July 21, 2016

Take Home Folder Prep

Take home folders, communication folders, Friday folders. We have so many different names for the tool we use to send home important messages, notes, forms to our parents. My take home folders are one of my most useful yearlong tool in my classroom to communication with parents. Because of our school colors and a campus wide initiative, red is our go to/preferred folder color. There are so many different ways to put one together. Whether you're a new teacher or need a little refresher, I'm sharing with you today my take home folder.

1. Sheet Protectors- Our kindergarten supply list includes sheet protectors, but I like to purchase a set during the end of the year or in the summer to have these ready before the first day of school.

2. Ziploc Bags- I love Ziploc bags and my favorite type are the slider quart sized bags. There are just so many wonderful uses for Ziploc bags! Below I'll share my DIY pouches for my take home folder.

3. Labels- I am the #labeleverything type so I stock up on Avery labels from Amazon during the summer and have plenty on hand to label what I need. You just can't beat the price and bonus if you have Prime Shipping!

4. Two Pocket Folders- Any folder may work, but because these folders are used daily and travel back and forth from school to home, it's important for me to invest in sturdy ones. I love these Avery Two-Pocket Folders from Amazon. (I'm not affiliated with Amazon btw.) I maybe have to replace one the entire year because every now and then you get a little friend that was rough with their folder.

Set the bar early and make it clear how important this folder is for the student, the parent, and the teacher. I've received feedback from parents that praise the folder because they know their child can misplace things. And this folder keeps everything organized for them at home.

Some teachers use the LEFT/RIGHT labels or Back at School/Keep at Home labels. Choose what works for you, but label the areas in the folders so parents know what's expected.

As parents open the folder they immediately see on the left side any important forms that need to be returned to school. Most of the time these are things that require a signature or to be filled out by a parent, like my Student Information Sheets. (Click here to see my student information printables.) On the right side I like to include the Keep At Home Label so that parents know any papers on this side don't need to be kept in the folder or at school. This side usually includes school flyers, lunch menus, classroom newsletters. (Click here to see my monthly newsletter thats picture above.)

Keep it simple! Don't overwhelm your students or your parents with too much information or management in the folder. I use a clip chart system and I do have some parents that want a report of their child's behavior. For durability, inside a sheet protector, I use these behavior calendars.
With the quart sized Ziploc Bags, I use a hole puncher to add holes to the bottom of the bag and insert in the folder prongs. Throw a label on top of what's to be included inside and manage anything from money, notes, and even Box Tops!

I have planning right away in the morning, and when I do have a chance, I do a quick check to see if I have any important notes from a parent in the pouch. The pouch is great for little friends for field trip payments and book fair days. It really helps to avoid loose money in backpacks or pockets.

The first days of school is a lot of modeling on how to take care of our take home folder, where to put it in the mornings (baskets by my table for quick checks), and putting it in our backpacks to share with our parents. It's repetitive but sooooo worth it because eventually most of the kiddos are independent in managing the folders.

You can find all of these labels by clicking the picture below. There are more options to suit your class. Options in English or Spanish and English/Spanish.

Thanks for checking out my take home folder. Stay tuned, I'll be sharing with you my Take Home Binder soon that includes little readers, sight word practice, and more!

1 comment:

  1. Hello! I am your newest follower and loved your post. I look forward to reading more. Have a great weekend and happy blogging!

    Jen @ Professional Bloggers Association