Second Grade Nest: O.W.L. Binders

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

O.W.L. Binders

I started OWL binders in my classroom last year in second grade and adored how organized it kept my parents and students (and me)! This year, I'm doing it again with first graders. I was a little worried because my kiddos are a year younger, but they are doing JUST AS WELL! Parents are telling me how organized and excited they are to show their OWL binders once they get home! 

Organized While Learning
And that is certainly something that holds true. 
I'm teaching these kids how to organize themselves and become independent and I love it. 

The front of the binders! 
I hate to admit it, but I ran out of printer ink and didn't feel like spending another dime on it. I swear I've spent $200 just on ink this summer. So, I printed all the boys' binder covers on blue paper and all the girls' binder covers on pink/purple paper. They're 6 and 7! They don't judge! 

The first page they see is a binder contents sheet. 
Before any of the tabs, there is...
-table of contents

Here is the contract that teachers, parents, and students sign just promising that papers will be added daily by teachers and paper will be checked by parents. 

Rules that the kids sign

Then a little parent letter to let them know what the binder is for and what purpose is. 

Then we get to the tabs....

Each binder will need 4 tabs- label them with a Sharpie or make them cuter than I did and slip in those papers to label them with words. I was feeling like I need something easy, so I just wrote on them with a Sharpie! 
To each their own. 

Funny story...
My phone DIED and couldn't get anymore pictures! 

But in those tabs...
-Section 1: Parent Section
-Section 2: O.W.L. Report (Our Weekly Learning) (Newsletters)
-Section 3: Homework Section
-Section 4: Behavior Section 

I REALLY wanted to show a picture of part of my parent section. I bought every kid a $1 zipper pouch that I stick notes to and from parents in. I stick thank you notes, reminders, important notes. Parents send money and transportation notes. The zipper pouch is a new plus I am really enjoying! And they are $1 or less at Walmart. 

Here is my outline of what I did last year to give you another idea of it! 
Click here for a walk through of last year's binders.
Don't mind the Valentine's Day stuff. Haha! 

And now it is available as an EDITABLE document that you can use in your own classroom! 


And a little pic of an amazing Monday gift. Just because! Love my new school!! 


  1. I saw your OWL binders last year and I looooooove the idea! Thanks for sharing! I'll be doing something similar with my class for sure! :)

    Mrs. Mathis’ Homeroom

  2. Jessica~
    The Michael's by my house has owl tote bags! Today was the first day I saw them, and right by the doors. :-) Have a great weekend!


  3. Jessica~
    The Michael's by my house has owl tote bags! Today was the first day I saw them, and right by the doors. :-) Have a great weekend!


  4. I have used organization binders for almost 20 began when I taught preschoolers and I took it with me to Kindergarten and now First grade. I have always had many of the same elements as you show and I think my favorites are the zipper pouch, parent folder/info (three hole punched vinyl) and inside pocket for reading log. I had BEE Binders for years (Bring Everything Everyday) and switched 3 years age to OWL Binders (Observe Wonder Learn). Thankyou for the easy to use format and forms!