Reading Binder

Happy Friday, guys! It's my last Friday before school starts. Insert sad face. We are going to enjoy our last day by going swimming all afternoon so I wanted to pop in this morning and share my plan on having Reading notebooks in my classroom this year.

I've been pondering all summer how I will set up my reading notebooks this year with the school supplies the students will have. I've researched by reading many blogs, read this post on the Scholastic website by Beth Newingham, and thought about the ways I've used Reading notebooks in the past.

I don't claim to have any answers on what is the best method of organizing a readers notebook, but this is what I am going to try this year. I'll evaluate how it works and make changes if needed.

We are going to use a 1/2 inch binder (hopefully that can change to a 1 inch binder next year) for our Reading notebook. Students will create a cover page on one of the first few days of class. I created one on PowerPoint.

I have organized mine with tab dividers into 5 sections. Those are: genre list, book log, goals and progress, reading strategies/mini lessons, and reading response.

Now, let's look at each section.

Section 1: Genre listThis is really basic, but it is a good reference for students to use. This genre overview was found on THIS post.

Section 2: Book Log
My school uses Donalyn Miller's idea of having a 40 book challenge for 5th graders. I will not require my students to complete a reading log nightly. Instead students will keep a log of the books they have read using a book log.

I also have a "Books I Plan to Read" page in this section. Hopefully as we do book talks, students will find books they want to read and I'll encourage the use of this page. This was also found on Beth Newingham's post on the Scholastic webpage above.

Section 3: Goals and Progress
My goal here is to have a copy of the CAFE menu for every student. As I conference with them individually, we will be setting goals for each student based on their needs. I'll have the students highlight the goals they will work on during independent reading. We'll use this chart when I conference with them.
Section 4: Reading Strategies/Mini Lessons
This section will be new for me this year, but as I am teaching strategies and skills, this is where students will house information, notes, worksheets related to that lesson. We will keep that organized by using this table of contents, also found on Beth Newingham's post. 
Section 5: Reading Response
Because we will be using a 1/2 inch binder and I feel like space may be an issue, this section will probably not be utilized this year in this binder. Instead, we will use a pronged folder for our reading responses. So, students will have a reading response notebook. I have created this suggestion list using a variety of sources (Beth Newingham's suggestions and Rachel Lynette's reading response on TPT). Students will write me a reading response once a week based on the book they are reading. *If I feel like we can fit it into our binder, that would be ideal. If not, it can be it's own folder for now.
There you have it! I haven't used this method of organizing a readers notebook before so I'll see how it works this year.


  1. Everything looks so wonderful and organized!! It will save so much time throughout the year to have everything at your finger tips. Enjoy your last weekend before school!

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