Binders, a birthday and Bingo!

 I’ve had lots of emails about how I keep things organized, how do I manage guided reading, writer’s workshop, life in first grade in general?  Honestly, after our day today, I might tell you that I don’t.  My sweet kiddos were seriously OUT OF CONTROL! I had sweeties crying that they weren’t friends anymore, kiddos copying, cutters, OH MY! That is not like my babies this year.  But I do try to be organized even in the chaos. It’s the one place I can be. Lord knows my home isn’t.  So binders and bins are my friends.  

This first binder goes with me everywhere. It has everything I need for lesson planning, student data, reminders, etc. I have it separated with dividers I created. Some of the sections not picture below are, Student Info and Data, Standards, Ideas for Future Lessons,  Math Ideas, Science and Social Studies Ideas and printables & of course my Erin Condren teacher planner.
These next few binders I’ve explained in previous posts, but are also always by my side. 
The first is my Writer’s Workshop Binder. If you are doing Lucy Calkins’ Writer’s Workshop and you love conferencing, then GOD BLESS YOUR SOUL.  I feel like I stink at it.  What compliment am I suppose to give to a page with one sentence that doesn’t make sense and no picture?  And choosing only 1 teaching point when all you can see is that they need, capitals, periods, spaces, details, etc.  Heaven help us all.  But I do believe that Writer’s Workshop works! My kiddos can seriously write some amazing stuff by the end of the year.  So I try to do my best at conferencing and this little binder helps! 
First I have pencils, markers and extra conferencing sheets.  Then I have a divider with each of my little kiddo’s names where I keep their conferencing sheets. This way I know what we’ve discussed previously and what teaching points I’ve covered.  I also keep laminated stories I’ve written with every kind of mistake or issue I see in my kiddo’s writing. I use these and my dry erase, to show my student’s how I make my writing better and what they can go back and do as writer’s to improve their piece.  Last, is a really nice cheat sheet I found somewhere with skills that strategies for writing.  
I have no idea where I found it…Sorry! 
 Next is my Reader’s Workshop/Guided Reading Binder
Here I keep my groups, my observations of each student’s reading during Reader’s Workshop and Guided Reading and my cheat sheet from Jan Richardson about strategies, word work and activities appropriate for each level of guided reading.  I used to carry around mini notebooks for each student during Reader’s Workshop and keep separate notes for Guided Reading.  Can you tell me why? I guess it only took me 11 years to figure this 1 binder worked.  You can read more about this binder here.
I also have a binder full of Reader’s Response sheets that I totally forgot to take pictures of today.  It is a 3 incher! That’s one big binder y’all.  It has tons of dividers that are labeled with things such as: Beginning/Middle/End, Problem & Solution, Story Elements, Characters, Predictions, Favorite part, Sequencing, as well as book levels.  Here I keep graphic organizers for all of these areas and response sheets I’ve typed up for books of specific levels.  
I have created a ton of reader’s response sheets for guided reading as well as Reader’s Workshop.  You should also check out Erica Bohrer’s book. I have a copy and love it.  
Finally, is my lesson plan binder.  I keep my weekly lesson plans on top and all extra documents that are needed behind.  
and all my copies that are needed for these plans are kept here:
So I hope that helps a little. Go out a get yourself a cute binder. 🙂
Next: I just have to share my sweet Drew’s birthday theme. 
He is so excited for a big old Super Hero birthday. 
Here’s his invite. I had to blur out the info, so we wouldn’t have any uninvited guests, but 
I promise it’s super cute before the blur.
And here is the cake he chose, via Pinterest! Darn site is costing’ me a fortune.
I also have to share some pics of my students because they look so darn cute! We had COSI today. It’s a really cool Science program.  The students learn about a concept and then get to experience that topic hands on. This year was all about Chemistry.
And last but not least. A few days ago I posted a little freebie Bingo Game. If you liked it, or have purchased my Super Sight Word Pack, I just uploaded a Super Sight Word Bingo.  It has all four quarter’s words on themed cards.  There are 8 different cards for each quarter so you can use them during interventions or small groups.  
I promise to post more freebies soon!
PS. If you are planning on joining Abby and I at our Tri-State Bloggy meet up, please check your email. There is one minor, teeny, tiny change.  If you haven’t received an evite from one of us, please email me and I’ll add you to the list. We need to know an exact number of guests. Thanks! 


Picture of Michelle Oakes

Michelle Oakes

Wife, mom of 2 boys and a bulldog, reading specialist, Target frequenting lover of fashion, home decorating, Cincinnati girl.

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38 thoughts on “Binders, a birthday and Bingo!”

  1. I love the idea for the writing binder! I am also inspired to revamp my guided reading binder! Thanks for sharing, I enjoyed your pictures! You're son is going to have a fliping ball at his party, I LOVE THE THEME!!
    Enjoy the rest of your week : )

    Ms, Wainwright

    The Diary of a Not So Wimpy Teacher

  2. Wow you are so organized! Thanks for sharing and motivating. If you are ever able to share your cheat sheets would love a copy for inspiration and guidance! 🙂 Amazingy cake…definitely a super hero of bday cakes!

  3. Will you come organize my room? 🙂
    Love the invitations and I saw that cake on Pinterest the other night and fell in love. I have girls though, so that wouldn't go over very well 😉


  4. This whole post was amazing!

    But I wanted to say that I feel your pain about your crazy kids. My first grade girls today reverted to August when they came up to me and said "Susie said she isn't my friend!" I was like, "Noooooooooo!!!!!!!"

    Marvelous Multiagers!

  5. What a long post, but chalked full of wonderful stuff! So many things I can steal, ahem, I mean use. First of all, I LOVE your writing conference note form. Thank you so much for sharing. I can imagine how it would help to keep guide your conference. I'm definately going to try it. Also, I never thought to keep my writing right there in my binder. I always try to refer to it, but how concrete it is to have it right there. The guided reading cheat sheet is awesome too. I did a google search for "Moving Up in Guided Reading" and the document popped right up. I've also already asked my principle to buy me the book. Now, I have to go read the other post you linked to (even though I thinkI read it before!) Thanks again for posting your wonderful stuff!

  6. Is there any way you can upload the actual documents you use for recoding notes and you lesson plan form? I am a first year teacher and I could definitely use these tools in my classroom. I LOVE your binder organization and I need my things to be organized in order to not go crazy. I would appreciate it!

  7. I just found your site through Pinterest, and I'm so glad I did. You are so organized, and while I strive to be that way every year, I find that as the year goes on it gets harder and harder. Thanks for all the great ideas! I can't wait to use some of them.



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