Day 30: Binder Checks

Wednesday, 25 September 2013


One of my classes took their unit test today on Waves & Sound. While doing so, I graded binders.

My students must keep a binder with course materials that I check on test day. I like being able to see each student’s work end-to-end. I also found several instances of assignments the student never turned in (usually because it was incomplete and they were “going to finish it tonight for homework”), so I was able to grade them on the spot. Also now I have a list of kids to work with in small groups because their assessment scores are low AND their binders are hot messes.

Why no more interactive notebooks? I had a lot of pushback last year from my students, many of whom are quite well-organized in their own fashion. Since the IN is a teacher-centered organization scheme, I opted for a less structured design (though this one is still quite structured by me). The thesis I’m developing is that the IN is super-useful for lower achieving students or those with executive functioning skills deficits, less so at the other side of the spectrum.

3 thoughts on “Day 30: Binder Checks

  1. Interesting you received push back on the INBs. Even (especially?) my higher achievers welcome the INB. Yes, these are the kids who “do school” well. The everything-in-one-spot appeals to them — notes, problems, labs and even readings which they can mark up . I just have a hard time getting them to commit their learning process to paper with mistakes and all.

    I’ve found it’s the weaker kids who don’t like the structure because the INB becomes glaringly obvious evidence of non-work. Bring an empty notebook to a parent conference and watch that duckling squirm when Mom asks why they haven’t done any thing.

    School cultures differ – private vs public, and particularly economic class may be a stronger influence. I’ve taught in *very* affluent districts — sweeping generalization coming on — these are places I would be far less successful implementing an INB scheme.

  2. Pingback: Physics180: A photo-a-day blog | Day 30: Math & Science Club

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s