how to create your own teacher binder

Do you have a teacher binder? What important things do you keep in it?

In my teacher binder I like to keep my weekly planner, curriculum information, student data, important school documents, and parent volunteer information. It is so nice to have all of these important documents all in one place. If you don't already have a teacher binder, I would highly recommend one!

My binder really isn't anything fancy. This year I am using a small 1 inch binder I got from Target {here}. I plan on taking this thing everywhere, so I don't want it to be too bulky. If you want to make your own teacher binder, then basically any binder will work, as long as it has a clear, front pocket for the cover. I'm really picky and I like the plastic covers that are totally see through {I hate the fuzzy plastic look}. If you hurry, you can probably get your binder cheap at a back to school SALE!

To divide each section, I used 5-tab index dividers that you can find at almost any store.
Click {here} to check them out.

And of course, everything teacher-related needs a cute cover right??

Click {here} to download your own binder cover. 
The font I used can be found for free {here}.

1. PLANNER: The picture below is a sample of my weekly planner. I will be printing this schedule off each week so I can make any necessary changes to it. Things change SO FREQUENTLY in first grade, which is why I can't print it all off at the beginning of the year. You know what I mean... it would be out-dated mid September! I created this template in PowerPoint and you are welcome to use it! However, if you are looking for something that is more unique to your schedule, check out A Teacher's Plan {here}.

Click {here} to download your own weekly planner in PowerPoint. 
BTW: It looks crazy in the Google Docs preview, so be sure to actually download it to your computer.

2. CURRICULUM: In this section, I will be keeping all of my curriculum maps, so I can make sure I am staying on track and teaching my students what they need to know! At my school, we use the Houghton Mifflin reading program and the picture below is a year long schedule that I will be following this year.

Click {here} to get your own reading schedule.
Again, It looks crazy in Google Docs, so be sure to download it to your computer.

I am also going to use Rachelle's Math and ELA Common Core Checklists that I purchased on TeachersPayTeachers. And let me tell you friends, IT IS WORTH EVERY PENNY!

Click {here} to check out Rachelle's Common Core Checklist. 

I don't have pictures of the next sections in my teacher binder, for obvious reasons,
so I will do my best to share what I put in each tab.

3. STUDENT INFO: This is a good place for class lists, student phone numbers, assessments, grades, etc.

4. SCHOOL INFO: In this section, I put important school documents, calendars, etc. {All those papers you get at the beginning of the school year that you don't know what to do with, but you know you should hold on to them... } This section is important, because I usually lose these papers!

5. VOLUNTEERS:  I keep all volunteer information in this section. These papers are important to keep close by just in case I need to contact a parent volunteer for whatever reason. It is also nice to know who is coming and when! Basically, these are documents I don't want to be scrambling for at the last minute!

I am sure there are many other things I could keep in my teacher binder, but I have learned that these things are the most important to keep handy and readily available.

UPDATE: I've created a Teacher Plan Book that will help you stay organized all year!

Click {here} to check it out!


  1. This seems like a silly question but how did you create your lesson plan template using powerpoint? I've heard others using ppt to make fun worksheets with designs.

    1. Would love to know this trick too! I have made cute flyers with ppt....but loved the "excel" look and it was oh so sharp! :)

  2. This is a great idea! I need to make one of these so I have everything together!

    I just pinned this too! :)


  3. Hollie, I just change the slide to fit a piece of paper. Then I just go from there. It is a lot easier to use than Word. Try it! You will never go back!!! ;)

  4. I was able to download from google docs your year long plan for houghton mifflin but the lesson plan template keeps saying error. Is it just my computer? help! girlforgod27@aol.com

  5. The Sherman Four: Do you have PowerPoint?

  6. At the front of my binder, I put 2 sheet protectors in. In the first one goes the classroom monthly calendar on one side and my timetable with the supervision in it (we are required to do noon hour supervision on some days and recess supervision to earn days off), and in the second one goes a who goes where document so I know where each student goes on a regular basis and who has permission. I also throw a blank class list in at the front to keep track of the awards, birthdays, and little things like that.

  7. I still need to make a binder! I plan on doing that super soon - like Thursday or Friday! Thanks for your advice!
    Come check out my new blog Teaching in the Valley

  8. You are one organized chica! Sounds like you're gearing up for another exciting year teaching first! Yay! Thanks for sharing! :)

    Second Grade Sparkle

  9. Wow, great binder! I just did a post about mine too. I wish we could put our lesson plans in it but we use this web-based thing so everything is online. This is my first year using a teacher binder with everything in one spot. I can't believe I didn't try it sooner. I was always thinking my other plan was better... I am pretty sure I was wrong!!!!

    Here is a link to my binder post:

    Love your blog!!!

  10. Looks great! You've just inspired me to start mine for this school year. I love having everything in one spot - it makes things so much easier!

    Sara :)
    Smiling In Second Grade

  11. I love this binder! I am going to make myself one this week! I have several binders {one for student info, one for curriculum, etc}... don't know why I never thought of combining them before!!!

  12. Very cute! I'm thinking I need to downsize my 2 inch one. I love powerpoint too, once I learned that I have not gone back!!

  13. I think this will make me so much more organized! Would you mind sharing the fonts that you used on the weekly planner? I LOVE it! :)

    Sweeties In Second

  14. What a simple and yet brilliant idea! Never thought about using power point before, very clever!


  15. I love the background you used. Do you mind sharing where you found it?

  16. Omg thank you for the shout out!!! :) I was so not expecting it.

    I was excited when I saw the post title cause I have been working on my very same binder just last week. :)


  17. I forgot to say you are the sweetest thanks again!


  18. I am a lover of all things Teacher Wife! Love your ideas on the teacher binder. I'm in my second year of teaching and I'm feeling more organized thanks to your ideas :)

  19. I keep the same things you do in mine! My coworkers think I'm ridiculously organized...but I can't imagine not having all these important documents in one place. Love the cover of yours!

    Krazy About Kiddos

  20. If you are only using a 1 inch binder are you removing the lesson plans each week and only keeping that week's lessons in there? I usually keep all of my past week's lessons, but would love to downsize so, as you said, it is easier to bring everywhere. I'm excited to add student info, school info and volunteer info to my binder this year! I also usually keep my team meeting agendas in my binder and bring it to each meeting. Love this post!!!

  21. Thanks for posting about your teacher binder. I always make one too. I was happy to see you post about Houghtan Mifflin I was going to map out the year, and now I don't have to. I am also going to steal your binder cover, so cute.

    Fun and Learning in First

  22. I use power point for EVERYTHING! It is so easy to explore! I also put a blank calendar so I can keep up with school dates, deadline for my team...ect. I print the same one for my team and we add dates on it at our meetings so we are all in the same loop!


  23. THANK YOU so much for sharing this! I'm a first year teacher and this is exactly what I have been searching for!


  24. Hi! I love your binder! Line has needed upgraded for a while now! I would love to download the linked files but when I get to the google doc pages there is no option for me to download for some reason? Any idea why? Any chance of getting them emailed?

    Thank You!

  25. Very cute! I also place a hole-punched spiral notebook for creating (and hopefully marking off!) To Do Lists and a zippered pencil pouch so I always have a pen/pencil, post-its, etc. handy. Thank you for my new binder cover!

  26. I love how organized you are! It inspires me to be more so.

  27. Ok silly question. I downloaded the template with powerpoint, but it loads as one picture. How do I customize and type my own lessons in?

  28. First I want to say thank you for explaining, in detail, everything that is in your binder. I do have a question. When you print your lesson plans off for the week, do you keep all of them in the binder or do you take them out so you only have just one week in there? Thanks!!

  29. I like the idea of Power Point
    I will experiment with EXPANDING that to Prezi. (PPoint on steroids) so that I can zoom in to details. This would fit my Tech personality while saving all this in cloud, so I can access it from ANY device.

  30. Hi Lindsey! I shared your post as a link in my latest- love your binders!



  31. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  32. What software do you use to create your own graphics, clip art and backgrounds?
    Thank you!

  33. What program did you use to get those beautiful page backgrounds?

  34. Thanks. I'm a first year teacher and this is exactly what I have been searching for! gmail login

  35. Thanks. I'm a first year teacher and this is exactly what I have been searching for! gmail login

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thanks for the love ♥

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