July 14, 2012

Communication Folder

So long story short, I'm moving to fourth grade this school year. I have mixed feelings about this, especially because this the group that caused teachers to retire and go on sabbatical. 

Don't get me wrong, I've had tough classes before, but I've been spoiled with a lot of good ones in between. 

I've already started to think about how I can be proactive about the behavior, which leads me to my inspiration...Leslie at KindergartenWorks! She instills responsibility in her kindergarten students using her awesome communication folder. Thanks Leslie!

Seeing that I teach 4th grade, I had to adapt a few aspects of the folder to fit my friends; here's what I did...

This section is for anything that needs to be signed and returned.

I inserted a plastic sleeve in all the folders for notes to and from home.

There is a whole year's worth of calendars in the folder. I wrote in days off and half days using the school system's calendar.

Part of my behavior plan is the clip chart system, which is outlined on the upper left side of the calendar.

 Here's my thinking with the calendars...each day the students color in where they fell on the clip chart by the end of the day. If anyone has to move their clothespin down the chart, I plan on writing in a code showing what the student did that caused the move. Here's the code and offenses...

***I don't know the author of the original file (which is below)--I'd love to give this teacher credit. If you are the author or know where this came from, please let me know so I can give appropriate credit. Thanks!!**
    **This form is from Mrs. Nichols at Polka Dot Patch.
You have to love Pinterest!!**

My intention is to have all parents sign the colored box each day, that way they know how the day went. 

The back of the folder is for any notices that don't need to be returned.

That's it...my Communication Folder for 2012-2013 put together and ready to go! Let me know what you think :o)


  1. Very thorough! We have a binder system, but I haven't been very good about utilizing it. It's one of the things I want to do a better job on next year. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I'm a new follower.


    I Teach. What's Your Super Power?

  2. I LOVE your website and all your great ideas :) I just nominated you for the One Lovely Blogger Award. Check it out and enter to win my giveaway! http://www.nerdynerdynerdy.com/2012/07/blogger-awards-and-my-first-giveaway.html

    1. Thank you!! I really appreciate it...and I think we left comments on each others blogs at the same time!!

  3. What a good idea! Also good luck with those kiddos, it's a good idea to be proactive! Thanks for coming and following my blog, I am your newest follower!
    BakingCraftingTeaching Oh My

  4. Hi Jen,
    Wow, this group of kiddo's caused teachers to retire early? YIKES!! I think your notebooks will be great. My son just finished 4th grade and I had to sign his planner with his homework listed every night. One suggestion...get yourself a thank you stamp so that you don't have to write your parents back every day. I liked the fact that the teacher was checking this daily. The parents will know that they need to stay on top of this if you check it daily. Good luck this year! And, congrats on National Board, that is awesome!!

  5. Thank you! This is a great idea :o)I'll get one before school starts...maybe Vistaprint has some deals :p

  6. Love this idea so much! Thanks of sharing!
    ☼ Kate
    To The Square Inch

  7. I have been using a communication folder for the past few years, and the parents love how connected they feel to what's happening in the classroom. I have also decided to start having the kids mark their color on the clip chart at the end of the day. I tried doing it myself last year, and it was way too time consuming. Good luck with fourth grade. I have heard from third grade teachers across the country that this years class was difficult, so you won't be alone in having a challenging fourth grade class. You may want to look into Whole Brain Teaching, if you haven't already.

    1. At least I'm not alone in the challenge! I have read a little bit about whole brain teaching and have used a few of the strategies. I abandoned it because I had too many things to do, but it may be time to dust off the pages :o) Thanks for the recommendation!

  8. I like it, but we have agendas! However, I may require my students to put their agendas in a 1-inch binder for some added parts this year. - Victoria :)

    1. We used to have agendas, but funding was cut for that many, many, many years ago! I think I may have liked having an agenda with this group.

      This is the first time I'm using something that is daily. I'll see how it works out--the hardest thing is remembering to keep on top of each part. Time seems to go by so quickly when we're in the classroom!