My daughter Riley is going into second grade in my building. I am lucky that I am a teacher there and know the curriculum of this grade level well. However, you do not have to be a teacher to make a binder like this!
Here is what you will need to make a practice binder for your child at home:
*A binder: at least 1 1/2 inches, preferably one that has the "view" plastic sleeve in the front that you can put a paper in it labeling and personalizing the binder
*plastics sleeves, probably 10-12
*tab dividers, 6-8
*contents for your binder will come from your child's teacher unless you have things at home you use to practice that can go in there too
WHY a practice binder? As a teacher and mom, I know that practicing math facts, spelling words, reading, and vocabulary is overwhelming for parents. Most teachers have kids, too, and people think that we read two hours a night with each child and practice math facts for an hour. This is not true, at least not in my house! Of course I practice with her but realistically all households are busy and it is hard to stay organized and on top of things on school nights. Having flashcards here and her reading book there and spelling paper tacked up on the bulletin board another place drives me crazy. That is why I wanted a place that she and I could go to where all of the things that she needs to practice are housed.
Here is what is in her binder so far. I made the front fun and creative so she would be excited about it. I downloaded a font from Kevin and Amanda's Free Fonts. I glued the white paper to a piece of scrapbooking paper I had to make it even cuter! You could even take a white piece of paper and have your child decorate it to use as the cover.
In the pencil pouch (which her brother used last year so I didn't have to buy a new one) we put her math flashcards. When she gets other flashcards from her teacher this year (could be math, vocabulary or whatever) we will put them in here. Once she has mastered a skill, they can come out so it doesn't get too crowded.
My tabs are labeled : MATH FACTS, SPELLING, READING, WORD LISTS, OTHER. You might label them something different depending on your child's grade and teacher.
Right now the only items I have in here are items I already had at school--word lists for her grade level that I know she will need to know how to read and spell. However, her teacher, like most teachers, will be giving her spelling lists and other papers that are important to her grade level to know. These papers will go in the plastic sleeves to have handy to practice. No more hanging on the fridge or bulletin board or stuffed in a pile of papers on the counter!
Some nights I am sure Riley will have homework and we will be busy and she won't get to use her practice binder. However, there will be lighter nights where we can practice math facts and word lists for a few minutes.
I hope I have inspired you to get organized for the school year! Whatever works for you , a binder, box, or container, have a designated place for the items I've mentioned. It will help you keep your sanity and make your child more successful in school!
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