*** Teachers, if you purchased our Reading Binder, please make sure you check out our latest post, on August 1, 2012!! We have make several updates that we hope you will love!!***
We get a lot of questions about guided reading and how to organize all of our materials for guided reading. This summer we are dedicating several of our posts to sharing more information about guided reading…starting right now!
Guided reading has a lot of components to it- grouping students, keeping anecdotal records, conducting reading conferences, keeping track of your students reading levels and the books that they read with you….whew! That is a LOT of paperwork!!!
Now, even more than ever, with RTI becoming such an integral part of the educational process, teachers really need have to have a concrete way to keep track of their students’ progress. One of the resources that really transformed how I teach guided reading and keep all of my paperwork and organized, is my guided reading binder!
In this post, I am going to show you how to create an organized and functional reading binder, which will help you become the guided reading guru that you are!!! Please note: the pages that are in this post come from our Guided Reading Guru file and our Teacher Reading Binder: The Ultimate Resource.
First up- the most important let’s start with what materials you will need. purchase HEAVY DUTY binders! Normally when I buy binders, I do not pay attention to what type I am buying and just pick a color I like.
However, this is one binder that I use EVERY DAY of teaching!!! With that being said, this is what my binder looks like at the end of this school year:
You may not be able to tell in the picture on the right hand side, but it is completely detached and ripped open. Buy that heavy duty binder!
I also bought a pack of index dividers to separate the different categories and a pack of 50 page clear sheet protectors.
Now that you have all your materials, you are ready to organize your binder! The first category of my guided reading binder is the guided reading section!
Here is where I keep my instructional leveled reading groups.
I printed off the “instructional reading level” page for as many groups that I have- which was 5 at the end of last school year. I placed grouping pages in the clear page protectors. I can also write the names of the students in that group where it says, “readers.” I normally post the names of those students on a sticky note and place the sticky note on that group’s poster. If you use this strategy, then you won’t have to keep printing new color group pages every time you switch your guided reading groups!
I then make a bunch of photocopies of the “Guided Reading Log” page. I hole punch the pages and place them in the binder behind the instructional grouping posters. This is where I keep all my notes about the title of the book that each child is reading, its level, and any quick anecdotal notes. This is a great way to document the progress of the reading levels for your groups!
I then have all of my guided reading teaching resource pages in the clear plastic sleeves. Any teacher- even a guided reading guru!- can benefit from having the framework of guided reading right at his/her fingertips!
I also have my reading level correlation charts in a plastic sleeves. I like having a quick reference to see the grade level equivalency of the Fountas and Pinnell reading levels. In my school district, we assess our student’s instructional reading level in Fall, Winter, and Spring. I keep track of their improvements in my reading binder and also send that information home with the parents. I highlight the reading level that they were assessed with so the parents easily see if they are below, meeting, or exceeding standards.
In the next category, I have my guided reading assessments: running records section.
Similar to the other categories, I place the teacher reference pages in clear plastic sleeves.
It is very helpful to have all the conventions for running records right there in your binder for quick and easy access whenever you need to assess one of your students. I take running records more frequently with my I.E.P and my students who are below grade level with their reading. I give running records when the child is reading independently during a guided reading group or during a reading conference. Which brings me to the next section in my binder…
Reading conferences: an invaluable assessment tool!
Regie’s Routman’s book is an excellent resource to learn more about how to have effective and purposeful reading conferences with your students! I highly recommend it!
Again, I keep all of the teacher resource pages in clear plastic sleeves.
All of my guided reading goodies make up the last section of the guided reading resources!
For example, I have a finished copy of the guided reading license to show my readers- I just stuck my school picture on there! At the beginning of the year, as I am assessing my students reading levels and forming groups, I explain how guided reading is a special opportunity for the teacher to help her students become better readers. And, most importantly!!, it is for ALL the students in the class! Not just the “low” students or the really “smart ones!” To emphasize the important work that we do in our guided reading groups and to set the tone of my expectations, I like to pass out their licenses at the beginning of the school year. I remind them to bring their licenses to each and every guided reading group- they keep it in their reader’s notebook. (More on those in a future post!) If they loose it- they have to pay a fine (I use a credits and debits system for my classroom management) and apply for a new license!
I then have the rest of the categories for my reading binder!
In my classroom, we begin literature group studies in the second half of the school year. Prior to working in our cooperative literature groups, we have WEEKS of mini lessons about expected behavior and modeling of effective text conversations. I have used literature groups with my second and third graders and found them to be very successful…IF I spend the appropriate amount of time modeling the appropriate way to stay on task during a book talk!
I keep a copy of the teacher resources pages for literature groups- some of them which I send home with parents so they know the importance of what we are doing!
I also keep track of attendance sheets for my groups.
The students are responsible for holding each other accountable with completing their work, coming to the group meeting prepared, and participating in the group meetings.
I like to keep these in my binder because the students give very beneficial feedback about their meetings and their group members.
As the students are meeting with their literature group, I am writing observations and keeping anecdotal notes about the groups and the individual students.
**Note: We revised our Lovin' Literature Groups file, and it is sold separately (not with the binder) on TpT. Click here to view our Lovin' Literature Groups file on TpT.**
The reading workshop component of my reading binder is where I keep track of all my mini-lessons that I teach my students.
I keep the guidelines and teacher resource pages for Reading Workshop inside the clear plastic sleeves.
**Check out our Rockin’ Reading Workshop post and TpT file if you want more details about this component of our reading block.**
And now, FINALLY!, is the last part of the reading binder- reading response letters!
I started reading response letters with my second graders a couple years ago and continued them with my third graders.
I actually use the reading response letters as their reading comprehension assessment. The students write a reading response letter about the basal story one week and then a letter about a book they are reading during independent reading time the other week.
LOTS of mini-lesson are taught prior to the students independently writing a quality reading response letter! Did I mention L-O-T-S of mini-lessons!?! Again, we totally revised this part of our file and we are now selling it separately. It is a large file with lots of graphics and photographs!! If you are interested in learning more, check out our Reader's Notebook and Binder: For the Students on TpT.
There you have it!!! You now are one super duper organized guided reading guru who has his/her binder all ready to go!
This binder that I used for the post has a pretty little bow on top because it is going to this special girl: Abbey, who I had the pleasure of mentoring her first year of teaching! Abbey is such a great teacher who really did a wonderful job this year! As her mentor, I thought that the perfect end of the year present would be something to help her in her future years as a teacher- no matter what grade she is teaching.
Thanks for letting me mentor you this year, Abbey!!!
Did you purchase either our Guided Reading Guru file OR our Teacher Reading Binder: The Ultimate Resource? If so, please go and redownload them!
These are 30 new pages of the Guided Reading Guru file- go redownload them!
These are the revised pages for the Teacher Reading Binder- go redownload them! Remember to also get the revised pages of the Guided Reading Guru file, which is a part of your Teacher Reading Binder purchase!
Now, go and add “heavy duty binders” on the top of your shopping list!
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