Showing posts with label Featured. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Featured. Show all posts

 For 10 years, I built a balanced literacy classroom with an emphasis on guided reading.  I worked hard to master the art of intentional small groups, knowing each of my kids levels, their strengths and weaknesses, and whipping out a new guided reading schedule in my sleep.

And after 10 years, I had it down pat for the most part.  Doing guided reading was in my blood.  I believed in it because we saw growth in students.   It was what I knew how to do...and I was good at it.

And then I went through my first science of reading training and realized the guided reading model wasn't evidence based.  The Fountas and Pinnel levelized readers were not facilitating decoding.  They were encouraging kids to use context and pictures to guess unknown words.  This was a HUGE mind blow and mental shift for me.  

But when I really sat down to reflect, I realized that while some kids were growing, others just weren't.  Many of my babies would progress to a level C and just get stuck and never move on.  

There were other problems with it too.  I would have a full group of level G kids, but half of them struggled reading the text and the other help needed comprehension work.  So, I was having to split my instructional focus because I didn't want to have to split them into two separate groups...because of TIME.

Speaking of time...  A good, guided reading group takes 20-30 minutes.  That means I could meet with 2 groups a day.  10 groups a week.  And if I met with my kids who were really struggling every day, I only had one other group a day I could meet with...without extra help from other teachers.  What about my bubble kids that really needed me every day?  What about my high kids that were bored and needed some extension? 

How could I be everything to everyone and help facilitate their growth in reading?  It was time.  It was time to say goodbye to my career-long BFF, guided reading.

It was at this point, that I started a long-term sub position in kindergarten.  The school had moved to science of reading and our whole group reading curriculum very much aligned with the science of reading.  But I couldn't NOT do any small group work.  

The guided reading teacher in me wanted to hurry up and form some reading and pre-reading groups.  But we didn't have levels for kids, because that's not best practice.  But I had to do something to give my kids small group intervention.

That's when data driven reading groups were born.  That's when I decided to use the reading data I DID have on my kids to group them and work to improve their weak areas or extend their strengths.  That's when I realized that levels didn't matter.  

Because inside of all of those levels were a variety of skills the kids needed to be able to read at that level.  And not all kids on a level G reached that level for the same reason.  For some, it was decoding.  For others, it was retelling.  For others, it was a language or vocabulary issue.  

By throwing out levels, and digging deeper, I could group kids by their gaps in skills and fill those holes to help them progress even faster.

And the best part?  Most of the time, that skill work required 5, 10, 15 minutes tops.  So, I could meet with at least 3 groups a day during 45 minutes of centers in kindergarten.  And sometimes 6 or 7 groups!

Data driven reading groups were an absolute game changer for me.  And they can be for you too?

Are you ready to make the switch?  In my next blog post, I'll be talking about the nuts and bolts of data driven reading groups and what you can do to set them up in your classroom. (HINT:  It's a bazillion and one times easier to figure out that guided reading.  Really, it is.)

Guided Math Workshop was a new structure that came about as I was leaving the classroom for my mommy break.  Why the change in my math block time?  I loved the focus we had on problem solving before, but it was hard for me to feel like I could conference with all of my kids.  I also struggled with the need to do small group instruction, but not having a framework for managing that.

And lastly, I needed more balance between kid-guided problem solving and direct instruction.  So Guided Math Workshop was born.  Here's a look at what a week of guided math workshop looks like now!


On Mondays, we introduce the goal for the week through a mini-lesson.  Sometimes, we read a book, sometimes we watch a video, and sometimes we work through some digital slides with some discussion together.  I spend about 15-30 minutes on this, depending on the activity.  Here is one of our mini-lessons from when we practice drawing shapes with specific attributes with a personal favorite, The Greedy Triangle!

Then, we do a brain break video that relates to our goal for the week.

After our blood is flowing again, we have some kind of math talk that ties to the goal for the week.  This is my chance to model math notation and how to show our thinking during problem solving time.  It also gives my kids a chance to hear strategies from the whole class.  Here's a math talk we did on the dry erase board brainstorming ways to regroup.

And here's another math talk we did using the riddles from The Grapes of Math.

After our math talk, I introduce the hands-on game that the kids will play with partners during the week.  We play the game as a whole group so that I can teach them the game and model how to fill out the response sheet.  And then we are ready for the rest of the week!

Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays look exactly the same.  This is perfect because if we have a four day week, we can just have 2 days of this rotation schedule instead of 3 and not much is taken away from the math instruction except for more practice time! :)  Here's the routine for these three "rotation" days.

Launch Math Mysteries

For the first 5-10 minutes, we launch the story problem the kids will work on independently for the day.  I edit the launch slide in our rotation slideshow and pull it up during our launch.  We review our goal for the week, read the problem, and we talk about what we know about the story problem and what we are trying to figure out.  The launch is short and sweet, because I want to give kids time to work on the problem and figure it out on their own.  

Then, we continue the rotation board.  This is a timed powerpoint presentation that shows kids exactly where to go. Once I move to this slide, the chimes will sound and the rotations begin.  It will give kids 15 minutes to work on their first rotation.  At the end of 15 minutes, the chimes will sound again and go to the next slide which shows the kids where to move to next.  The names and even the time is completely editable and found in my plans for 1st grade or for 2nd grade.

**NOTE: Yes, I know this doesn't spell math.  Long story short, sometimes the rotations are out of order to make sure each group gets to every station when they need to get to it.  Want the long story?  The very detailed explanation and directions are included in the plans.**

Let's take a closer look at each of the rotations!

M: Meet With Me

During this rotation, kids come back to my small group table.  For *most* kids, this rotation comes immediately after their at my seat time where they have been working on solving the problem.  We use this time to share our strategies with kids who are in similar places in their problem solving skills.  I can use this time to extend or give extra support to these kids and model notation that specifically applies to certain kids.

For my lower babies, they come meet with me first.  Why?  Because most of them are unable to get started independently and need extra support.  So, during their meet with me time, we might act out the story problem or even work through the first level of problems.  By the end of this 15 minutes, these struggling mathematicians are ready to finish solving the rest of the problems independently and they will move straight to At My Seat next.

A: At My Seat

During this rotation, kids work on independently solving all 4 levels of the story problem.  This is a quiet and independent working time for these kids at their seat.  Remember, the low kids have just come from meeting with me for extra support before they start.  And the rest of the groups will be coming to meet with me after this to share their strategies.

T: Technology

During this rotation, kids work on our goal for the week on a device.  I have used websites like dreambox, I-Ready, starfall and abcya.  With my 2nd grader at home this year, I am using these fluency Google Slides assignments.

H: Hands-On

During this rotation, kids play the game we modeled together on Monday.  Some games I play take longer and will take the whole week to finish playing.  With other games, I have the kids use a different version each day (like a new tic tac toe board).  Most games are designed to play with partners, but some can be independent.  This is the only station where kids might be talking/whispering.  So, in general, rotation time is pretty quiet except for your hands-on kids and the kids at your table! :)


After the last rotation, we get back together and reflect.  This is my time to talk about what worked (with the math and with behavior, etc) and what didn't.  It's also a chance for me to address any common problems I saw with the problem solving that day or strategies that I want everyone to see.  But, mostly, this time is more like a class meeting about our math time!


Fridays are non-rotation days! We start off working through our spiral review of grade level math skills with our digital math wall time.

Then, we work on counting collections.  You can read about those routines here, but it's one of my favorites!  

Sometimes, later in the year, I start doing counting collections every other week and fact fluency practice on the off weeks where we practice our math facts.  (Read those routines here!)

If we have time, we do another share time at the end of the day where we share counting or fact fluency strategies, or any other things we need to discuss with our goal for the week!

You can find these detailed plans and materials for 1st and 2nd grade guided math workshop below.

It took me almost 10 years to find my groove with phonics in my classroom.  If I'm being honest, I spent the first 9 years of my teaching career hating phonics and making excuses to just not teach phonics or spelling in my classroom...or so I thought!  Mostly, I hated scripted phonics lessons.  I hated reading thick teacher I thought I hated phonics altogether.

Then, after 9 years, it hit me!  There were pieces of our daily and weekly routine that were very much phonics and very much who I was a teacher too!  So, I spent some time combining our routines and a few of the "good" pieces from some scripted phonics lessons I had been trained on and came up with a weekly phonics routine that I makes me look forward to our phonics block (who woulda thought??)

I spend about 15-20 minutes on direct phonics instruction each day.  Of course, my kids get more work on phonics with decodable readers in guided reading and word work during stations...but this is our whole group phonics block time!  Here's a look at what we do each day....but if you are more visual, watch the video to see my routines here.


First, we read through our phonics chart (2 minutes) ...either the alphabet chart, blends chart, or vowel chunks depending on our focus sound for the week.

Then, I introduce our new sound (3 minutes).  Let's say our new sound is long e as in ee or ea.  I show my kids pictures of our long e pictures and we say the word together.  My kids listen to see if the word has our focus sound.  They give me a thumbs up or down to let me know if the word has our focus sound.  If the word has our focus sound, we then listen for the position of the sound.  Is it at the beginning the middle or the end?  My kids touch their arms to show me the position of the word (see my video on this).

Next, we look at words that have our focus sound and sort them (2 minutes).  For our example focus sounds, ee and ea, I would sort the words into an ee and ea category.  At this point, we are really just focusing on looking for the focus sound and not necessarily reading it fluently yet.  I will read the word and then have them tell me where to sort it.  We sort it whole group.  Then, I can add the same sort into their word work station to do independently or with partners later.  Find the whole year's sorts here.

After our sort, we decode our words--slippety slide style (3 minutes).  We have 3 words that decode each day of the week (except Fridays). You can watch me model slide, slide, slippety slide in this video.  We do this for each word.  We slide the first word together.  Then, I ask, "what long e pattern do you see in this word?" and call on a random student to answer.  Then, I ask that same student, "and where is the sound in the word?" and they answer beginning, middle or end.  Finally, we highlight the pattern in the word together.  We repeat this routine for each word.  This can be done whole group on the interactive powerpoint, or can be done as guided practice with each student having their own word list.

Then, we work on spelling with our break it down chant (3 minutes).  If you've seen my spelling video, you already know this routine.  It's available to view here, so I won't rehash in this post!  As soon as we finish decoding our word list, I tell my kids to get their dry erase boards ready and while we are transitioning, they practice writing our sight words on their boards or spelling words we've already learned for the week.  Once everyone has their boards ready, I introduce 2 new words  on Monday with our dry erase boards and our break it down chant.

Finally, we introduce new sight words (5 minutes). We use the ASL sight word videos I included in the phonics units..  I love them because it's a tactile way to practice spelling sight words while also learning sign language!  


Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays look very similar to Mondays with minor changes.  Here's a look at Tuesday!

First, we read through our phonics chart (2 minutes) ...either the alphabet chart, blends chart, or vowel chunks depending on our focus sound for the week.

Then, I introduce our phonics poem (5 minutes).  I read it to them without showing them the poem.  Then, I reread the poem and students listen for our focus sound and I have them give me some TPR (total physical response) when they hear it.  For our example ee/ea sounds, when my kids hear that long e sound, they smile really big and put their fingers in their cheeks because I teach long e as the sound that makes us smile! :)  Next, I show them the poem and they look for our focus pattern with their eyes.  We highlight the focus sound words together.

Next, we decode our words--slippety slide style (3 minutes).  We decode 3 new words from our word list for Tuesday.

Then, we work on spelling with our break it down chant (3 minutes).  During our transition to dry erase boards, students write our spelling words we introduced yesterday.  Then, I introduce two new spelling words with the same routine as Monday.

Finally, we do a sight word hunt (5 minutes).  We go back to our poem and reread it together looking for sight words.  I have kids come up to our interactive powerpoint and circle the sight words they see in our poem (new ones from this week and old ones).


First, we read through our phonics chart (2 minutes) ...either the alphabet chart, blends chart, or vowel chunks depending on our focus sound for the week.

Then, we sort real and wacky words (3 minutes).  You can read about why I now LOVE using nonsense words in phonics instruction here!  We decode each word together and decide if its real or wacky.  If it's real, my kiddos open their hands in the shape of an open book--it's a real word we can find in a book.  If it's fake, they do the crazy sign around their ears! :)  Just wait for all the giggles!!

This is another activity that gets added to my word work station for partner or independent practice later on!

Next, we decode our words--slippety slide style (3 minutes).  We decode 3 new words from our word list for Wednesday.

Then, we work on spelling with our break it down chant (3 minutes).  During our transition to dry erase boards, students write our spelling words we introduced yesterday.  Then, I introduce two new spelling words with the same routine as Monday.

Finally, we leave our dry erase boards out and play sight word I spy (5 minutes).  We do this whole group.  I say, "I spy a sight word with 4 letters."  The kids write a word with 4 letters.  If anyone gets it right after the first clue, they win a ticket (our school wide character reward system).  If no one has it, I give another "I spy a sight word with 4 letters that has a 'c' in it."  We continue until I have at least one winner.  We play for about 5 minutes.  Once we've modeled this game several times together, we play it with partners later in the year.


First, we read through our phonics chart (2 minutes) ...either the alphabet chart, blends chart, or vowel chunks depending on our focus sound for the week.

Next, we decode our words--slippety slide style (3 minutes).  We decode 3 new words from our word list for Thursday.

Then, we review our six spelling words from Monday-Wednesday on dry erase boards (10 minutes).  We do a practice spelling test whole group on their dry erase boards.  This is another activity that we do whole group at the beginning of the year and as they learn the routine, they do a partner practice test with dry erase boards later on.

Finally, we practice our sight words in sentences.  Sometimes I show the sight word and have students use it in a sentence for me or turn and tell their partner a sentence for the sight word.  And some weeks, I have sentence frames already with fill in the blanks to decide which sight word goes in which sentence.  These are on my interactive powerpoints for each week.  Just know that some weeks I switch it up and have them give me their own sentence for the word instead.


Everybody knows Fridays are crazy.  Teachers are ready for the weekend.  Kids are ready for the weekend.  And it's pretty much assembly day where I'm at too!  So, the best thing I did to help me be more successful and consistent with my phonics block was to do a phonics test on Friday at the beginning of the day and be done! :)  ...well, almost!  On Friday mornings, I have my kids come in and get our phonics poem for the week, add it to their poetry folder, and highlight our focus sound words and circle sight words like we did together on Tuesday.

You can read about my phonics tests and how I assess in this post.  And find my pre-made year worth of spelling tests that align with my phonics program in this packet.

And if you are interested in using my interactive phonics powerpoints, you can find the bundle in my store!

Math talks are a great way to engage kids in conversations about math.

They are as simple as talking to kids about, what's the big deal? Why are math talks all the rage right now in the primary classroom?

Bang For Your Buck

Maybe it's just me, but, YA'LL!!  I'm stretched thin for time with my firsties.  And it keeps getting thinner every year it seems!  Math Talks are quick.  10 minutes or so in my first grade classroom.  Yet, when I do a math talk, I am addressing at least 5 of the 8 Standards for Math Practices.   Depending on the content for my math talk, I can easily hit 3-5 Common Core Math Standards in that 10 minutes as well.

With the precious little time I have with my little math minds, I want to be sure I'm getting the biggest bang for my buck.  Math Talks are perfect to squeeze in and make me feel like I'm spending my time wisely with meaningful content.

Enhance Your Math Block

Math Talks can be used in SO many ways to enhance my math block.

I've used them as a model lesson at the beginning of math workshop when we are doing partner math games as a way to give some content background before practicing a skill during game time.

I've modified our CGI share time and done a math talk instead.  When I do this, I take a story problem equation from that day and use it tov do a math talk.  That way, I'm practicing the math within context (during story problem time) and outside of context using the equation only during our math talk.  This works really well when students have struggled with a new story problem type.

I've even used Math Talks as my entire math block by extending the length of it.  I don't recommend this all the time, but for math talks about shapes, measurement, or data/graphs, longer math talks can be really, really beneficial!

Fluency, Fluency, Fluency

Math Talks build confidence in my first graders.  And building confidence leads to fluency.  They are able to connect with and see other friends who think like they do.  And the power of adding kids' names to their strategy is a miracle worker!  6 year olds will do anything to be able to see their name on the board and "own" a strategy!

Besides the confidence boost, seeing strategies that are lower level strategies help build fluency in my on and above grade level math minds.  The more I have to explain something, the better I get at it.  So, the more I see a particular strategy, the faster I get at solving it.

Modeling Math Notation

Math Notation is simply writing equations to match a story problem or kids' thinking.

Which means that notation is the math version of spelling.  In writers' workshop, we ask kids to get an idea in their head, and then write what they say out loud.

If I can say it, I can write it.

If I've said that once in the last 11 years, I've said it 1,000 times!  Math notation is no different than spelling new words.  Whatever my math thinking is, I spell out as the same order I say it so that it matches my thinking.

Math Talks give kids the opportunity to say their strategy OUT LOUD for all of us to hear.  And that gives me, as the teacher, the perfect opportunity to record math notation to match their thinking.  Doing this out loud helps us model this process for kids so that when they are solving story problems independently, they can work through this same process on their own.  Just like practicing sounding out words as a class helps students spell more fluently on their own.  And, like spelling, kids' math notation isn't always perfect when they do it independently.  Math Talks give me the opportunity to model correct notation for my little math minds!

You can watch me model this ten frame math talk and how to notate kids' thinking here!

Beef Up the Math Toolbox

As we say down here in Arkansas....there's more than one way to skin a cat.  My preschooler is learning this big time right now--just not about math.  One of his morning chores is to make his bed.  And, depending on how he slept the night before, it can be a bit of a problem to get his sheets and quilt straight.  Right now, we are stuck in the "I can't do it!" phase.  You know, the one where he tries it the way he usually does it and it doesn't work???  Of course, momma doesn't accept that answer.  My answer is simply, "What else can you do?"

The same is true in math.  Sometimes, kids {and adults!} get in a rut of solving a problem the same way.  And then we are in for a rude awakening when our one strategy we've been using doesn't work for a math problem.  So, the question is, "What else can you do?"

Math Talks give kids the what else.  They add more tools to their math toolbox.  Then, when they are solving problems independently, they have more strategies to pull from to help solve their problem.  In math, we call this flexible thinking.  Flexible thinking starts off with just trying out new strategies.  And the better we get at being a flexible thinker, the more efficient we get at choosing a specific strategy to solve a specific problem for a specific reason.

How Did You Get Your Answer?

I ask this question so many times during a math talk I think I say it in my sleep now.  A good math talk is all about less is more.  In 10 minutes, I could solve several math equations in a workbook and basically just be a living robot.  But in a 10 minute math talk, I solve 1 or 2 math problems and spend more time talking about the how.

How did you get your answer?
Why did you choose that strategy?
How is this strategy different than yours?

Math Practice #3 says I can construct a viable argument and critique others.  Seriously, they should just add Math Talk at the end of that one!  Because that pretty much lays out the heart of Math Talks! So, why do I want to have kids tell me how?  Research shows that kids who spend more time on fewer problems and are asked to explain their thinking outperform their more traditionally taught peers (Adding it Up).  And it's not just a research theory.  I've seen this in my classroom.  Think about your kids.  The kids that can teach someone else how to do something are our top performing students.  So, why not include a routine that builds that culture in our classroom?

Real World Experience

Let's face it, Math Talks are a model for the real world.  As an adult, I'm constantly presented with a problem to solve and I have to come up with a solution for it.  Then, I have to defend my solution {to my boss, my husband, my principal, or maybe even just myself!}  And if my solution doesn't work, I have to have a big enough toolbox of strategies and solutions to find something else I can try.

That's real life.  And that's Math Talks.  Talking about math in our classroom is one of the best ways we can learn academics and prepare our kids for the real world all in one!

Watch these videos to learn more about math talks, including watching model lessons on dot images, ten frames, shapes and more!.  And find my math talks here:

Thanks to the science of reading, shifting from guided reading to data driven reading groups is a big shift.  As I blogged about earlier, the planning can be easier, but organizing yourself, your students and your parents is key.  Unorganized, last minute planning means it takes me twice as long to figure out what in the world I need to be doing!

Let's chat about how I organize my teacher space, my students, and my parents for data driven reading groups.
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This is my Small Group Intervention area in my room.  I love having my table in front of my cabinet area because it makes for an easy place to organize all of my texts and materials for decodable groups and reading skill groups.

Organizing the Teacher

After assessing my kids' reading skills, I sort them by need.  You can read all the details in this post for how I organize my skill groups.

I have a laminated manila folder to sort my kids who need work reading decodable texts or my advanced kids that need work reading higher level texts.  I write each kid's name on a sticky note so I can easily move them from one group to another.

Each color represents a group: blue-purple-orange-green-yellow, with blue being the neediest group (usually the lowest level, but not always!) and yellow being the most advanced group.  I try to keep my reading groups in a 6 or smaller group.  My skill groups can go bigger if needed, but when reading a text, it's helpful to have them smaller if possible, so I can have time to listen to each individual read.

If I have "outliers" or one or two kids in a decoding level alone, I put those to the side.

When my team is finished testing, we sit together and try to place outliers.  So, if I only have 3 kids working on letter sounds and word decoding, that means I have 2-3 open spots for another teammate's sounds outliers.  I will add my colleagues' kids to my group to make a full sound decoding group.  And someone on my team will have a spot in their group to take my outliers too.  THIS IS SO HUGE that my team does this!! It keeps each of us from having too many groups and being overwhelmed.  And I'm not giving them my "outlier" kid for the entire year, just until I retest...or until they show enough growth to move up early to another level.

I also have a 3-ring binder for keeping plans and running records in.

I bought plastic color dividers with pockets to organize each group.  The colored dividers coordinate with my colored groups, so my blue group has a blue divider, etc...{I like to color code just a little bit, can ya tell?}

In the front of my binder, I keep my data sheets and my weekly lesson plans.

{In my Guided Reading Packet, I have a few options for the planning pages since we all think about this differently!}

In each divider pocket I keep decodable texts I'll be using for each group plus index cards for recording reading records.  These index cards are not only great data for how my kids are progressing, but they are also good for keeping track of which books kids have read and taken home.  I always highlight book titles on my cards when a student returns a book to school so I know if I can send another book home {I try not to send books home if they haven't returned a book...:)}

Yes, I do running records every single time I read with a group.  Religiously.  More on that later.

When a card is full, I file it away under that students' class number and keep them for the remainder of the year.

I store my decodable readers and passages in these plastic crates and they are sorted by decoding sill.

{You can grab the labels shown in my Guided Reading Packet.}

All of the decodable texts or any materials like these that I need for my reading skill groups are kept in the cabinets and drawers behind my table so I can easily access them.

Organizing the Students:

I purchased these chair covers a few years ago and just sewed on some ribbon to customize them for my room!  This is where we keep a dry erase board, abc and blends charts and a sock eraser and dry erase marker for our skill work.
This system is very easy for the kids to use and saves a ton of time! As a teeny tiny side note...each chair has the same color marker so they don't waist time fighting over seats or colors! :)  {Every single second is precious, right??}

At the beginning of the year, students get library folders with their library barcode and we use these as our reading progress folders also!  When I first test them, I staple in their reading level graph.  This is what the first grade one looks like for the girls.

When I finish testing them, we color in their graph for the level they tested on and we discuss what their goal will be for the next time I test them.  I've used this for a few years now and it is a really powerful visual for the kids.  I tell them all that it is a private graph and they can share if they want to, but it's not for bragging! :)

We also fill out a goal setting sheet and keep that stapled in their folder as well.

Those of you doing TESS or some other Teacher Evaluation system using the Charlotte Danielson rubrics can easily use this as "distinguished/4" evidence in your binders!  The students write the "grade level goal" {where they should be}, what their actual level is and we discuss whether they are  behind, right on target, or ahead, and what their goal is.  In the beginning of the year, we really have to emphasize what a reasonable goal is! :)

Any skills that we practice or games we play during reading groups, go in these color coded baskets {just el-cheap-o walmart bins with ribbon woven through them!} for independent or partner practice if they finish their work early or at literacy stations.

After reading groups, students put their decodable in their take-home folders.  I have these document holders that I 3-hole punch to put in their take-home binders.  When the book is returned to school, the decodable gets stored in their book box, which they read from when they finish early.  Their book boxes also have their own abc and blends charts, plus a numbers chart and any class booklets we have made together.

Organizing the Parents:

Let's face it...parents need organizing too! :)  I have a take-home binder I make for each kid that they take home every single day.  In that binder, are the plastic document holders I mentioned earlier.  This is where students put their books we read during groups that day.  They take it home and read to an adult at home for at least 10 minutes.

{{I should mention here that I am NOT a proponent of daily homework for a multitude of reasons that I will keep to myself for now! :)  But I fully believe that reading at home with your child increases their success in school...even just 10 minutes.  And to send a book home that a child can successfully read on his/her own just adds to that success!}}

*stepping off soap box*

In these document holders are two things {besides the reader}.  One is a parent log shown in the above picture.

The top of this page explains my expectations for reading at home with their child.  Once they have read with their child, the parent is to record the date, title and sign that they read it with them.  I also have a spot for any comments or difficulties they notice.  I check these logs every morning as part of my morning routine and highlight on my reading record index cards when the book is returned.

The other thing in the document holder is a bookmark.  I print these, cut in half and then fold into book marks.  The book mark is to use at home so parents can help their child at home like I am helping them at school.  It's to keep the language the same for the kids!  I also give the kids bookmarks to keep in their browsing boxes--which they love!

Congrats to you for making it to the end of my super long, organize me blog post!  As a reward, click on the bookmark picture above to download your own FREE copy!

And check out my Science of Reading Groups Packet which has all of these organizational tools and materials I blogged about plus MORE!

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