Isn't this how it usually goes...the new year rolls around and we decide to get our homes and classrooms organized. I don't know about you, but word work materials can quickly become chaos! Many student groups, all on different levels needing different words, not enough time and soon enough everything is a mess!
Here are some easy to set up and easy to maintain ways I keep my word work materials organized and ready for my reading students.
1. Magnetic Letter Boxes
One of the biggest organization problems is all those magnetic letters! I have lots of letters and I just can't take it if they are all mixed up. This divided letter box is fabulous! It came with my letters from Lakeshore. If your school doesn't have the budget for that, you can get a clear plastic fishing lure box in the hunting/fishing department at Walmart. It works great too! I get asked about these boxes from Lakeshore. They came with stickers to label each individual section to help students find and put back the magnetic letters.
I keep our letters for making a new sight word in these little plastic cups from Dollar General. The cups make it easy to prep your words for all the different guided reading groups. I use different colors for different groups.
2. Word Sorting Cards Storage
We sort a lot of pictures for word work and they easily can become a mixed up mess.
And store them in these plastic pocket folders. This is a small one about the size you would use for coupons. This one has 13 different slots. I paper clip my groups and then store in the folder. I keep them by short vowels, long vowels, etc...
3. Student Baskets
I know some teachers hand out each set of materials they need during guided reading and then take them back. That just didn't work for me- personal preference. I bought these cute narrow baskets at Dollar General and I keep almost every single extra material they will need in them.
The baskets sit on my tables all of the time. Students are in charge of keeping the materials in the baskets- not me.
Pencils & eraser, dry erase markers & eraser (make up puff from Dollar Tree), paint strips for segmenting sounds, reading strategies bookmark, word cups and a pom pom are all kept in the baskets.
You can use the pom pom or bingo chip in the baskets to use when reading linking charts. No passing out extra materials. Keep it all right there!
4. Student Reading Notebooks
I started using Reader's Notebooks for my guided reading groups a few years ago and I haven't looked back! The work kept there is a great way to show progression of skills. This one with tabs make all the difference in helping students keep it organized!
I also have students keep their linking charts in the notebooks. I do not want to be handing these charts out all the time and taking them back up so in the notebooks they go and stay.
I place the charts in plastic sleeves first so we can write on them.
5. Phonics Binders
Seriously, I should own stock in notebooks! I use so many of them for my classroom, but it's what works for me.
These phonics word work binders are different from the student Reader's Notebooks. These binders are strictly for phonics and word work practice.
Using no prep, just print and use binders make it easy to get the materials into binders and into the hands of the students. The phonics binders can be used for word work during guided reading and during RTI intervention groups. Each student is placed in the binder that best fits their skill level and helps move them forward. It is so easy to differentiate within each binder too.
Hope these organization tips were helpful to you and helps you manage your work work materials!