Monday, July 8, 2013

Small Group Organization with a Monday Made It to Boot!

A few days ago I posted about getting a schedule down for next year and figuring out times where I could meet with small groups for reading. As I have been reading this awesome book:

The next thing I decided to tackle this week was organizing! Last year I did something similar to what the sisters suggested and had a 'pensieve'.

I don't have a picture of mine as I left it at school, but it's similar to the picture above. Each child had their own pocket divider where I could put notecards and such, plus still have the ability to clip in papers too. I remember thinking how organized and ready to go I was at the beginning of the year. I mean my binder was colorful and had snazzy pockets, how could this go wrong right??

Well, if I could show you a picture of how HEAVY this thing was, how hard it was to lug around when conferring with students, and then taking it home each night to reorganize and go over notes? Yeah right! There was no way this baby could make it home with me. It took up every last inch of my teacher bag with just it in there ALONE and doing the one handed carry... well let's just say that it usually made it down to my car, but I can't really say it ever made it back out of there.

So after reading Debbie Diller's book, I decided to try something similar to the pensieve, but make it more manageable for me to take around. So instead of using a 2.5 or maybe 3 inch binder (yes, it was THAT enormous!!), I've decided to go back to the old 1 inch.

I sadly don't have my AWESOME pocket tabs, but wanted to take a picture to show you my thoughts. I'm planning on having no more than 5 groups, so will therefore use 5 pocket dividers. Diller mentioned that any more than that becomes hard to keep track of.

Behind each pocket divider will be lesson plans. I used Jan Richardson's lesson plan format from her book The Next Step in Guided Reading which differ based on student's reading level. Diller includes some of her own plans broken down by comprehension, fluency, vocab, phonics, and phonemic awareness. I haven't decided which to use, and perhaps it will just depend on the group.

Now behind the lesson plans, Diller suggested dividers that have each student's name on them. Here you can put their running records which the book suggested you do on notebook paper. Starting out each small group lesson, I want to take one running record on a student, while the others are reading at the table. What a quick and easy way to keep assessment ongoing, but not overwhelming! I'll get more into what I plan to do in small group in my next post though!

Now along with running records, I am hoping to take better notes of my students, especially when conferring with them one on one. I've tried sticky notes, labels, notecards, the awesome Daily 5 conferring sheet.. but I either lost these things or couldn't find them when I needed them. This year I am going to try notecards AGAIN but this time file them in those awesome pocket dividers. Then once they are filled up, Diller suggest putting them in one of these:

Now you have a mini file of notes on students! I'm really hoping this could be the answer for me.

Now the last thing I have included in the binder is my small group organization folder. Basically all I did was laminate two pieces of cardstock, taped on a piece of cute duck tape to hold the two together and voila! You've got yourself a homemade folder!

On the back I put the DIBELS scores for the beginning, middle, and end of second grade and correlating reading levels. 
 Hopefully this will be much more helpful than scouring through mountains of papers (usually in the recycling bin!) or asking my team leader for yet ANOTHER copy. I'm sure she'll be thankful to see this! (Click here to download the dibels table! Click here to download the reading levels!)

Now on the inside I glued 5 colored strips of paper (before laminating of course) to represent the 5 small reading groups.

The strips of white paper are an awesome resource Diller included in her book that shows you some things to work on at each different reading component. I plan on laminating these, and then velcroing them on to give me ideas for what this group needs to work on or what they have mastered. Easy to write on as well if they are laminated.

I'm also thinking about putting their names in those tabs you usually use for file folders. That way I won't have to laminate and can easily change names by slipping the paper in and out. I want to velcro these on there too, which will make it easy to move their names to different groups as the year goes on. Not sure if I will leave them that large, or cut them in half so I can fit more names on the folder.

I'm really excited to finally have MADE SOMETHING even though it is late Monday night- it still counts!! And I'm organized. Things are looking good! Also here's the the DIBELS table in grades 1-5 if you are interested in it!


Tiffany Ellis said...

Great ideas! I want to be this organized too! I bought Debbie D. Math Station book last year but never got around to implement it. I want to try it this year! Thanks for visiting my blog (and commenting on my cake). :)
Love your blog and just started following you!!

Shannon said...

I LOVE your small group folder! What a great, yet simple, idea! I just might be stealing that :)

Lana said...

I love your small group folder! Very organized!

Kristin Kennedy said...

I'm really trying to be more organized this year. These are great ideas!

iTeach 1:1

Elizabeth said...

Very nicely organized! Thanks for linking up with us :)
Fun in Room 4B