EF, Homework, Organization, Organization: Materials Management

The Homework Folder

Daily & Semi-Daily Homework

Teaching a student to use a 2-pocket homework folder labeled on the inside “Homework to Do” and “Homework to Turn In” is a vital step in materials management and homework completion.

For students using a three ring binder, a clear homework folder should be purchased and placed in the front of the binder so it is the first thing that is seen.  Staples typically carries these kinds of folders in-store, but not online (as of 2020).

I like the clear plastic folders because students can easily see the work inside.  Work that needs to capture their attention can placed face-up in the left pocket for immediate visibility.  

If the student is using more than one binder for class, he or she should have a homework folder for each binder.

For students using an accordion filer, the first two file pockets in the front of the filer should be designated for homework to do and homework to turn in.

I am not a fan of accordion filers for students past K-5, as they tend to become a catch-all and cause the student to spend too much time looking for the necessary handouts.  In my nearly 15 years working specifically with ADHD students, and those with executive functioning challenges, the accordion filer spells disaster. 

For younger students, however, an accordion filer can be suitable for teaching organization and making sure papers stay put, especially since K-5 students don’t have as many handouts to manage, but students should transition to a 3-ring by middle school.

Longer-Term Projects

I like the clear zip or snap pocket filers designed for 3-ring binders for storing projects that require a variety of handouts. 

Rubrics, blank calendars or long-term project planners I encourage students to keep in clear 3-hole sheet protectors as they do exactly that, protect sheets that will need to be referred to over and over for awhile!

Keeping this work separated from the daily homework and other handouts will help the student manage the many papers that can be associated with long term projects.