As an experienced teacher, I can tell when something doesn’t work and when it is time to move on. I know that there has only been three days of school so far, and it might sound a bit early to give up on anything, but I know it’s time.
The experiment was a failure.
I was just trying to use what I had. The class I inherited didn’t have any notebooks for my students to use. And I didn’t have time to order them and have them in time for the first day of school. But they did have binders. So I bought 5 tab dividers and tried to teach my Grade 3 and 4 students to use them.
It didn’t work.
I also knew that it is getting close to the time when the back to school sales disappear. So last night I went to the store and bought 100 duotangs. It was a lot cheaper than buying notebooks and I had already got lots of looseleaf paper.
So this morning, I will take back the binders and hand out the colour-coded duotangs. 5 colours to organize our subjects – Math, Language Arts, Writing, Science / Social Studies, and Drills. I will fill them with the paper I already bought so they will be our notebooks for the year.
The best thing about it is that I can take the papers out after a unit, staple them and then put them in the student files. I can refill the duotangs again for the next unit.
This will work much better. It’s what I’m used to. And it’s what they are used to as well.
The binders could’ve worked but it would’ve been a big headache. My students just aren’t ready for that yet.
Live and learn.