Tuesday, August 24, 2021


 At the beginning of the school year I make each student their own daily folder, also known as their "Take Home Folder."  I've had a lot of teachers reach out and ask if I can make my daily FOLDERS for daily BINDERS too!  So here they are!

Take Home Folder

Take Home Binder

These binders can be used as a communication devise between home and school.

Daily Take Home Binders

The binders should be brought home every night by the students and returned to school the very next day.  The binders have important information such as school notes, homework, graded work, and monthly classroom newsletters in them.

Parent Teacher Communication Binder

The student's daily behavior can also be noted in their take home binder on the monthly behavior calendar.

Behavior Calendars

I've used these behavior calendars for years!  At the end of each school day I have my students mark either a green, yellow, or red dot on the appropriate date on the calendar.  This dot communicates to their parents the behavior color card they earned that day.  If the color yellow or red is marked on their calendar I write a brief description of the negative behavior they displayed.  The purpose of this is to encourage a discussion between parents and their child over the misbehavior.

Monthly Behavior Calendar

By having the parents sign or initial each night on the behavior calendar this communicates to you that the parents saw their child's take home binder and the information inside of it.

Take Home Binder Basket

Have students take their take home binder home every day and return it to school the very next day.  Any notes from home, money, homework, etc. should be placed in the take home binders so you will receive it - because we all know how sometimes things get lost in a child's backpack. LOL

Take Home Binders

You can have your students turn in their take home binders into a tub each morning.  When they turn them in if you have them place the binders in numerical order it makes it so much easy for you to flip through and see who is at school, who forgot to turn their binder in, etc.

Take Home Binder Labels

Here's a peek inside the take home binders!

Here's the steps on how to put together your very own Take Home Binder:

Step 1:
Use the binders with the clear plastic covers to make your take home binders.  Any size binder will work.  I used a 1/2 inch binder here.
Making a Take Home Binder

Step 2:
Pick from one of my many covers and choose a different clipart character for each of your students.  Add their name, their student number, and your class information to the cover.  Print each cover and laminate it.
Take Home Binder Assembly

Step 3:
Even though the covers go inside the clear plastic covers, laminating them will make them extra durable.  Next, slide the covers inside the clear plastic covers of the binders.
Take Home Binder Covers

Step 4:
If you would like to add additional pockets to your binders add these plastic pocket sleeves in the rings of the binder.  You can purchase these at Wal-Mart.
Daily Binder Labels

Step 5:
Use 1" x 2 5/8" labels to label the behavior calendars and homework pockets.
Take Home Binder Labels

Step 6:
Use 2" x 4" labels for the graded work pocket.
Graded Work Labels
Go over the labels with clear tape to ensure they stay on and do not get damaged.

Step 7:
Place additional important handouts (like school calendars, snack calendars, etc.) in clear plastic sleeves and add them to the rings of the binder.
School Calendar

Step 8:
Choose from the different left and right pocket labels for your binders.  Print, laminate, and cut out the labels.
Left and Right Hand Labels

Take Home Binders Left and Right Hand Labels

Step 9:
Attach the labels to the left and right pockets of the binders by using box tape.
Daily Binder Labels

Step 10: 
Add a pencil pouch to the rings of the take home binders for money, small notes, etc.
Inside a Take Home Binder

*Teacher Tip* - Take the pencil pouches and plastic sleeves out of each student's binder at the end of the school year so you can reuse them year after year.

Step 11:
 Add a behavior calendar to each student's binder.  The monthly behavior calendar can have school events, classroom events, due dates, test dates, etc. on it.  This helps parents easily see what's going on at your school and in your classroom.
Behavior Calendar

Step 12:
Send home these introduction notes the first time you send home the take home binders.  The notes explain what a take home binder is, what is inside the binder, and the guidelines to take care of it.
Take Home Binder Parent Notes

Daily Binder Parent Notes

The binders are then complete and ready to use all year long!
Take Home Binders

Take Home Binders

You can grab everything you need to make your very own Take Home Binders by clicking HERE!

Take Home Binder Covers

Take Home Binder Covers

Also check out my matching classroom labels by clicking HERE!

Personalized Kid Classroom Labels

There are 7 different size labels to choose from!

Classroom Labels for Storage Bins

Use these labels to label your student's desk, book basket, cubby, coat hook, and more!

Grab the Binder and Label BUNDLE HERE!

Thursday, August 5, 2021

Punctuation Anchor Chart - Make Digital Anchor Charts and Print them Poster Size


Punctuation Anchor Chart

As you have probably seen from my past "Anchor Charts" blog post - I'm obsessed with anchor charts.  I have made so many over the years.  I have spent countless hours hand drawing and coloring my anchor charts.  I have often wondered if I could make my anchor charts digitally and then print them out in a large poster size.  It would even be worth it to me if I had to pay to get them printed somewhere so I wouldn't have to handmake them all.  I also could use cute fonts and graphics on my charts if I made them digitally.

WELL I finally figured it out!  I can't believe it took me this long and it was so simple to do.  I could even print my posters at home.

Here's how you do it...

Make digital anchor charts and print them poster size

When you go to FILE - PRINT you will see this box as you normally do.  Under the PAGE SIZING & HANDLING section - select POSTER.  Change the TILE SCALE to 325%.  Finally, press PRINT.

It took me awhile to figure out what tile scale would match my usual anchor chart paper.  This makes it the same width as my usual anchor chart paper, but a little longer.  I wanted to keep the width the same since I know it will fit through a lamination machine.

Punctuation Anchor Chart

The document will print on 12 pages.  Cut and tape the pages together.  Finally laminate the poster so you can reuse and write on them with Expo markers!

You can grab my Punctuation Anchor Chart by clicking HERE!

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Punctuation Pals - Punctuation Posters

 Punctuation Pal Posters

My old set of homemade punctuation pals that I had hanging in my classroom years ago got a little update today.  I love how they turned out so I decided to share them!

Punctuation Pal Posters

They ended up being so easy to make.  I can't believe I didn't update them sooner. 

Punctuation Poster - Period
Punctuation Poster - Comma
Punctuation Poster - Exclamation Mark
Punctuation Poster - Question Mark
Punctuation Poster - Quotation Marks

I simply printed each punctuation mark on colored paper and added the eyes and speech bubbles to it!

Punctuation Posters - Punctuation Pals

You can grab these cute little guys by clicking HERE!

Friday, July 9, 2021

Using Touch Point Math when Teaching Addition and Subtraction

Over the years I have used different methods when it comes to teaching my first graders how to add and subtract.  My favorite method to use is TouchMath.  I have found students easily become more fluent with their addition and subtraction facts when using the TouchMath method.  

This summer I have been working on teaching my son, Landon how to add.  It was a no brainer that I would use the TouchMath method to teach him with.

Practicing with Touch Points on Numbers

I started by teaching him what the dots on the numbers mean, how many dots each number has, where the dots are located on each number, etc.

Practicing with Touch Points on Numbers

At first all I had him do was practice and memorize the dots on each number.

Practicing with Touch Points on Numbers

One of the fun activities I had him do was add these pom poms to the dots on each number.

Practicing with Touch Points on Numbers

Practicing with Touch Points on Numbers

For the numbers that have the double dots (the black and white dots) I had him add two pom poms next to the double dot.

After he got the dots down for each number it was time to introduce solving an addition problem!

Using Touch Points When Solving Addition Problems

 I made this small 1-9 number line for him to use as a reference tool when solving his problems.

Numbers with Touch Points

Each number has the dots and the steps on how to count the dots written on it.

Numbers with Touching Points

These would also be a great reference tool for your students to use in the classroom!  They are the perfect size to tape on each student's desk.

Touching Points on Numbers

I also made this reference tool for him to use when writing his numbers.

Using Touch Points When Solving Addition Problems

Landon is doing so well with his beginning addition facts and he's only 5TouchMath makes it so easy!

If you haven't checked out the TouchMath method you can read more on what TouchMath is and how to use it in your classroom by visiting their website HERE.

You can also grab these handouts I made for him to use by clicking HERE!

Numbers with Touch Points Handouts and Printables