Saturday, July 30, 2011

Writing Folders

This past year, for my Writers Workshop I bought these beautiful 3 ring binders for my 1st grade students. They had 4 pockets and more than enough space for my my Tater Tot's writing stories. The pockets were labeled with color dots, Green=A work in progress, Red=Done, but not colored, and Blue=Tools. The 4th pocket was for our Ideas, but my students always struggle with this so many of them abandoned it. We used the 3 rings for the stories that were completed but were waiting for the illustrations to be colored on "Fancy Friday". This worked beautifully!

 
My students were SUPER excited about these binders, and all year long were asking about taking these babies home. They even kept them CLEAN for the whole year! I was astonished. I thought they would be gray by the end of the 1st quarter. As much as I wanted to keep them, I just loved the look on their faces the last day when they took them home. That left me in the tough position of replacing them.

Last year I got them for $2.00 a piece, and I thought that was a bargain. Truthfully it is, however it is still a nice chunk of money when your talking about 15 to 20 binders. Especially when there are TONS of 2 pocket folders for .15 cents in the next row. So with a big sigh I gave up the binders and compromised.

I didn't just buy a class set, I bought 2 folders per student, and it wasn't even a third of the price of the binders. Why did I get 2 folders per student you may ask? It is not to replace the first when it gets battered and torn. I got them to make 4 pocket folders. Curious? Take a peek.

How did I do it?
I started with one of these babies. Luckily my school has one.
 I took both folders and decided which one I wanted on the outside and which one would be on the inside. For me that was easy, all of my 1st graders items are blue. So the yellow went on the inside.
I then punched holes on the left side of the outside pocket. Make sure you are using the "Oversized" setting.
 I turned the inside folder, inside out and punched holes on the open side.
 Here is a picture of me doing the WRONG side. :) I figured that out the hard way. :/
 Next, I took a comb and bound it together.


 The finished product. Well, almost finished. I do still have to make pocket labels. I know they wont be as coveted as my binders, but they will have to do, and I can live with it.
 Sorry for the bad picture, they were taken from my phone.

 What do you think?

47 comments:

  1. Mel fabulous idea.

    I am just getting my Writer's Workshop up and running at the moment and money is tight, I have just bought two books on the subject.

    Folders are out of the question, 24 of them YIKES. They run at about $3.00 each I LOVE this idea.

    Jules

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  2. Love it, love it, love it! I know the teachers at my school are going to love it, too. I can't wait to share!

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  3. This is EXACTLY what I have been looking for! Thank you so very much for sharing!!

    =)Beth
    http://www.inspiredwritingteacher.blogspot.com/

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  4. Great idea! Thanks for sharing! : )

    http://mrsrobinsonsclassroomblog.blogspot.com/

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  5. Brilliant! Does your school supply the combs or did you have to purchase those as well? We have to purchase our own. This would still save money over the binders though- and they take up less space! Space is a huge issue in my room.

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  6. I love this idea! I think that I am going to add to my one writing folder and use your idea! I think it is a GREAT way to stay organized and it takes up much less space than the writing binders. Once you get your labels made would you be willing to share them?

    diaryofa1stgradeteacher.blogspot.com

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  7. That is a fantastic way to compensate for the binders! Very clever! Well done... ;)

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  8. I love this idea! Thank you for showing us step by step what to do via your photos!
    Camille
    An Open Door

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  9. I love this idea and will definitely be doing that this year. I also used binders last year and I couldn't believe how excited they were about them -unfortunately very costly. Thanks again!
    -Allyson
    Stickersandstars.blogspot.com

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  10. That's an excellent idea -to make your own pocket folders. They are rather expensive. This would make a great take home folder: notes home, sign and return notes, graded papers, homework...

    ❀Lisa
    Effective Teaching Articles Blog

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  11. What a super idea! Thanks for sharing!

    ~Lorraine

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  12. These are great! I purchase similar ones I call "Rainbow Folders" because they have 5 differnt colored pockets, but they end up costing about $50 from my supply order. I never thought to make my own. Thanks for sharing!

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  13. This is a great idea and your explanation and photos are well done. Thank you for the tip!

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  14. Fantastic idea! I have used staples before to attach two writing folders together, but this is much, much better!!

    Teaching in the Early Years

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  15. Great Idea! Thanks for sharing your ingenuity. Also, for binders...put the word out to your corporate world friends. Binders get shoved into corners all over offices. It is amazing how many get tossed. Additionally, many businesses do promotional materials that include folders that become outdated and tossed - if you are willing to have printing on the back of worksheets, or want to create recycled books (http://www.makingbooks.com/) ask businesses for used paper. In my corporate life, we used to save boxes of incorrectly printed invoices and such for a local preschool. Make sure your parents who work in local businesses know you are interested in such things. Have a great year, everyone.

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  16. Your idea is genius! What a wonderful and economically savvy compromise to get the tool you need at the price you want. I can't wait to use this in my own classroom. Thank you so much for sharing!!! Best of luck this year, as it is VERY quickly approaching. :-)

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  17. I have done something similar to this before. Love the idea of using the binding combs. You could also laminate the folders for a little more durability. Thanks for the idea.

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  18. I purchased plastic folders with brads for .25 a piece. I plan on using them for the same thing. :) office depot has them for .25 for 20= 5.00 :)

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  19. I just LOVE this idea and I think I am going to give it a try. I am going to Staples tomorrow for the folder sale and if I get enough then I am doing this!
    littlemisskindergarten.blogspot.com
    Can I share your post later?

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  20. that's awesome!! I love how you folded the middle one inside out! :)so smart!

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  21. This is really a great idea. If you have access to unlimited (free) laminating at your school, I could see waiting to put them together, letting the kids create a cover and running the outside folder through the laminator. I had my kids create a Wordle cloud for their Writing Notebooks with words to describe things they like. Thanks for sharing!
    ~Kitty
    The Write Handed Teacher

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  22. Great idea and much more cost effective. Thanks for sharing! I now follow your blog!

    ~Amanda
    The Teaching Thief

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  23. Very nice! I might have to steal this idea! Thank you for sharing!

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  24. Great idea-thanks for sharing with us- I will be showing this to my teaching partners for sure.

    ✿Tiffani
    Time 4 Kindergarten
    ca-scrappin@comcast.net

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  25. I have made something similar but laminated them. They have lasted for almost 10 years, but I need to make some new ones this year. I love this idea! Much easier. Might not last as long as my laminated ones,but easier to make. Previously I had a parent help me make them, but this year will have to do it myself.

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  26. Awesome idea. If you have access to a label maker (which I am sure you do since you have access to a binding machine), I might suggest labelling the spines with their names. I will have to record this idea for myself.

    ✪ Liam ✪
    Twist of Liam

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  27. What a GREAT idea!!!! I have a ton of those plastic binding rings so that would be a great use for them! Thanks so much for sharing this cheap and easy idea for writing folders!!!

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  28. I love this idea! Thanks for sharing!

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  29. Yes- great way to make them inexpensively! Thanks for creating the tutorial! Sharing it with my readers on facebook.
    - Leslie
    KindergartenWorks

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  30. Thanks! I have 'pinned' this idea on Pinterest!!

    Ann Marie
    ABCs and 123s 4 me

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  31. I love this idea. Luckily, my school has a binding machine. I know what my daughter will be doing in the next few weeks after she makes my organizational binders. Thank you so much for sharing.

    Sue Lattea

    www.arainbowofteaching.blogspot.com

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  32. What an awesome idea! Thanks for sharing.

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  33. Oooh! I like this idea. Might have to try it. Thanks!

    ❀Barbara❀
    Grade ONEderful

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  34. Oh my goodness! This is such a fabulous idea! Seems so simple, yet I'd never have thought of it! Thank you for sharing!! :o)

    Mrs. Lopac Teaches...

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  35. OMG!! CRAZY----I have made these exact same folders the past two years. Great minds think alike, huh!! They are great!!!

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  36. :) You all make me happy. BTW, I can't not take credit for this idea. I got it from teachers in my district. I just brought it all to you. :) I love to share.

    Ms. M

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  37. So, I made these and then my two teammates on my new grade level decided they needed to make them, and then a K teacher at our school decided to make them. So I'm spreading the love all around my school! :-)

    Amy @ First Things First

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  38. These are perfect! I can't wait to utilize these next year!!

    Many thanks,
    Stephanie
    3rd Grade Thoughts

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  39. Woo, that’s a great idea really like the way you explain step by step the procedure of making this pocket folder via photos. Such a good work done thanks for sharing this great idea.

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  40. Loving your idea, it’s just a great work to create innovation attitude at young students, children should need to concentrate on their internal skills and teacher should polish them. And love to see your job which you done, making pocket folders printing will be very good skill, especially for children if they start to create like that stuff in early age.

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  41. I love this idea! My school donates 1 folder to each student every year, so I used that as a writing folder this year. The kids LOVED it because it kept them on track, but I wish it had more pockets. With just 2 pockets, I had them put all completed work on one side and any unfinished work on the other side. I am definitely doing this next year!

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  42. i would like to appreciate your enhancement.folders is an awesome way and technique to present any important documents and papers and result to anyone else.it is impressive and creative idea which you are giving. IDSketch offering affordable and attractive deals of printing who need quality print i good quality.anyways your blog has all good things about folders which i am looking for.

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  43. This is a great idea! I'm going to do this for our portfolios next year. Have a folder for reading, writing, math, and behaviour! Thanks for sharing this idea! :)

    Amanda
    First Grade Garden

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