Wednesday, January 20, 2016

guided reading binder - take a peek!

I began teaching guided reading again, this time in first grade! It's been cool to get to know another of the five plans from Jan Richardson. Now that it's been a few weeks, my records have fleshed out and I wanted to share my binder with you!

Here it is in all it's glory --
I'd rather write a blog post about it than make a pretty cover :-)

On the inside...front and back pockets:

Inside back pocket
I know it's strange to start with the end, but there's not much to report there. Just saving some word study materials I haven't gotten to yet; more on word study a few paragraphs down...

Inside front pocket
I keep everything I need now in this pocket - this week's lesson plan, this week's anecdotal notes, word study activities I'm planning to do today or tomorrow, and standards based anecdotal notes.

Lesson Plans, from The Next Steps in Guided Reading:

Anecdotal Notes This form, created by my awesome colleague and friend, Christine. One side of notes covers one group of kids - their names are listed where that white paper is, and then a box for each day of the week.

Word Study Materials - this week we're doing some picture sorting by medial vowel:

Anecdotals by Standard are next. (They are the stack of index cards that are paper clipped together.) Right now we're working on questioning. I just recently learned about this from an awesome fourth grade teacher over at Irving. You keep a stack of cards per standard and then annotate when kids attempt to use that strategy. In this case, it's questioning, so I was able to record the questions (or statements) kids shared and then grade them against a Standards-Based Rubric (4: Exceeds Standard, 3: Meets, 2: Approaches, 1: Beginning). Throughout the week, I'll keep more records of this to get a bigger picture.

Child's name is what is under the pen.

In the Rings:
First, I have a few mini-anchor charts in plastic sleeves:

I made these to use to prompt the students about various skills we are working on, so when I am ready to do that work, I take these out for their reference. This little trick is another one that Christine taught me. She began doing this as she built her Tier 3 lesson plans using Jennifer Serravallo's new book: The Reading Strategies Book.

Next I have more anecdotal notes - using a calendar is another way to think about them:

I just began a 1:1 intervention with a student who needs to build her knowledge of letter names (this is also in Jan Richardson's Book!) Since I am only working 1:1, I wanted to use a calendar to take notes of observations across our time together, so I just grabbed this freebie online today to use.

Strategies and Skills by Level - this is another resource in the Richardson's book and just wanted a quick reference to keep handy. The front page you see are all the strategies and skills children need to master at level A, behind it I have a few more levels, too. This way, when I'm planning the word study component of guided reading, it's easy to figure out what I should do!

Archived Lesson Plans - After I'm done with a sheet of plans, I hang on to them here, newest on top as a record of the work we've done.

Next section is for sight words:

I have two groups, so I have two sets of these charts, but up top you list each child's name on top of the list, and then when you assess their sight words, you can make notes here of how they're doing. I put a check mark if they are able to spell it correctly, and a "P" if I had to prompt them for support to write the word. If I notice that more than one student needs prompting, then I go back and reteach the sight word in question.

The next section is for archived Anecdotal Notes:

I keep the current notes I'm working on in the front cover, but then, as I finish them, they get filed here. What I love about this system is that when I go to an RtI meeting or need to update a parent or teacher about a child, I have so much information to potentially share with them just by looking through my notes!

I'm getting better at taking anecdotals the longer I keep with them, but some days I don't write things, and other days I focus too much on one student. Sometimes I take notes on the group as a whole, other days not. These notes are waaaay better than I used to do as a novice last year, and I'm sure I'll keep on improving with them the longer I keep working on them.

Assessment Data is collected in the last part of my binder:

When I say Assessment Data, I just mean running records, which are all saved here. But, I keep an Assessment Summary on top so I can see trends at a glance. This form below is just for one student, and lists running record scores and notes for each week I test him.

You see that I include the date, guided reading level of the text, the genre (fiction or nonfiction), whether the running record was hot (meaning the child read the book already before) or cold (it was the first time with the text. Then I have scores for Words Per Minute (WPM) and number of errors (which I haven't been taking because I keep forgetting to bring the calculator), their accuracy percentage, comprehension score, and overall reading level (Independent, Instructional, or Frustration) notes. That circled letter on the end of the line is the level I want to test the child on the following week, that way I don't have to analyze the information again - just a way to make myself more efficient.

On the bottom of the form is a rubric for determining the level that is from Fountas and Pinnell's Benchmark Assessment System.

So, that's my binder! What's in yours?
Any ideas to enhance what I've already got going on?
Please leave your ideas in the comments!


  1. Hi,
    How many groups do you service in a day? How many minutes are your groups? Do you do guided reading and word work in one session? I really like the running record recording sheet. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi Jennifer! Thanks for the comment :-) My groups are 20 minutes - I just do two of them and follow Jan Richardson's plans. Part of her lesson plan is work work on day 1 of the two day plan - it's all very quick, but effective! I can send you that recording sheet if you want - just send me an email: :)

  2. Well, isn't that something!!! Thanks for more ideas... Can't wait to add to my binder. :-)

  3. You are so organized and intentional. Your students are blessed to have you, and your work is inspiring even if we don't teach elementary students. Thank you for sharing!

  4. That is a beautiful, intentional binder. Thanks for sharing your organization with the world!

  5. I am very happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that’s at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best posting.

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