1. Zippered 3 ring Pencil pouch - I made stickers on my computer and stuck on the plastic part. They read: Beary Important Notes or Lunch Money.
2. Two pocket folder. The sticker on the front said, BEARY Important papers on one side and SIGN and Return on the other.
3. Two pocket folder. Sticker: Keep at Home: This is where the kids put their papers to keep at home at the end of each day.
4. Class List: I do a lot with the kid's names and the literacy research now documents what a powerful tool this is. I made a list of classmates' first names, in alphabetical order, and printed it on heavy card stock, punched three holes in it and added to the BEAR books. This had to be changed a few times during the year as new kids moved in. You could even put it page protector.
5. Poetry Treats: as we learned a new poem, I added copies to each child's BEAR books. What a powerful tool this was to encourage rereading. I printed them on colored Xerox paper, and I could get two poems, front to back inserted into a page protector. The children had over a dozen poems and nursery rhymes in their books by the end of the year. I let my kids keep their BEAR books, so hopefully they will practice reading these poems during the summer.
6. An alphabet chart printed on heavy cardstock paper. (This year I am going to add another chart with numbers, color words, perhaps shapes.
7. Reading Log / Keep Books: This is a two pocket folder. I printed the Reading logs on cardstock to slip into one section. At the beginning of the year parents wrote down the titles of books they read to their children. We do the Pizza Hut Book it program. As time went by, parents and children wrote the names of the books they read. The other side of the pocket is where students put Keep Books or Guided Reading books.
8. Parent/Teacher/Student Response Logs: This was the greatest thing I have ever done to promote two way ongoing communications. I made an attractive Title page on cardstock. Behind it I put a supply of about five empty sheets of filler paper. I started the communication at the beginning of the year with such things as "Joshua had a great day... He only cried a minute, and then played with Kaleb in the block center." The next day Joshua's mom wrote back: "Joshua loves kindergarten... I was so afraid to leave him crying, but he talked our heads off last night... "This year I am going to add a sharpened pencil or a mechanical pencil so parents have everything they need to write me. WARNING: You have to train the kids to tell you, "My mommy wrote you a note today." Otherwise you have to search through the books every morning, and who has time for that!!
9. Calendars and Newsletters were slipped into plastic page inserts.
Alternatives to BEAR
(Collected by my friends from teachers.net and kinderkorner.com)
FISH: Fine, Independent Students Happen
FISH: Family Involvement Starts Here!
Ocean: Organized Communication Every Achiever
SHARK: Students Have Amazing Record Keeping Skills
Eagles: Everything A Great Learner Expects for Success
Joeys: Just Organizing Everything at Your Side
COMETS - Communication, Organization, & Must-have Essentials (for)
Teachers & Students
Gators - Get All Things Organized & Ready for School
COBRAS - Communication & Organization Begins (with) Really Awesome
DAWGS - Daily Achievement With Great Skills
Daring (to) Achieve with Great Skills
BULLDOGS- Beginning to Understand Life's Little Daily Organizational
Goals and Skills
MOOSE: Managing Our Organizational Skills Everyday
BOBCATS - Bringing Our Books Can Accelerate Thinking Skills
Better Organization, Better Communication and Terrific Students
CHIPMUNKS - (CHIP) Communication (at) Home Improves Pride...
ACORNS- Always Communicate, Organize and Remember Necessary Skills
JAGUARS - Just Achieving Goals Ultimately & Rewarding Success?
(U-words are giving me fits trying to think of different ones)
TIGERS- Teaching Independence Gets Everyone Ready (for) School
PEACOCK - Proud, Excellent, Achieving, Communicating, Organizing, &