Ever sit down to plan for your guided reading groups only to find yourself up and out of your seat hunting for a set of leveled readers that are stored in a far corner of your classroom or in a closet… somewhere?
I bet there have been several times where you couldn’t find the books you were looking for, only to find them weeks later in your “To File” pile?
Our planning periods are already so short as it is and if you find yourself wasting precious minutes hunting down materials you need for your guided reading groups, keep reading. I’ve found a system to help us stay organized and plan more efficiently!
The Guided Reading Organization Struggle is Real
In the last 5 years, our school district abandoned our anthology series and are now implementing the Reader’s Workshop framework. This left many teachers wondering how and when would we utilize the leveled readers that came with the series we had been using for so long?
Many teachers boxed them up and returned them…. (face palm)
If you are like me, you try to get your hands on all. the. books. I saved mine and grabbed another set from the next grade up! Soon I found myself hoarding books in closets, bookshelves, crates and overhead shelving.
This became a problem for me when it came time to plan for my small guided reading groups. I couldn’t find what I needed and when I needed it. Sometimes, I discovered I had books I completely forgot about that would have been useful “yesterday”.
It was time to get it together and organize all my guided reading materials. Here is how I went about it!
1. Sort Your Books by Guided Reading Level
Begin by labeling baskets by reading level as if you are creating a classroom library. This shouldn’t take too long since most anthologies have the reading level printed on the cover of the books. #teacherwin
2. Gather All the Resources Together
Once you have all the books sorted by reading level, create a folder for each reader. Place any resources that go along with each book that the series provided (sight word cards, graphic organizers, spelling lists, and sequencing cards) along with resources you have created to supplement the book and/or skill.
You can label the folder with the title of the book and the reading level so you can easily put it back where it belongs.
3. Keep Your Leveled Readers Close By
To help save you time when planning, keep all your guided reading books close by. You can find these 9 cube storage organizers at Target. In the photo below, you will notice they fit great right on top of your teacher’s desk.
Place your guided reading books on the shelves. I separated mine using those cute dividers that display the reading levels.
You’ll also notice you can use shelf markers to show where your guided reading groups left off! This is a great visual to help you plan for your next lessons.
In the next blog post, I will be sharing tips and tricks to help you manage multiple and flexible guided reading groups.
But for now, you know how to organize your guided reading books to help you start planning more efficiently! If you love the Lions, Tigers, and Bears! Oh My! reading theme that you see in these photographs you can find them here:
Or be sure to pin it for later!