Organizing Small Group Materials

15 Dec
My small group table.

My small group table. The seats are storage crates from Target that I covered. GREAT for fitting lots of kids and not dealing with chair feet (and they can double as storage! Click on the picture for a link to the blog that shares how to make these.

Working with small groups requires organization.  A lot of organization.  I’m using a small, cheap bookshelf to hold my supplies right next to my small group table.  Each pencil tray holds a pencil, dry-erase marker, eraser, container for magnetic letters, and sticky notes.

Student Supply Tray

Student Supply Tray

I organize student books and writing journals by reading group.  Each group has its own book box, where their small writing journals stay.  That way, when I begin a group, one student can easily grab a pencil tray for each student, and take out the group’s box.  It’s easy set up, easy clean up.  You can grab these simple supplies almost everywhere.  If you’re looking for high-quality materials, and a lot of choice, I would recommend abcstuff.  It’s a site devoted to resources for reading and reading recovery materials.

Bookshelf near the table with student supplies.

Bookshelf near the table with student supplies.

For my own records, I currently use a binder.  It’s divided into sections, one per group, and a back section for resources, such as word-work pages and research.  Each group’s section has the lesson plan for what the book we are reading, and on the back of a lesson plan is a recoding sheet where I jot down my running records, observations, or place a student work (usually sticky notes with their jottings.)  I don’t love it yet.  It’s convenient to have everything together, but somewhat cumbersome to use.

Binder with a pocket for books to read with groups.

Binder with a pocket for books to read with groups.

It’s important to have a system that works for you, or the sheer quantity of materials will make you crazy.  I’d love to know how you organize your small group supplies!  What’s working well for you?

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