Fall Break is halfway over and I have completed many of my big projects. One of them was to organize reading passages. In Kindergarten I used leveled readers, mostly the books from readingatoz. These books were simple to organize, put a rubber band around them and place them in hanging files. The bulkiness of the books seemed to give some breathing room in the filing cabinets so finding them, and filing them after we read them, was a breeze.
In third grade, we read a lot of passages during small group and organizing them has been a challenge. I started piling them and then forgot which passages I had copied and copied them again and the pile grew bigger. I asked a lot of teachers how they organized their reading passages and it seemed to be one of two ways - files or binders. I decided to go with the binder organization. It took 2 days to get them copied and organized and really this is just a good start, there are many more passages out there to copy and put in these binders.
Step 1: I purchased 16 binders from Sam's Club, they came in packs of 4, and a couple of boxes of sheet protectors. I looked through my passages and decided to separate them by reading skill.
Step 2: Find all the passages and materials I have about that skill. This binder is for Main Idea & Details. I placed my anchor chart in the pocket (anchor charts are from Amy Grosbeck's TpT Store-Reading Comprehension Strategies and Skills Posters)
Step 3: Gather all the graphic organizers to use with that skill and place them in the front.
Step 4: Use bright, happy colors of paper as dividers for the levels of passages.
Step 5: Put the passages in each section. I printed 7 copies of each passage and if they came with text-based questions, I printed 7 copies of those and placed all of the copies in a sheet protector (grab and go style). I started my collection with the Scholastic Passages and have added some from readingatoz. I purchased the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade books (thanks LJ for the idea) to use for each small group.
I also use task cards for skills practice during small group. My first set was purchased from Rachel Lynette's TpT store (Reading Strategies) and I place those in drawer organizers that I labeled by skill. I do not cut the cards apart, the students slip them in the dry erase pockets so they can mark the text, erase, and then the cards can be reused. The passages are used the same way-placed in a dry erase pocket so the students can mark the text, but then erase and they can be used later with a different group.
Step 6: Take the binders to school and find somewhere to put them for easy access (my next challenge) and continue to search for passages to use with these reading comprehension skills.
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