The D.O.T. (or Daily Organizational Tool) Binder is an organizational tool for students to use throughout their 3rd grade year. It serves many purposes.
1. Students will be able to take home their binder every evening. Everything they need should be inside their D.O.T. Binder.
2. It models organization.
3. It helps me to ensure consistency within each student.
Our Daily Organizational Tool (D.O.T.)
Inside the front cover of the D.O.T., you'll find five labels. One lists the address of our classroom website, while the other four list the students' computer log on information, our book order website and classroom activation code, our Donorschoose site address, and the students' Sumdog login information. You'll also find a pencil pouch where students keep pencils, erasers, glue sticks, and more.
Because the D.O.T. Binder is a frequently used tool, there are "Do's" for students to help them take care of it. This extra care will help to maximize its effectiveness. Namely, these suggestions include remembering to take it home every evening, keeping extra papers out of it, and allowing parents to view it and monitor inserts frequently.
Students should place all homework sheets in this folder. This includes letters to parents, permission slips, and other items to go home to parents.
There are two sides to the Homework Folder--Return to School and Keep at Home. Any items to be returned to school (homework sheets, permission slips, etc) should go on the Return to School (left) side. Any informational items to be kept at home should be placed on the Keep at Home (right) side.
Homework Folder Cover
The Student Planner is where students write all reminders, homework assignments, and major project deadlines. The planner should be filled out on a daily basis as part of Morning Routine. Parents should make a point of monitoring the planner use, especially in the early weeks. Even though I check planners on a daily basis, it never hurts to double check to ensure accuracy! One of the more difficult tasks for 3rd graders is making sure that assignments are placed in the correct box (both with Subject and Date).
The Friday Folder is only used once a week, as the name suggests! This tool is one that I use to increase Parent/Teacher Communication, give students feedback on how they're doing in class (with classwork, homework, behavior, and organization), and to send home past tests, quizzes, and other projects to use as future study guides. I collect all D.O.T. Binders on Friday morning and have the folders ready to take home on Friday afternoon. Over the weekend, the student's only homework assignment is to share this folder with parents and to obtain a parent signature.
On the right hand side of the binder I place all graded student work for the week. This work can be left at home and does not need to be returned to school. I encourage students to empty this on a weekly basis to avoid clutter.
The left side of the Friday Folder is dedicated to student feedback and assessment. I usually comment on a student's progress and performance and, using a 4 point scale, assess student's behavior, classwork, behavior, and organization for the week. This insert is changed every 5 weeks.
This Communication Log is another tool that I use for communication. This is used mostly for informal communication. If you, as a parent, have a more immediate concern or question, please send in a note with your student, call me, or email me. I usually only check the Communication Log on Fridays when I collect the D.O.T. Binders. For less formal comments though, feel free to use this tool!
These templates are pre-written notes for your convenience! If you run out of your stack at any time, you can print off more here!