Saturday, August 19, 2017

Are Binders Better than Filing Cabinets?

Are Binders the Way to Go?
My short answer is a resounding YES!
But first, let's look at my evolution from full filing cabinet to organized binders.

For 17 years my big gray filing cabinet was a point of pride.  Each drawer was labeled with a subject, and within, my manila folders were organized-- color coded even.  Whenever my principal moved me to another classroom (which was often, by the way), it was a given that the custodian would load that monstrosity onto a dolly and roll it to my new room.  Voila.  Easy right?

But then I moved to Virginia with my 17 years worth of... you know.  Despite trying desperately to purge materials (class sets, ditto machine purple inked copies-yes I had those, student samples), I still had 3 full white file boxes of folders.  My new room did not have a filing cabinet, nor would one even fit. So I housed those white boxes in the corner of the room.

I met a teacher (thank you Mrs. Pittman!) who went to her closet one day, to pull out a resource I wanted to borrow.  There was a bright white light and I think I heard angels.  Inside of her binders, she had hole punched her files while still inside her binders!
Image result for file folders inside a binder 
It kind of looked like this.  I loved it and immediately chose that the next weekend I would punch holes in everything (including the manila folder) and put it all in binders.  It was lovely, for a time.  My binders would fit on a shelf.  I could color code my binders.  It was great for a couple of years.

Then I got an itch, and I wanted to make everything pretty.  I bought the special printable tabs, used a great font, and made dividers instead.  LOVED it!  But then I found it kind of difficult to find stuff.  Despite being labeled, I had to thumb through the tabs to find what I needed.  

Had to change again, and I think I've found perfection.

Mrs. Pittman and I (thanks, my dear!) used numbered tabs for student data binders.  Everything was so easy to find.  I thought about those days and decided to do that with my binders.  I had to buy one of those 24 tab packs for math (and even then I used 2 binders). I was able to fit my reading into 12 tabs. This weekend I tackled my reading binder.

Look at how easy it is to find stuff!  I had to move my Clarifying section to another binder, but that's word work and that section is growing and growing...

One more look
I know, you're probably thinking it's time for me to go digital.  I just can't do that yet.  I know it's the next step.  Like my disdain for eReaders, I like to be able to physically thumb through materials. Maybe one day, though.

Reading is done.  Math is done.  Writing is done.  Now I just have to do my Seasonal Resources  and Science binders.

Have you stepped out of your filing cabinet?  How do you organize your paper resources?  Have you gone digital?  Share what you've done.  I'd love to hear about it.  🌟