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! 


  1. OH! I love, love, love binders. You are talking my language here! :D
    ♥ Dragonflies in First ♥

  2. 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

  3. Awesome post! Thanks for sharing your Writer's Workshop Binder...I need to get started on mine..this is great info on how to get organized!

  4. You so live up to you blog name, you are FAB! Thanks for the freebies.

    Ms. M
    Ms.M's Blog
    A Teacher's Plan

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. 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!

  7. Hi! I loooove binders as well!!! I couldn't live without them! I am planning on coming to the meet up but I didn't get an email with any
    So excited to meet everyone!!!

  8. I LOVE binders. I have a ton of them! Your post is awesome! I love how you have everything so organized!

    Thank you for sharing!

    First Grade Magic

  9. 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 ;)


  10. You are SO organized! I gotta do better with that!
    The birthday theme is awesome! My son LOVEs Batman...who doesn't? =)
    First Grade Blue SKies

  11. Love how organized you are. I'm the same way!! I'm also OBSESSED with binders and use them for everything!! I have a Writer's Workshop notebook but really like the idea of a binder and conferencing worksheet. I just might have to recreate it. Great tips and ideas. Thanks for sharing!


  12. thanks for including us in your great post! enjoy!

    1. I'm a bit addicted to everything Erin Condren. I have the life planner too. Your stuff is TOO Cute!

  13. Wow! You are so organized... I need to get me some binders ;)
    LOVE your son's birthday theme! My son dressed up as Batman for Halloween and he still wears his costume around the house all the time! HA!

    Grow Up Learning.

  14. 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!

  15. love love love your binders!! I am looking for ways to organize and your binders such a source of inspiration!! Thank you!

    Apples and Papers

  16. Your planning and organization are amazing! Thank you so much for sharing! :)

  17. Wow, you are amazingly organized! You go girl! I'm hoping that comes with years of experience :)


  18. I LOVE all your binders! :)
    I always loved when Cosi came when I was a kid, so fun! Sadly, Cosi only goes to one of our schools since it is paid by our PTOs. :(
    Stories From Second

  19. 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!

  20. I just found your blog today and I love it! I can't get off the computer... I'm neglecting my poor husband and sweet babies!

  21. Love binders and Zazzle has adorable ones that you can customize. I'm a sucker for that.

    2B Honey Bunch
    The Best Endings

  22. What great tips. Thank you so much for sharing. I can't wait to graduate and have my own classroom, and I'll definitely be your newest follower.


  23. Hi! I like your writing conference sheets. Thanks!
    Grade ONEderful

  24. I love the way your binder is organized!


  25. Such cute ideas!!! Check out our blog for lots of FREEBIES and classroom photos!!! We have some new groundhog and Valentines day activities on there!!!

  26. Love your organization system!

    The WW cheat sheet comes from Book Muncher's blog--it used to be on ProTeacher's site.

  27. I'm drooling over your binders. In my opinion a girl can never have too many binders! Love all your forms and tips. Thanks for sharing!

  28. Awe, thanks to the shout out for my book! I am so flattered that you have it. You are so organized. I love your binders.

  29. 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!

  30. I would LOVE a copy of your lesson plans as well if you wouldn't mind sharing!


  31. Would you be able to share the lesson plan form you use? I am a first year teacher, and the form looks just like the way I TRY to organize my plans. I'd even be willing to pay for it. My email is Thanks!

  32. I would also love to be able to use your lesson plan form. My email is Your site is a-m-a-z-i-n-g!!!

  33. Will you be putting the lesson plan templates on tpt or tn? I would love to get a copy of them! If you are just emailing it, may I please have a copy? Thank you!! My email is:

  34. 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.


  35. Love your binders! What is the font on the covers? I love it!


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