Must Haves for your Guided Reading Binder

I am a huge fan of using binders for organization. I have one for each topic in math, one for running records, one for a substitute…the list goes on! My FAVORITE this year is my guided reading binder. It has helped me be much more organized for my guided reading lessons which has resulted in more time working with students and less time looking around for books, activities, supplies ect.
Here are my top 4 MUST HAVES for my binder.

Lesson Plan Templates

An essential guided reading planning tool is a great lesson plan template! I love these from JD’s Rockin’ Readers because they specifically target skills for each reading level. All I have to do is fill in the group, and book title. Then I just check off which activities or skills we will focus on before, during and after reading!
I have a specific template for each group (I have 4 groups). My struggling readers have different needs (obviously) so I found this FREE early guided reading plan by Kelly Daniel that fits their needs better! Her free Guided Reading Resource pack can be found here. It is FULL of helpful printables!

Reading Levels Conversion Chart

My school uses the DRA for leveling students. However, I use resources that level with Fountas and Pinnell or Lexile so I am ALWAYS needing to reference the conversion chart. I love this free one from Supplies by Teachers. I have it printed in color and laminated. I keep it in the front pocket of my binder (sorry I forgot to snap a picture!)
Reading Level Conversion Chart

Guided Reading Warm-Ups

Here’s what a guided reading session might look like (depending on the group):
1-2 minutes: students reread previous books/passages
3-4 minutes: word work warm up
1-2 minutes: skill focus/book intro
6-8 minutes: students whisper read
3-4 minutes: book discussion/comprehension questions
That word work warm up has always been a struggle for me. I have a lot of activities for practicing sight words but when it came to specific phonics skills, I struggled. This year, I started using these one page guided reading warm ups. They include phonological awareness and phonics practice and focus in on a specific skills. I love that they are quick and provide an informal assessment! I print one per student and keep in my guided reading binder. When I meet with that group, I slip them into page protectors so they can write on them with dry erase markers.
If you are interested in checking these out, you can find them here: Guided Reading Warm Ups

Colored Pocket Dividers

I color code my reading groups and I found these plastic pocket dividers which are PERFECT for organizing reading materials. I store reading passages, graphic organizers and a copy of the book and lesson plans that come with our guided reading books.
One thing I have learned in the past few years is to ALWAYS have our next book or passage ready to go in case we finish early. I LOVE these differentiated passages from Meet Miss Parker.
I try not to keep TOO much in my guided reading binder so that it stays organized. I used to keep running record materials in there, too but it got to be too much so now that has a separate binder. What do you keep in yours?!
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