Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Classroom Organization Part 1: Guided Reading Books

This is the first of a series of posts about classroom organization. Today I will explain how I organize my guided reading books. 

I use my filing cabinet for organizing my guided reading books and I love it. I have tried many systems including large totes, small bins that were stacked on shelves to save space, placing them in a closed cabinet (the one to the left of the filing cabinet) but, this one is my favorite. I just changed to this method in the middle of this school year and as you can see I haven't had a chance to cutesify them yet. This will be a summer project! So, let me tell you the reasons why this is my favorite way to organize my books.

1. It is so easy to get books out and more importantly put them away when I'm done with them. This is a big one because I'm not so good with the returning part. I tend to get busy and just shove the bags somewhere.
2. It is so easy to organize. Grade levels get their own drawer. 
3. It is close to my Guided Reading table which makes for quick and easy access. My filing cabinet also  fits in this unique little hole in the wall that makes it seem like it is just part of the wall. Filing cabinets can seem big and bulky sometimes but, location is the important thing to make sure that it looks visually appealing. 

Each drawer then has the books organized by level within that grade level band. For example all of the 1st grade books are at the front of the drawer and the 2nd grade books are in the back of the drawer. Third grade has their own drawer because I have the most of those books. Since during guided reading we are reading books on the students instructional level we are are typically reading a 3rd grade text with the majority of my groups. The books are also organized in order from easier to more difficult text within that grade level band. So, DRA 14 books, then DRA 16 books, 18, etc. 

Each drawer then has sets of books in a labeled ziplock bag with the title and information about the book and if it is an AR book then I have also written the level on the bag. I let my students take an AR test after we have read the book in small groups. 

That's it. A quick post on guided reading book organization!