- Combine your binders. You don't need one for every subject. Instead of 4 binders (ELA, Social Studies, Science, Math) consider 2 larger ones.
- Keep a large 2" binder at home for each subject. As you finish a unit, put it in the correct subject binder so you don't have to carry it around forever but you can still find it when you need to study for final exams.
- If you have the same teacher for more than one subject, use the same binder for both classes (for example, ELA and Social Studies, or Math and Science).
- Use dividers for the sections that your teacher still wants, and use a folder between subjects to separate classes. For example, if you have ELA and Social Studies in the same binder, you would have your dividers for each section in ELA...maybe Vocabulary, Literature, Grammar, Writing. Then use a hole punch so you can insert a folder just for ELA. Then you would have your Social Studies dividers...maybe Vocabulary, Notes, Classwork. Then another folder for your Social Studies folder. Keep spare looseleaf paper behind that folder.
- Whenever you get a handout from your teacher, LABEL IT on the top right corner. For example, if your teacher gives you a graphic organizer for your ELA essay, at the top of the page write the subject and binder section it belongs in: "ELA Writing". This way if you get overwhelmed with papers, you can put them away in the correct spot when you get home. Sometimes it's really hard to tell which binder and section some papers belong in. If you write it at the top of the handout it will be much easier to organize and put in the right spot.
- PUT YOUR NAME AND THE DATE ON EVERY HANDOUT AND EACH DAY'S NOTES!
- The front of each section is the oldest material, and new notes and handouts go at the back of the section. It should read like a book. Your notes from today should be at the back of the section.