Organizing Your Guided Reading Binder
An organized binder is a happy binder. Sounds silly, but tell me I’m wrong! When your materials are tidy and labeled, doesn’t it give you a sense of satisfaction, that all is right with the world?
It’s best to have your binder organized long before you work with your groups. Trying to throw it together after the fact is stressful, messy, and will cause you to miss some opportunities for noticing what your students’ needs are.
Here’s how I organize my guided reading binder.
- Regular dividers
- Plastic pocket dividers (my favorite thing)
- A hole punch
- A 3″ binder
- And rectangular post-its, if you want to use this strategy for grouping
First, I put in the plastic dividers. I have one for each group, and then I leave one or two for resource. These are the labels on my dividers:
*Group Six (if needed)
On each group divider, I put post-its with the students’ names who are in that group. I use post-its so it’s easy to move kids from group to group.
In the pocket, I keep index cards with anecdotal notes about each student (more on that later). I also keep a copy of the book we’re going to work on during the next lesson. For upper grades, this could be the same book over several days, because we might do a small section of text each day until we finish the book.
Behind each group tab, I put one regular divider for each student. That’s where I keep the reading behavior records and Fiction/Nonfiction Quick Checks for each student. I also include their BOY & MOY assessment data for reference.
If a student changes groups, which they do frequently, I just take that whole stack of records and the divider tab and stick it behind the new group. I also change the student’s post-it to the new group divider.
Behind the Data tab, I keep class data, such as the roster of all the student assessment data from BOY and MOY, and the Guided Reading Levels for each month. It’s helpful to look across and notice who has made good progress and who isn’t moving. You can also keep results of reading assessments here, because they can give you insight on what strategies you might use as minilessons in the future.
Behind the Planning Tools section, I place regular two dividers. Before the dividers, I add in any planning reference tools, such as MSV coding, questioning, strategies, etc., that help me plan my lessons. Behind the first regular divider, I add a stack of blank lesson plans so I always have a copy when I’m ready to plan. Behind the second regular divider, I add a stack of blank reading behavior records.
Stay tuned next week to read about getting your space ready!
Grab the All-in-One Guided Reading Materials (over 100 pages of tools, forms, organizational strategies, and more for guided reading K-5).
Thank you! I almost have my Reading workshop binders ready to go and this will be next! I am wondering, if you have more than one Reading class (I will have 3) would you make a binder for each class? Or, would you combine into one binder since some lessons and books will be the same? Just wondering what you would do. Thanks!