December 08, 2014

Guided Reading Organization

A few people have asked how I use journals during guided reading so I decided to make a post on it and also share how I organize my groups!  I use Daily 5 in my classroom while I pull small groups.  I have 5 different groups and 4 rounds of Daily 5 so I meet with my lows every day and my highs every other day.  

So if you didn't notice from the picture... I'm a little bit obsessed with color coding. Each of my reading groups is a different color.*  I use cardboard magazine boxes (from Ikea) and colored sentence strips to keep all of my materials for the week.  Books, journals, word work- anything that I plan on using goes in the box.  I also keep my guided plans color coded and in the box.  I realized I'm much more likely to follow my plans when it's brightly colored and right there in front of me!  

*I've heard a lot of people tell me that they don't use colors for groups because students realize who the low/high ones are.  Also, some students may be used to seeing "red" as bad on a behavior chart so being in the "red" group may make some students feel like they are low/bad at reading.  In my classroom, we do not use a clip chart or anything related to colors for that matter.  My students have never been exposed to red = bad, so they actually do fine with the colored groups.  It all depends on your class!

There are a lot of fun things that go inside the boxes! I use my guided reading journals DAILY- even on the days that we only have 2-3 minutes to complete some word work! Here are a few things we use in our journals.

If you're looking for a place to start, these interactive guided journal activities can be found here:

Here is what I use to plan each lesson! I just fill out one per book and write in everything I am going to do with the book. This way I can jump ahead or slow down depending on the students needs. 

Click the picture below to grab it from my TPT store for free

Below the shelf with my boxes, I have a few tubs of guided reading "supplies".  I use at least one thing from these tubs each day!  Dry erase markers, boards, picture cards, alphabet cards, etc.  A couple of favorites are the witch fingers and magic wands. :)  

Witch fingers are AMAZING to use as pointers and to practice one-to-one matching.  My kids also use wands when they are searching for sight words! After they find a certain sight word in their book they rainbow write them in their journals. 


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