kitchen table math, the sequel: Mead Flex NoteBinders

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Mead Flex NoteBinders

I love these things.

They cost an arm and a leg ($13 each) so I'm racking up credit card debt ordering "NoteBinders" for my next book project, for math notes, for Earth Science Regents test review materials (we need a huge amount of Earth Science Regents review around these parts, I'm sorry to say), for edu-articles printed out from the web, cognitive science articles, the Hake Writing Program (which comes in looseleaf pages), and God knows what else.

(You'll need a labeler if you're going to have lots of NoteBinders lying around the place.)

What's cool about the NoteBinder is that it's a cross between a notebook and a binder. You can open it up and lay the pages flat or fold the cover all the way back, as you can a spiral notebook; you can also move pages around & insert tabbed dividers as you can in a 3-ring binder.

drawbacks: The NoteBinders are a bit time-consuming and awkward to use because each ring has to be opened and closed individually. Also, since the rings are made of flexible plastic it's difficult-to-impossible to insert a big wad of new pages in one fell swoop as you can with metal rings.

I can't tell if NoteBinders would work for kids. My best guess is: "not really." One of the reviews on epinion says they're good for middle school kids; a couple of other reviews say the rings break inside a backpack.* Before spending $13 on one of these babies for a middle-school aged child, I would take a look at Andromeda's advice for organizing a middle school child's school work. I suspect she would nix these.

I'm thinking these might be useful for organizing study materials a student is going to review at home. (If teachers have thoughts - let us know. Teachers & parents, too.)

I can't tell whether NoteBinders would hold up well under high school or college use.

They're incredibly helpful for me, which is about all I can say.

The only place I've found to buy them so far is Office Depot.

* I may have located the single sturdiest 3-ring binder on the market: the Wilson Jones Active-Use Locking Round Ring Binder. The covers are indestructible; haven't tested out the rings themselves yet. Found them at Office Depot. Here it is in midnight blue. Not cheap ($9.89) but not as bad as the NoteBinder.

Mead Flex NoteBinders at Office Depot
epinion reviews of NoteBinder
Andromeda on organization and the middle school child
Write the Other Way


Anonymous said...

I haven't seen the Notebinders, but I used to buy Slant D 3 ring binders, where the rings were shaped like Ds instead of like circles--so the pages all laid out nicely, instead of middle pages sticking out and early and later ones curving inward too close to the clasps. The Ds were all mounted on the back of the binder, instead of on the spine, so again, it stayed flat even as you opened or grabbed the cover (and you could fold it back if you wanted.)

i LOVED them. I haven't seen them in forever, do they still exist?

Catherine Johnson said...

They were on the back?


I've seen D-ring binders with the rings on the inside.

That sounds great.

Anonymous said...

>>I'm thinking these might be useful for organizing study materials a student is going to review at home. (If teachers have thoughts - let us know. Teachers & parents, too.)

I think it would depend on the type of materials the student is studying and how the unit is laid out by the instructor. My m.s.'er finds the pc most useful as one can scan in visuals, then cut/paste to make an organized study guide. He tends to use the 'small pieces method' with a study folder per subject since that's how the school runs ( )...although sometimes he just reads the supporting chapter in the text and SQRs the whole thing.

My m.s.'er has tried one Mead flexbinder and several poly binders this year. The flex binder has held up as well as the poly binders, but occasionally one of its rings will pop open (usually in the backpack). Wal-mart also carries this product.

So far, we find the best value is a Staples 1" poly binder value pack for $9.99 (SKU 9069611099, usually in a pallet by the copy center): 4 one inch poly binders (one ea yellow, red, blue, green), each containing 5 poly dividers with tabs, 4 double sided poly binder pockets, and 1 binder pocket with gusset. The latter is used to store a req'd comp book in the binder (less searching of the locker during passing time). One double sided binder pocket per binder is used -- h.w. to be turned in goes in the front side; returned material in back to be filed later.

This is the last year though that we are going to go along with the school plan of a binder at school for each core class (6). The bulk is too much now that the fuel prices have convinced the bus company to pack the m.s.'ers 3 to a seat and have the rest standing in the aisle. We're going back to the old-fashioned practice of one binder w/dividers for the school day; keep the current unit in it and the rest of the year is stored in a 3" binder (for each subject) at home in case the hard drive crashes. The planner will be one page: a week at a glance at the front of the binder - the monthly sheets will be kept at home and the weekly replaced every week. Comp books will be kept in the locker or a binder pocket, depending on the req'd number.

The kiddo of course would like it all on PC and paperless via e-mail and internet. He does have a point, as this m.s. does make reg. ed. students spend a lot of time copying class notes from the board - time that could be better spent in reading critically, teaching, or discussion.