As an Airborne Ranger of 5 years and a veteran of OIF, I know that an individual's and a unit's proper organization of equipment and gear can make the difference between success and defeat, both on and off the battlefield. I now teach 8th grade Algebra in one of the most troubled public middle schools and communities in California. While the stakes have been slightly lowered, the importance of organization and discipline within my classroom remain a top priority in order for us to be successful in accomplishing our missions. Having each of my students own a standardized, professional, and organized algebra binder/portfolio will be a great first step.
One would think the easy solution to having each student own an algebra portfolio would be to have them purchase their own - I know, because this is what I mistakenly thought last year. Here's the problem: My students come from one of the poorest communities in California. My students also take 5 other classes, each with their own school supply requirements. The costs add up. Now, let's say that all of my students could provide their own portfolios. From my experiences last year, we would see binders of all colors, types, and sizes; there would be no uniformity amongst the classes, and no look of professionalism. The algebra binder quickly becomes the host for the history, science, and English portfolios. The probability for success of there being a professional, standardized algebra portfolio for every student diminishes. Even worse, the probability that the portfolios serve their purpose in keeping students organized diminishes as well. Last year, students who maintained a one-subject, organized algebra portfolio were the same students that did exceptionally well in the class. These students were ready for high school. Let's get every student on board and set up for success this year!
One black 3-ring binder, in addition to a set of 5 numbered tabs, is all I need per student to make my vision a reality. I can easily create a professional cover page to slip in each binder, as well as individualized name tags to go in the binding label. Students, during week 1, will set up their own binders, and I will assist in teaching these great Americans how to organize their algebra materials - academic skills many of them have never been exposed to. Daily warm-ups? Tab 1. Notes? Tab 2. Class work? Tab 3. Assessments? Tab 4. Homework? Tab 5. Students will take ownership and pride in their portfolios, easily access needed work, and see their significant growth throughout the year!
Your help in providing my students with their own algebra binder/portfolio will be instrumental in not only keeping my students organized and accountable for their work during the year; you will be assisting them in learning life-skills they will need to be successful in high-school, college, and life outside of school. Please support this cause and let's get the new academic year this fall started off in an organized and disciplined manner!
|Wilson Jones(R) Standard Round Ring View Binder, 1quot Ring, Black • Office Depot Inc.||$2.76||106||$292.56|
|Office Depot(R) Brand Big Tab Recycled Insertable Dividers, 5-Tab, Multicolor, Buff Paper, 8 1/2quot x 11quot • Office Depot Inc.||$0.99||106||$104.94|
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