While three-ring binders were invented more than a century ago (by German office supplier Friedrich Soennecken in 1886), they’re still as useful and versatile as ever. Binders can be used for a lot of things besides just holding loose-leaf papers. Use them to make your classroom a more effective, organized, and active learning environment.
For instance, you can transform binders into DIY clipboards. Or create a mobile art station by punching holes in plastic bags and storing art supplies in a binder. You can get rid of old tattered cardboard jigsaw puzzle boxes, by turning binders into handy puzzle piece organizers. You can even make a binder into a fun phonics flip book.
Student portfolios and profile binders are tremendously useful for older students. Here they can store their best work to share with parents, future teachers, and scholarship committees or college admissions officers. It’s a good idea for students to have two binders, one for their “official” portfolio and one as a working binder, where they keep materials to be evaluated for inclusion in the portfolio. Students can collect work samples in the working binder, organized by month, term, or semester with tabbed dividers. At the end of the year, they can transfer their best work to the portfolio.
Similarly, a student profile binder can store information about one’s family, hobbies, interests and dreams. Include an “all-about-me” essay, a completed learning styles inventory, report cards, test scores, education program goals and notes. Update the contents every year, and not only will the binder be a unique record of each school year, it can serve as a reference when writing a personal essay for college admissions.
The following infographic from Quill.com contains instructions for turning binders into all of these classroom tools and more.
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