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2 Ways to Make Notebook Organization Successful

If you're like me I feel like we JUST got out of school. Why do we need to think about going back? The reality is that there are so many unknowns approaching us in the fall. If you're also like me then you know planning in advance and being prepared is A-Okay!

1. Prepare Notebooks Physically

I have been using this strategy for many years and it has always been successful in the Upper Elementary classrooms. As an educator, it is also easy for me to pull out my own notebook along side my students – making it easier for them to grasp the concept. I will also say this helps enhance student organization skills and better prepares them for the future.

All you need are spiral notebooks or 3-prong folders with notebook paper. I like to have a different notebook for each subject. (I loathe binders for students … just a personal preference)

We spend the first few days of school getting organized. This may mean that setting up our notebooks comes first OR getting to know you games and icebreakers … or in between! I love to give the students a sense of responsibility in helping with the notebooks, but I also love to give them a chance to break open some of those newly purchased school supplies.

Notebooks may have sections or not, depending on how you would like students to take notes. I used tabs in ELA and Math. I found my tabs here made by The Hungry Teachers (and so easy to use!) In Social Studies and Science, we mostly focus on dating our notes and understanding how to use notes to refer back to past dates.

In 3-prong folder, I like to insert sheet protectors. I will have students store frequently used documents and resources within.

2. Prepare Notebooks Digitally

This might be the route you have to take if your school is using online learning. Whether you're using Google Classroom or Microsoft Office, being organized can be just as simple.

I have personally professionally been using Google Classroom. I also prefer to have a different class per subject. However, you can have your entire class under one tab and teach from there, if you like. If you are new, play around with it and see how you like it and what you may prefer.

The reason I prefer different classes per subject is because a new folder will pop up in my Google Drive per subject/class, and will keep all saved documents organized and separated easily that way. That is a little bit of a life saver for me!

I have created a free tool to help guide you if you are taking digital learning to the next level this upcoming school year! There's a checklist, tips and tricks, and some guiding videos! Also …. I made it digital, just in case you would like to keep up online too!


Ultimately, if you decide to prepare all notebooks yourself, or allow your students to support and be independent, that ‘s up to you!! If this will be a part of your first few days = GREAT! If this will be your summer work = GREAT! There is no harm in already having it planned out!



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