In an attempt to streamline the paperwork that comes home from school, I began using “Thursday Folders” in addition the daily “Communication Folders” (which I plan to post about soon). I use the communication folders to send home corrected work and assessments, my classroom newsletter, permission slips, book orders and homework packets. I use the pages inserted into it to write notes to the parents and they do the same. I use the Thursday folders for everything else. This includes practice work that is not graded, artwork, and fliers that are sent out with all the children (i.e. YMCA schedules, ads for local programs, etc). I find this saves me time from passing them out daily. It helps the parents by not having to deal with unimportant paperwork every single day. It keeps the communication folder uncluttered and makes it last longer.
On Thursdays, I have a student or a parent volunteer place the Thursday Folder into each child’s mailbox. I then have them distribute all of the other papers on top of them. Lastly, the volunteers take the folders out, insert the papers that are on top of the folder into the pocket, and return them to the mailboxes. The students take them home, empty them and return the folder to my Thursday folder bin until the next week.
In the photo above, they are the orange folders. I make them bright so they are hard to lose. I used to send them on Fridays. At the time they were called Friday Folders. However, becoming a parent of a school-aged child made me realize that Friday afternoons translate into "toss the bag aside until Monday morning." So I switched to Thursday and have found that they are returned promptly on Friday mornings.