Friday, July 13, 2012

My Organizing Binder

Hello friends!  I hope you are having a wonderful summer break and are taking some time to relax and rest!  This is the time in the summer when I start organizing my brain for next year.  My room is not ready yet--my hall is always the last one to get cleaned and polished--so I'm not even going to think about it until the end of July.  Meanwhile, though, I can get my School Notebook ready. 

I have been using a notebook to keep my school life together for several years.  It's the only way I keep it together some months, especially when I am on several committees and projects.  *Let me say here, that I love technology, and I keep everything I possibly can on my computer, but sometimes, you just need a pen and paper, or a place to put handouts, etc.*  I've seen blog posts about classroom teachers' binders, but not music teachers, so I thought I'd share my version with you.

First, I got a 1-1/2 inch binder.  One inch is not enough for me, and 2" is too big to carry around, so this works for me.  I have to make it cute so I enjoy looking at it every day. :)  I found this subway art on Pinterest (don't you LOVE Pinterest?) and matted it with some cute scrapbook paper.

I've divided my notebook into eight sections:

1.  IMPORTANT INFORMATION:  This includes the district instructional calendar, class schedule, duty schedules, and probably a monthly calendar as well.  I use my Outlook calendar for everything, but sometimes it's easier and faster to look at a paper calendar. I'll either hole punch the freebie we usually get in August, or  print out my Outook calendar to put here.

2. CURRICULUM:  This includes TEKS, our District Specific Objectives, and instructional calendars as needed. That stuff you need to refer to when lesson planning. :)

3. LESSON PLAN IDEAS:  My formal lesson plan is done online, but this is where I sketch out the six weeks plans.  I made a planning sheet so I can see the whole six weeks on one page, just to know where I'm headed with each grade level.  This is also where I write down those brainstorms for future lessons.  I keep blank paper here for those ideas so I don't lose them forever (because if I don't write them down. that's what would happen!).

4. MEETING NOTES:  I started out with a different tab for each section of meeting notes (team meetings, committee meetings, faculty meetings, district music meetings), but I decided that was just too many tabs.  I put them all in one section, but with a piece of cardstock separating each.  You could do it either way.

5.  BUDGET PLANNING:   I don't have a huge budget, but I do have enough to get to make some purchases for my classroom each year.  I use this section to write down things as I think of them, so when it's time to spend my budget money I can remember what all I wanted to buy.  Because seriously, I cannot keep that stuff in my brain!

6. COMPUTER & SOFTWARE:  First, I have a spreadsheet of all of the (many) programs we use in the district, with username/password listed.  Plus all those teacher sites I've joined so I can get great ideas, my choir site account, etc.  Again, I will not remember how to log in to my stuff after a month, so this is important!  After that, my notes about new software, how to do things I only use twice a year, etc.

7. CLASSROOM STUFF: This is the catchall for things that don't fit in the other categories, like bulletin board ideas, games I want to make, music advocacy stuff, etc.

8. And finally, PROJECTS:  As the music teacher, we get asked to do other things outside of our classroom curriculum.  Like programs, contests, and campus celebrations.  Last year I wanted to start a Veteran's Day celebration on our campus, so this is where I kept those notes.  They don't really fit into any other category, but I needed a place to keep them straight.

And that's it! My beautiful little organized piece of the world!  It looks so pretty now, I almost hate to mess it up....Ha!  No really, I can't wait to start filling it up with the joys and challenges this year will bring.  I take this notebook with me everywhere--and when my computer dies (like it did last April), I am not completely lost! 

This post is linked to this awesome linky party--if you love organization, you must check out Delightful Order!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the notes on a music classroom binder! I am working on one, and it is nice to get ideas from yours. :)