My Growing Readers Binder

With each new year comes new hope for better organization.  Next year, one of my big charges is growing passionate, life long readers. I'm taking some things that has worked the past year and combining it with hopefully a better, more flexible system to keep track of the growth of my students this year. So although I love the beautiful spiral binding that I used last year, it's back to the binder for me.


I got a 1 1/2 inch binder, as I figured that as I gather more info throughout the year, I'll need space.

My binder will have 6 sections this year. I had then in one order, but then changed it after I already taped the tabs down so it looks a little out of whack but it'll do. To make the tabs and dividers, I just used the beautiful artwork of Kate Hadfield. I designed the dividers, printed them (8.5 x 11 borderless), laminated and trimmed off the extra and then 3-hole punched it. Lastly, I made matching tabs, laminated them too, and used double sided tape to attach the tab to the back of the divider. And boom- custom lil' dividers are made! My 6 sections to test drive include: standards, rubrics and progressions, resource index, past plans, exit slips, and student conferences. I'll show a few things that are included in each section, although some are empty because... well... I don't have my new crew yet!

Standards and Rubrics & Progressions


I was going to put these two together, but it got a little big so I split them into two. First, I've got the standards. I just printed them off so I could see the progression from 3rd to 4th to 5th grade and tucked them into this first section. At times, my teammates and I will have discussions about what truly should be expected of our students so having them in a spot that I can pick up and bring to planning is helpful, as I'm still learning how to navigate 4th grade standards.

But what do these standards actually look like? How do I actually team them? Well, that's where the rubrics and progressions come in. We use Teachers College Reading Workshop and they have these great (but very wordy) progressions for narrative and informational text. I printed them out as again, they are great, but I can't really show them to students as they are loaded. So I took the standards and broke them down into mini rubric progressions. I started this work last year and found great success with them. I planned them out ahead of time, but then created them with students either during mini-lesson or in small groups to reference. Here's a peek at what my planning page looks like:

The first row is an "I can" statement. If you've been around the blog for a bit, you'll know I love rubrics and love to use the whole "seed" to "tree" scale. I used the standards to determine what was a seed, (3rd grade expectations what was as seedling (part of 4th grade expectations), what was a tree (4th grade expectations), and what was an apple tree (5th grade expectations). So if I have a particular standard that is causing trouble for my kiddos, I can reference this and plan out a progression chart with them. The 2nd row is more for me. It gives me suggestions on prompts, sentence frames, or graphic organizers to try with students to communicate that level of proficiency. 

Resource Index



In the next section, I have a resource index. It's blank right now, as next steps include going through all my task cards and supports and put them in this index by standard. I do a lot of strategy groups and sometimes, our common text (aka read aloud) isn't the best for the skill we are working on. So I've found task cards to be great mini common texts to practice with before students try in their own books. I'll fill in these tables with all my resources I've acquired so that when I know I need something for a particular focus, I can easily look at my options and find them quickly.

Past Plans


This next section is blank right now. Last year, I finally found a small group planning page that really worked for me. The problem: I couldn't put it in my spiral bound book because I discovered it after the fact. So I kept my current and past planning sheets in a clipboard. This year, I'll be able to add them to this section so that I can go back and see what strategies I've covered with which students. Ideally, I will copy individual student notes on post-its and place them on their conferring tab (you'll see them later), but I'm fully aware that might not happen, so as long as I have a spot to collect my plans to reference later, that'll be an improvement from last year. I'll still keep my current, daily plans in my clipboard, which gives me a good excuse to go buy a cute clipboard. :)

Exit Slips

I need to do better about gathering information on my students over time. So this year, I'm adding a space in my binder just for reading exit slips. I have one page per trimester and can record the skill at the top and use my icons from my progression rubrics to track progress on a skill throughout the trimesters. The lovely Kristin from Ladybug Teacher Files has this amazing resource full of checklists. I just printed off blank ones and will fill them in as the year goes. I've found I'm a bit old school when it comes to keeping track of grades and I like to do it by hand.

Student Conferences

One area I vowed myself I would improve in is having reading conferences with my students. I still remember year one, when my then principal encouraged small groups only as they gave you "more bang for your buck." To be honest, it was hard to argue with her when we were expected to meet with students at least every other day. But this last year, I started doing more conferring and man- do you get a lot of information about your students as readers and it is so much DEEPER than what you could get out of a small group. Don't get me wrong, I'm still doing small group work too next year, but I need to weave in time to do conferences too.
I use student numbers to save time and resources year to year so each of my students has a classroom number. As of now, I have 29 4th graders coming for me next year. But that number will likely rise so I'm prepared. I used these awesome paper clip tab things from Staples and card stock that never gets used due to its colors and made more dividers where I can put student conference sheets behind. I can also add post-it notes about the student from small group on their divider page. I'm envisioning printing off some post-its with some basic information from initial reading conferences and assessments too.
I used a conferring sheet last year that was inspired from Donalyn Miller (author of The Book Whisperer and Reading in the Wild) and will use it again this year.

So, there it is. I'm hopeful that this will be a tool I'm constantly utilizing to not only keep track of my students and their progress but also to give me inspiration and guidance to help them grow as readers. How do you keep track of student progress? I'd love to hear it!



Signature

11 comments

  1. I love how you have "unpacked" the standard. Do you sell the template for that? I am going to share this concept with our instructional coaches. The way they are doing it now is a total beatdown.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't yet, but I may. I haven't decided yet, as I'm worried most people would want it to be editable and that takes a lot more time to format. So we'll see :) Thanks for your interest!

      Delete
  2. Love, love, love! It's cute but functional, and I like how you have everything you need at your fingertips! Looks like you have a great plan for being organized! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's the goal that it's all where I want it to be, yet I can add and take things out too. Here's to hoping! :)

      Delete
  3. Please tell me the binder, section tabs, and rubrics will be on TPT! This would be so helpful for me!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't decided yet, as I'm worried most people would want it to be editable and that takes a lot more time to format. So we'll see :) Thanks for your interest!

      Delete
  4. I am curious as well if the rubrics will be on TPT. That would be a FANTASTIC resource!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I haven't decided yet, as I'm worried most people would want it to be editable and that takes a lot more time to format. So we'll see :) Thanks for your interest!

      Delete
  5. I completely understand, Kelli, but I'll keep my fingers crossed that you do decide to upload them! πŸ˜‰

    ReplyDelete
  6. Fingers (and toes) crossed that this makes its way to TPT! LOVE your resources :)

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a fantastic binder! I really need to be more organized with my data this coming school year, so I too will join the list of individuals hoping you make this available on TPT - even if you don't make it editable!

    Whatever you decide, thank you for sharing your ideas!

    ReplyDelete

Powered by Blogger.
Back to Top