Friday, August 3, 2012

Parent Communication Binder & STUFF

Too Much Stuff!

After what seems like a million years of waiting to have my own classroom, I had accumulated quite the collection of educational junk materials!  Between seeing things on clearance, teachers retiring, and going crazy waiting for my "own" class, I just kept getting more and more "stuff."  It was all in plastic tubs in my basement while I patiently waited for a full-time position.  I didn't realize just how much there was until I found out I had this 5th grade job.  I ventured to the basement to start the great sort and it took quite awhile!  I'm proud to say it's all organized now.  I have put the things from teaching language arts, social studies, and primary grades in other tubs to be stored back in their corner in case I ever return to teaching those subjects or grades.  Now I have a new pile!  It's all the stuff that needs to be transported to my new classroom.  I'm supposed to be able to get in next week and I'm extremely excited to do so!  

All of those clear shoe box tubs are full of the many supplies I've gotten at Staples during their penny sales!  If you don't check their weekly ad to see what they have leading up to school, you're losing out!  PS-Do you see the box for that 10 drawer cart?  I got that at Sam's Club for $25.  I saw the same cart at Michael's yesterday for $60!  Check out your local Sam's to see if they still have it for that bargain price!  Those 3-packs of Puffs are only $3.99 at Staples and Target.  I've stocked up for at home, too!

Parent Communication Binder

I worked on creating my forms for my parent communication binder today.  In my New {School} Year Resolutions post, I mentioned that I had some ideas for organizing contact information.  Inspired by Pinterest, this is what I have in mind for my Parent Communication Binder:
  1. Parents will fill out a front & back form at the beginning of the year.  This will allow me to have an easy reference with names of family members, best way and time to contact, medical/allergy information in addition to how the parents feel their child perceives school, their strengths & weaknesses, and other information vital to success.
  2. After this form, I will have a copy of the contact log.  This will allow me to quickly record who I've contacted, when, and how.  It also has a big box for recording the reason for the contact and the parent's response.  At the top of this page, I've made a little box for checking off positive contacts for 1st and 2nd semester.  I think it's incredibly important for parents to hear from their child's teacher when they've done well with something and not just when they're in trouble!  I want to do this more than just twice in the school year but no less than 1 time per semester.  This little checkbox will help me meet this goal!
  3. After the 2 pages, I'm putting a clear page protector for each student.  I will use this to store notes from home, copies of discipline referrals, IEP meeting invites, printed emails, etc.
Each student will have their own section in my binder where everything will be kept together for easy reference.  Hopefully I won't have to print extra copies of the contact log because I'm sure all of my students will be angels :-)  I'm going to keep this all in one of these pretty binders I got from Staples (super cheap...don't remember the exact price).

This 3 page packet is available as a PDF at my Teacher's Notebook shop for 75 cents!  If you'd like a copy for free, comment and tell me how you think this would help you in your classroom this year (please include your email address).  I'll give a free copy to the first 2 followers to comment!


  1. I inherited a bunch of "stuff" from retiring teachers from the end of last year. As I was packing up to move buildings, they kept bringing me more. So I will be going through that stash and most will probably go in the trash :(

    Great finds at Staples! Wish I had one closer... And I am totally jealous of your cart!

    Fifth in the Middle

  2. I reached your blog via another and honestly cute..cute..cute and a God send as well! I've been sitting here for the last few days trying to figure out a way to organize or start some sort of Parent Communication Binder and with Pinterest and Blogs galore I feel like I'm in Binder Overload. I could and would definitely appreciate and use the packet that you've created. What's awesome is that one of the main initiatives for this year is increasing parental involvement and that begins with email is Thank you so much in advance and best of luck this year!

    1. I emailed you your free copy of these materials earlier this afternoon. Enjoy!

    2. I received them! Thank you :)

  3. I love your forms and would love a copy. They look like they could save me some time! LOL Aug 4th, is my birthday! Have great fun planning for a straight Grade 5! I have a 4/5 again!

    Happy end of summer!

    1. Thanks for your interest in my blog and happy birthday! I just emailed you your free copy of these materials.