Sunday, September 14, 2014

Homework Folders Make Me A Little Crazy

So now we are implementing the Common Core and I have to face the fact that my homework folder no longer "cuts it" since it does not reflect the standards I am now using. Oh dear! I have to reformat them AGAIN! Here we go... What do I want to include on these? I finally decided to change a few things but the basic stuff remains the same! First, I buy a set of legal size folders in bright colors (okay it was $30). They look like this:

Now I had to decide what matters the most on these folders because space is limited. First I put my name on the top on a long strip so if a student drops it (not uncommon) someone will return it to me!
I also put my start and end time since parents ask this throughout the year. My hw theme was Pete which should not surprise a soul! Lovin' it! On the left are my sight words, color coded by trimester. and the OCR letter/sound cards are on the right. Got it? On the bottom I write their name with proper formation as a model for when they are working at home. Good idea, right?
Here is the back of the folder and notice that a few things have changed. Our kids need to know 2D and 3D shapes so I have them here, labeled. They also need to be able to count to 100 and count by 10's so I included that. I want them to know their colors and how to read them so they can do many of the stations I have created and these are important words to anchor them when working independently. The sticker is to remind parents to send in a note when their child is absent since this becomes a huge issue at my school.
Finally when all the pieces are cut out and glued on the folder with a label at the top (student name) I am ready to laminate the folder. I open up the folder and slide the entire thing through the laminator, cut it out, staple each side and cover it with colored duct tape. Generally these last an entire year but they are a huge amount of work! I also make extra ones to have on hand.

Do you have an easier system that you use. I like the legal size because I make many things on 81/2 by 14" paper and want it to fit in here. I also have them take home a literacy bag with their little books. I would love new ideas for this. What do you put on your folder? Do you have a better system?


Cheryl Irick said...

Wow! Your homework folders are beautiful, but a LOT of work. I use pocket folders with 3 prongs. I put sheet protectors in the prongs (as many as I need) and simply slide in the pages with things I want them to have access to all year (like your shapes, colors, sight words, etc.) I label one pocket NEWSLETTER and the other pocket HOMEWORK- COMPLETE AND RETURN.
I simply slide my weekly newsletter in one pocket and the homework in the other. Easy peasy set up. I glue a sheet on the front with my name, their name, room #, etc. I make sure the front is really cute with a great border and graphics.

Hope this helps. Email me if you need/want me to send you a photo.


Amanda said...

Our curriculum (and district) requires nightly reading homework with the books they provide. I use a plastic document folder (one with velcro or snaps) that I purchased for each student at back to school time. These hold their books and the homework recording sheet. I like the references included in yours!

A Very Curious Class

Suzanne said...

For K, we use clear poly folders that have a flap at the top and secure with the string and circle tab. I don't know exactly which brand. Our school buys them for us. The look something like this: There is a section to insert a paper. I like the way they close. It is really hard for stuff to fall out when the students hold them the wrong direction. They also can hold 9x12 paper when we send home a cutting craft. This year, I'm teaching 2nd, and I was given Nicky folders. I made similar inserts like you made for the front and back cover, but I didn't have to cut them. The front is all the Open Court sound spelling cards, and the back is all math.

jennifer saldana said...

First of all, I have to say I adore your website! The colors are so bright and cheerful. I also have a very time consuming homework folder with lots of info on it, so it is a home helper for parents. One of the things I have done is to make an 8 1/2 by 11 page of all the same info you have so it is much easier put on the folder. I have the page printed up, laminate it and staple to the plastic folder. I use 2 pocket plastic folder with prongs from Walmart. They last much longer than paper ones. Makes that part of Kinder prep so much easier.
Jennifer Saldana

KinderKapers said...

I don't know what I would do if I lived in a district that requires homework. I send communication and parent info home in a 3-ring binder. I use page protectors to slide the parent pages in and protect them all year. Your folders are BEAUTIFUL!!

I do encourage my parents to read to their child and have their child read to them with a Home Reading Recording sheet. I give my students a prize when they return it filled up with books.

Terri Izatt

Emily Liscom said...

I can 100% hear you saying this exact thing!!! I miss your voice LOL!!! Thank you for the idea:)


sarah said...

Any chance you are willing to share these wonderful resources? I would love to add them to my daughter's homework folder. Thanks!!

Fran Kramer said...

Thank you for all these smart ideas and comments. I love how kinder teachers work to make things easier for our parents and students.

Myicisa Limbrick said...

Any chance you are willing to share your print outs?