Guided Reading is a necessary evil. An enigma. A Catch-22.
I love guided reading and what it does for my students. I enjoy guided reading while I'm doing it, but I'll be really honest here. Sometimes, the anticipation of doing guided reading is enough to send me running and hiding.
This year, it's all about baby steps, folks. Bit by bit, I've slowly picked up the pieces of my guided reading chaos area and transformed it into a place I want to be. Perhaps the most pivotal transformation lies within this simple organizational technique that has, truly, been a lifesaver.
I picked up this little guy in the dollar bin at Target a couple months ago, but these can be found year-round at the Dollar Tree, Walmart, etc. Little did I know I was meeting my new best friend that faithful day in the Target timesuck aisle.
I LOVE that my school has a book room with filing cabinets full of leveled books, and I truly believe the woman who volunteers her time organizing it is an angel sent from earth to make teachers like me try their darndest to be a guided reading guru. What I DON'T love is that in first grade, I have about a baijillion different reading groups, with a bajillion different books and sometimes, I do REALLY awesome things with these books, only to forget about them the next day. Which is where this bad boy comes in:
Every morning, I take 5 minutes (seriously, no more) to fill out an index card out for each book I plan to use during guided reading (usually 2-3 books/groups, depending on the day). I quickly jot down the title, the level, frequent sight words that appear in the book, new vocabulary words, and any teachable moments I see from skimming through the book (making connections, predictions, using pictures for word-solving clues, etc.) Then, I slip the card inside the book until it is time to meet.
After meeting with the group, I slip the card inside the envelope in the correct slot and voila. I'm done.
Yes, I know there are probably neater and cuter ways of storing books, but I find great peace in the fact that further on in the year, I'm able to dip into a certain level and already have a book selection & mini-lesson all set up for my groups. It's the little things, folks!
Now, it's time to head on over to my friend Mary at A Classroom Full of Smiles to hear all about her BRIGHT BULLETIN BOARD IDEAS! You don't want to miss it 🙂
Click HERE to check it out!