Setting up your IGUANA binder

Organizing Your  "IGUANA" Binder.

I ntelligent

G atherers

U niting

A ll

N eeded

A ssignments!

You are looking through your notebook for the handout your teacher is referring to. She gave it out in class yesterday and told everyone not to lose it. Guess what? Yep, you lost it. You could swear you stuck it in with your science notes. But it's not there. You look in the front pocket. You look in the back pocket. It must have fallen out. Desperately, you look on with the boy next to you. Luckily, he was able to find his handout. Your teacher notices and gives you "the look."

Does this sound familiar? You need to get organized! But where do you start?

Here at Oasis Charter School we recommend that each student have a 3 ring Trapper Keeper style binder to organize ALL their materials for ALL their classes. ONE binder means ONLY one place to put all papers and ONE place to look for papers. Each class should have ITS OWN divided section. In this section you can organize all the papers you have for that class.

Here is how I suggest you organize your IGUANA binder !

FIRST take everything out of your binder. Now, divide it all into piles. Make a pile for each subject. Next, get out the dividers that came with your binder. If you can't find them, get some new ones. I suggest Avery poly pocket dividers, you will need a set of 8. One for each class and 1 as a general IMPORTANT papers folder.
Write the name of each subject on a divider sheet. It will help even more if you write the subject on one of those small pieces of cardboard and slip it into the colored tab on the divider. This way, you can easily find each subject in your binder.

Begin with your favorite subject. Go through all the pages. Are there some that are not punched? If so, you may lose them. If you are going to use a three-ring binder, you must have a three-hole paper punch. Punch all the papers that do not already have holes in them. 

Now, put the papers in order. If you have taken good notes, you should have the date on each sheet. Put the papers in order by dates. If you don't have dates on them, organize them by subject. Be sure to include all the handouts that you have just punched. Put them with the proper topics.

Now, put all the papers in the notebook behind the corresponding subject divider. Good job; you now have one organized subject in your binder !

Go through the same process for each subject you keep in your notebook. If your teacher handed out a syllabus or course overview, include that at the beginning of each section. Also include any information about assignment requirements. 

You may want to organize each section even further. You can divide each subject into different categories such as class notes, returned homework assignments and tests, and study guides, for example. You can easily make your own dividers by simply folding a sheet of notebook paper into a point. Then write the name of the category on it. This will make it easy to turn to in your binder.

 Keep other kinds of information handy in your binder.  Your planner should be in your binder, in that you should have your schedule for both semesters as well as your name in case you misplace it, it will be returned to you! You should include the names and phone numbers of your study buddies, one from each class. A monthly assignment calendar for each subject is also a good idea.
A three-ring binder is a great school tool. But like all tools, you need to use it properly in order to make it work for you. Once you have your binder organized, it should be easy to keep it in order. Then you will be able to find everything you need. You will not be getting "the look."