week 3 of full implementation of Organized Binder! It does require a little more time on my part but I think it's just because it is a new technique that I have to get used to. So far I have all 120+ students doing it and the majority of them LOVE it! It only took a few days for the routine to set in. They know what is expected and are now very quick about doing it! I'm excited to see the quarter grades at the end of the year to see how much it helped. It also has been an amazing test prep tool (I'm using release questions for my Kick-Off prompts) So far, so good! I can really "feel" it organizing my teaching and making my standards focus more clear to myself, students, parents and my staff! Thanks again!” Theresa Oster – Eagle Peak Middle School
"I am in Day 3 of pilot implementation… That is exactly what I shared with our staff today, namely that… I require that Organized Binders stay in the room… I call them Portfolios, because I want to see their best effort go into them… the Table of Contents is a rich blessing of organization where I want it most while the Lifeline and Agenda provide pulse checks and continuity. The Academic Toolkit is exactly what students need as a reference section. The yellow Pass sheet works well with our Agenda in hand system; the former tracks total exits and the latter simply continues as is. After sharing today, I think it highly likely that staff majority will vote yes to buy in school-wide to solve the “organization” issue on the site agenda.” Maria mlacebal-valdez at Cesar Chavez
"These things that stand out for me regarding Organized Binder:
- It provides the class with a reliable and familiar daily structure. The students are not waiting for instruction. It begins when the bell rings.
- It provides me with a reliable source of ongoing feedback from my students.
- It provides for ongoing dialog between myself and my students on a weekly basis. This is especially helpful with students, who don't readily participate in class, and those students, who may feel like they have been overlooked by their teacher.
- Organizational skills are practiced daily.
- Smoother transitions due to less questions and confusion.”
High School Science Teacher
"I like the Agenda (Page C) 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. I also liked the Learning Log (Page B) because I was able to express myself to the instructor and provide feedback on things the instructor wanted to know." College Student
"Organized Binder is one of the most successful and manageable tools I have seen used in classrooms.” Bonnie Hansen - Assistant Superintendent, SUHSD
"We are recommending all of our program improvement (PI) schools, particularly grades 4–12, use this program (Organized Binder).” Dr. Denise Hexom - National University Director of Special Education and Founder of The Nascent Group
"Using Organized Binder, students can spend more energy on content and experience greater success in their classes.” Kristin Stout - Teacher Induction Advisor
“Organized Binder’s universal high standards have the potential to permeate your campus culture, empowering students and staff to raise the bar on their expectations.”Middle School Teacher
“Organized Binder is a fabulous educational tool for students and teachers. My class loves it! It gives them a usable and reliable program they use daily. My students need stability in their lives, they crave routine and it makes them feel comfortable to know that each day the procedures will be the same."Middle School Teacher
"This program makes sense for our students. It eliminates the guesswork and lost pages. The schedule and all-important facts can easily be found in the binder. I haven’t heard the words “What are we doing today?” even though it’s on the board, since using Organized Binder. Mitch is a fast paced, entertaining speaker! He is very flexible and knowledgeable. I walked out of our in-service ready to use the binder the next day! Thank you Mitch!”Middle School Teacher
“The “Learning Log” section of the Organized Binder is really helpful for gauging student’s understanding of material covered during class. The student’s authentic response to daily questions is another component that drives my lesson planning.”Middle School Teacher
“Organized Binder allows students to control their own performance. By placing class assignments in logical arrangement, precious time is saved through easy searching. Perfect for Language Arts; I don’t know what I ever did without it.” Middle School Teacher