Surprise and Small Binders (again)

Hi Y’all.

I have been busy toiling away at the favors for my wedding.
I’m about halfway done…but OMG it takes forever.

I’m sure many of you have already heard the news…
This Sunday is the big Back to School sale on TpT.  Everything in my store is already marked down 20% and you can save a little more by typing in the code BTS13!

I made this image all by myself!! 

I wanted to revisit the whole Small Binder idea.
I have never implemented this in my classroom before so things are still a little fuzzy…

The binders are mini binders.  They are about half the height of a regular binder.  If you fold a piece of paper “taco” or “hamburger” style, it would fit nicely in these binders.  Here’s another pic.

That’s my steering wheel in the background so you can get a perspective on size.  When I bought these I had NO IDEA what I was going to do with them…It all slowly started to come together. However, I think you can accomplish the same goal with a regular size binder or a normal 3 prong folder.  I’ll make the binder pages in the larger size…

Now…where will I store these little gems?  My kids have cubby areas. In that area, they have a magazine box…or these…

I typically have the kids store their folders and journals in these and I think that’s what I’ll do this year.  Their individual S.M.A.L.L. binders will go in there as well.

Each student will have their very own S.M.A.L.L. binder.  They came in 3 different colors.  White, green and yellow.  I’m hoping that the color can coordinate with  a particular group.  White, pre-emergent, green-emergent and so on.  I’m not 100% sure I want to set it up like that but…

SO..when a group of students comes to meet with me during their time with Ms. Corbett, they will bring their individual binders with them.

What I’m really excited about with these (and part of the reason I went ahead and bought a class set) is that I will have documented progress for each of my students within their own binder.  So..if I have to go to a RtI meeting for a little one, I can simply grab his/her binder to show their progress (along with any other additional information).

Here’s a refresher on what is included in the S.M.A.L.L. binder…

 This is the cover page.  It’s located in the very front of the binder and I will write each students name on a laminated copy…
 This is the first inside pocket.  It will hold each student’s sight word cards.
 This is the first page of the binder.  It is a “do these things until Ms. Corbett is completely ready to work with you” checklist.  I have two versions.  One for pre-emergent and another for emergent and guided reading group.
 This is their resource page.  It is an alphabet chart. It will probably be used more often by my pre-emergent and emergent group…but is always good to have.  Laminated!!!

This is new!  I added a page for reading strategies.  
This is perfect for the emergent and guided reading group.

These are my letter sound and sight word checklists.  These are going to be in the very back of the binder.  As students master a letter sound or sight word they will color in the appropriate square.  I’m hoping to have them use a particular color for different times of the school year 
(green in the fall, blue in the winter and so on). 

These are the sentence dictation pages.  I’ll make multiple copies of this page.  
Students will be writing a dictated sentence at the end of every small group lesson.

This is the back pocket…with a coupon book shoved in it.  This pocket will hold their readers.
PHEW!! I know I went through this a second time…but I think I was a little more clear with my expectations and intentions.  
I’ve put everything together as a packet.  I made two versions all in one packet.  If you don’t have mini binders and want to use folders or regular size binders…I changed the setup so you can use this packet with your kiddos.  I even changed the wording so you can have a binder or a folder.  
Here are a couple of pictures for you.

Let me know if you have any questions about My SMALL binder.  
I’ll keep you updated on the progress during the school year.
I’m so excited to use these in my classroom this year. 



  1. Unknown
    August 16, 2013 / 8:06 am

    I can testify that the small folders are brilliant. I hope to upload my photos over the weekend. I downloaded the pages, bought the folders, printed everything and they worked perfectly…no issues at all. My Little Learners loved using them and management was a breeze. Thank you Vera. This idea is a winner!!
    Julie 🙂
    Mrs Stowe's Kinder Cottage

  2. Desiree
    August 16, 2013 / 11:45 pm

    I loved the SMALL binder before and I see why you added the reading strategies. I can't wait to use the letters and sight word pages too. Now I am on the hunt for some small binders.:) My kinders will already have the magazine boxes as their book boxes so these will fit in real nice. Thanks for all your hard work!:)
    Kinders on the Block