Sunday, July 15, 2007

F.I.S.H. Notebooks

In the primary grades there has been a movement towards M.O.O.S.E. (Management of Organizational Skills Everyday) Notebooks. These notebooks have sections for notes home, work to hang on the fridge, important numbers and e-mail address and more. Different teachers have come up with different acronyms for these notebooks. The one I like best, and that I think applies particularly well to the intensive special needs classroom is F.I.S.H. or Family Involvement Starts Here.

Today I purchased color coded binders (my class is divided into teams by curricular focus - the red team focuses on functional academics, the blue team focuses on vocational skills, the orange team focuses on life skills), dividers, vinyl pencil pouches, card stock and sheet protectors. I plan to have six sections:
  • Daily Notes - I use a checklist format for daily notes that has a checklist for parents to write back on the reverse.
  • Announcements- This is where I will put letters to families, new letters, handouts about things like Boxtops or printer cartridge recycling. I will check off a box on the daily note to let parents know when to check here.
  • Important Numbers and Addresses - Printed on cardstock and placed in a heavy duty sheet protector I will list the school phone number, the number for the transportation office, my e-mail address and the e-mail address to write to students and important websites. In addition I will list the absence policy and where to find out if school is canceled because of snow.
  • Calendars, Schedules and Menus - I will have the school year calendar, the lunch menu and the students daily schedule.
  • Money Pocket - this is what the zippered vinyl pouch is for I am going to attach a money picture symbol and a list of cafeteria prices and who to make checks out for is parents pre-pay for lunch. This is also were book order, community based instruction and field trip money will go.
  • Super Work - this will be where I place finished work for the students to keep at home, in the case of students submitting alternative assessment portfolios I will place photocopies of work here.
I am going to print out picture symbols for each section on Avery labels so I can stick them write onto the dividers.

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