Organization in the classroom is SO important. We know we shouldn't be wasting precious minutes with our kiddos searching for materials. That is why I LOVE reading about how other teachers organize their instructional tools. Today, I'm going to share with you how I organize my Guided Reading materials so I can see as many groups per day as possible (I have 5 groups and I see at least 4 per day).
My five reading groups are the Tigers, Giraffes, Frogs, Zebras, and Monkeys. I group them homogeneously by reading level (we use Dibels, Reading A-Z Benchmarking, and Star Assessment at my school). Even if you don't use any of these assessments at your school, you can group your kids using any assessment! One of the great things about Guided Reading is that your groups are always fluid. You can move kids from group to group as they grow and change!
This is how I show my class who is in which group. Easy to see and easy to change!
I store the groups' weekly supplies (books, reading tools, reading response sheets, etc.) in the matching group bin.
This chart is how I know which group to call over on which days. This is an idea originally from Rachelle at What the Teacher Wants. I cannot rave about her Guided Reading posts and items enough!
Some of the leveled books I use are from our reading series, Journeys. I also print books from Reading A-Z and Hubbard's Cupboard. Those are great because the kids get to take them home! For homework at the beginning of year, they had to create a Book Box at home to keep their paper books in. That way they can read them over and over again at home!
I snagged this easel from a rummage sale for $2.00 and I use it daily! I write our sight words on it before we read to prep the kids. I also use it during guided writing or anytime I need to show something to the group!
Under the easel, you can see our whisper phones. After we read the book together at least twice, the group whisper reads it to themselves while I observe for certain reading behaviors.
This is my favorite blue Ikea cart (that I think has been discontinued!). The top shelf holds all the tools I use daily or weekly with my groups. Some of these items include dry erase boards and markers, ABC charts (use EVERY time a group meets), work mats (stretchy snake, Elkonin boxes, tracking practice mats), ABC flashcards, and of course pencils and crayons! Having all of these things right there if I need them makes my groups run so much more smoothly.
I also have my timer right there to ensure I don't spend TOO much time with any certain group. :)
Next to my group bins, I have two baskets that hold more tools for easy access. This bin holds snakes and slinkies for stretching words, a CVC word maker, and reading highlight strips.
The highlight strips help kids that struggle with reading multiple lines. For example, a child that struggles with visual discrimination or one-to-one correspondence (even when "pointing") may have trouble reading this page.
However, using the highlighter, the child is likely to be more successful in reading the page, and he/she won't be so overwhelmed.
This is one way we s-t-r-e-t-c-h out our words! The snake was from the Target dollar spot awhile back. The Stretchy Snake work mat is from Deanna Jump!
This is another version of Stretchy Snake... Elkonin boxes. You can use cubes or coins to allow students to segment the phonemes in the words. If your group needs to work on phonemic awareness skills, you would use Stretchy Snake or the Elkonin boxes without letters (just use items to segment). If your group is ready for phonics practice, you can have them write the letters they hear!
Here is another bin, full of pointers to help with one-to-one correspondence! We also use the finger puppets to help with reading strategies.
Here is an example of the "finger light" pointer! The kids love this one! (Vowel tracking mat is from Julie Lee!)
This is a bin that holds items I don't necessarily use every time I meet with groups. I store future activities in the colorful pouches. This bin is still right behind my table in case I realize I need something from it during Guided Reading.
Some items inside are reading cues and questions...
more Elkonin boxes and CVC cards...
and sight words (I pull out the ones we have learned or are learning and keep them in the Ikea cart!)
Here is a look at the area altogether! We are adding our reading strategies to the wall as we learn them. I love having everything I need organized and ready to go for my Guided Reading time!