Organization is not my strongest skill. I do believe someone described my classroom as “dirty” once. It’s OK. I mean, I’m cool being the Pigpen of the teaching world. But seriously…how stressful is it to have stuff prepped and then it is stolen from your classroom right before you need it. And by stolen I mean lost in the chaos that is your classroom…. #realtalk….
So, now that I’ve admitted I have a problem, I am on the road to improving.
My guided reading table is an area where stuff was piled up and piled everywhere. It was a hot mess. HOT. MESS. This did not make teaching guided reading so easy. So, I fixed it.
It’s a simple fix that is working wonders for me. And it’s colorful so that’s a plus.
I mean, who doesn’t love color coding all the things!
My guided reading organization starts with folders. I have 4 guided reading groups so I have folders in four colors.
The folders are labeled with each of my ‘staches names using a simple address label. (KISS=Keep It Simple Stupid SILLY!)
The labels are easy to change. When a child moves to a different group (because my groups are very fluid) I just smack a blank label down on the folder and write their name. BAM! They’re in a new group.
So when I want to call a guided reading group to my table, I grab the stack of folders for that group and call the names I need! BAM! (And if I want to work one on one with a student, I can just grab their folder!)
When a student moves to a new group, all of the contents of the folder move to their new folder!
So what is inside of these folders?
Leveled books, anecdotal notes and informal running records! Basically all of the books and data and information I have for that child! That makes analyzing data and planning for instruction super easy! Everything I need is inside the folder so I can see what that child needs to work on and I can plan accordingly.
I use Reading A-Z for our guided reading books. I love that I can select books at every level and I can select books that match our themes. I also love the informal running record sheets for the books. This has made informal running records so much easier.
At the end of the 9 weeks, the students get to take their guided reading books home!
For my anecdotal notes, I use Post It Notes. AND of course the Post Its are color coded to match the group. I can stick the notes inside the folder for each child so all of their notes are in one place.
The Post It notes for my anecdotal notes are stuck on the back of the guided reading lesson plans for each group. So I can just flip our lesson plan over and jot down notes!
This is the lesson plan template I use for guided reading. I fill out one for each group and use it for the entire week. The anecdotal notes are on the back side.
(Click the picture to get the template!)
For more guided reading information, check out these posts:
Howdy, I am Mr. Greg. I have been teaching for 11 years. I spent a year teaching fifth grade, two years in second grade and am now in my 9th year in Kindergarten. Kindergarten is my passion and my calling but honestly, that wasn’t how it started. Read the whole story >