Yesterday I posted here about my binder set up and my plan to have the students grade each other's binder. I am happy to report that the process went fantastic. The students did a great job using the rubric to grade their partner's binder and all I had to do was walk around and see if there were any questions about the process. When the students walked in I had a slide up on the projector that gave explicit instructions as to what papers should be in which section. I gave them about five minutes to do any last minute organizing and then we spent about 10 minutes grading.
Here is the best part, 91% of my students showed up today with a complete binder including all their dividers and a decorated cover. Tomorrow, I will begin to call all the parents of the students that did not bring binders.
I think the key to success is making this grade a major test grade. In the past, I have not enforced the binder requirment and so I got about 70% participation. This year, the binder is going to play a huge role in making Algebra I interactive so I feel that the time I spend making sure they are set up properly will pay off in the end and ultimately result in increased student learning.