I’ve decided that I will be using folders with my Year 11s again next year, as I believe it was a successful trial. I’m not saying it had any impact on attainment – I’m not sure how I’d measure that – but it’s still something I want to keep doing. In case you’re planning to do the same, here are my key observations:
By Christmas the ring binders were falling apart because they were overflowing. Sometimes a student would pick up their folder at the start of a lesson and their nicely organised notes would fall all over the floor, which was very frustrating. I suggested that my students each buy their own lever arch file during the Christmas holidays, but only a handful did so.
I’d like to use lever arch files instead of ring binders from the start of next year but I can’t because:
- lever arch files are too expensive
- 34 lever arch files are too heavy for me to keep moving around (I teach in multiple classrooms).
So a possible solution is to use 68 ring binders instead: one for the autumn term, and another for the spring and summer term. This may be expensive though.
Here’s a flick through one of the better folders so you get an idea of what my students’ classwork looked like:
In number and algebra lessons this was straightforward, but in shape lessons it was more challenging to limit the material to two sides of A4. I managed it though, and now it will be pretty quick to plan my Year 11 lessons next year because all the materials are ready to go.