International Binder Week

Nov 27, 2012

Student organization is TOUGH. This topic comes up as a request in every single workshop we give.

So, I was very, very happy when I found this video from Harriet Tubman Charter School in New Orleans. It’s so awesome, you’ll want to watch it again…and again…and again.


Julie L., the school’s wonderful principal, created with her team. . . International Binder Week, an “official holiday” to celebrate and reinforce the importance of personal organization for students.

International Binder Week! As an added incentive for viewing, the soundtrack is amazing and features my favorite Rihanna song.

To entice you even more, here are some quotes from students and teachers in the video. . .

Don’t ever write on this divider. Your school spent good money on it!

In this binder, the homework assignments were filled out for EVERY day of the school year!

I asked Julie why she and her staff invested so much time in teaching students—both elementary and secondary—how to be organized. I loved her replies:

  • Student habits: We are not only responsible for teaching content, but we also believe in teaching our kids the habits of mind that will enable their future success.
  • Student learning: For students to really learn, they need to be able to find their homework, review their class notes, and meet deadlines. This all requires being organized.
  • Student independence: With elementary students managing their own work for the day, I can hear a second grader refer to his weekly plan and say, “I should do my sight words right now because I’ve already chosen independent reading three times this week!”

Julie and team, we are in awe! We look forward to featuring more pictures of your students, school and systems in the future. We love this photo of one of your International Binder Week student winners!

PS: Harriet Tubman Teachers, we see all your awesome Together Teacher tools in those binders. Can’t wait to visit you this summer!

Together Teacher Sharing Question: How do you celebrate your students‘ organization skills and tools?