Organization is the key to success, particularly when it comes to school! One sure way to get started on the right foot this September is to have your binders ready to go for the first day of school. As a teacher, I have too often been privy to students scrambling to find loose papers scrunched up at the bottom of a knapsack, or tucked away discretely in a pocket. Many students merely stuff papers, tests, handouts, and assignment sheets into binders, assuming that they will be accessible when it comes time to study. However, this is rarely the case! For this reason, binder organization is something that I encourage students to undertake at the beginning of each term.
Regardless of how many binders you keep, it is important to designate a section for each course or subject. This can be easily done by using a clearly labelled index tab or divider. Within each course or subject, create a divider to designate sections for syllabus and class information, notes and homework, and tests and assignments. Depending on how the class is set up, it may also be useful to create a section for each unit of the course.
Not every handout or assignment you receive will be hole-punched, so try to find a three ringed hole-punch that fits in your binder, or keep one handy in your study space. Ring reinforcements (hole-punch stickers) are also a great item to store in your binder – if a paper comes loose, use the stickers to tape it back together so that it will not go missing.
Binders should be kept organized throughout the year! Schedule half an hour each week to sort and file loose papers and assignments; this will also encourage periodic review of your notes and assignments. If you make binder organization and maintenance a goal for the school year, you will definitely be better prepared for tests, and success can come more easily!