Friday, July 18, 2014

Teacher "Must-Have" Items for Guided Reading: Five for Friday & Blogging Challenge Day 18

This morning, I'm linking up with Michelle over at Bigtime Literacy for her Blogging Challenge, as well as Doodle Bugs' Five for Friday, to tell you about my top 5 "must-have" items I use with my RtI groups for back to school (and all year long).  

First: Post-It Note Chart Paper!  Both unlined and lined chart paper are great for creating anchor charts with the students throughout the year.  I love the Post-It Note brand because I don't have to locate sticky clips to hang the charts.  They immediately apply to the wall, once removed from the table top stand.

Second: Post-It Notes!  I prefer different sizes and colors for various reasons.  Students record their thoughts, predictions, etc, and use them as "stop signs".  For example, I have students place Post-Its in varied places throughout a text to serve as reminders to STOP...THINK...RETELL.  Take a peek HERE for a Pinterest Board called "50 Post-It Lessons".  There are fantastic ideas on this board that I refer to  it often.  In addition, I love the FREE Sticky App for the iPads which allows students to record their thoughts, ideas, and text evidence while reading a book. 
Sticky App Icon
Third: Anything that highlights! Highlightershighlighting flags and highlighting tape come into play when the students are asked to "mark up the text" by underlining important details, locating parts of a word, marking unfamiliar vocabulary and confusing parts, etc., while "Eye Lighters" are helpful in maintaining a reader's focus while reading.

Fourth: PRE-Sharpened Pencils.  I make sure to have pencils available in my room for students to use.  I've had the same box for years, but the best feature of the pencils below is... (drumroll, please) they come PRE-sharpened!  I don't have to waste time standing at the manual sharpener attached to my entryway door at the start of the year.  I have more important things to do! ;) 

Fifth: Bags! The Fountas & Pinnell Intervention System canvas bags are durable Take-Home bags for the students to protect their books while traveling to and from school.  If the canvas bags get damaged or lost by the students, gallon-sized Ziploc bags come into play.  Ziploc bags are much easier and cheaper to replace.  The sandwich-sized Ziploc bags are great for word cards related to different sorts, as well as simple storage for small items.  

Well, there you have it, my top 5 "must-have" items (even though there are more than 5!) for the start of the school year.  Each of these items helps me support my students with guided reading and writing.  I highly recommend them.    

I can't believe the start of the school year is just around the corner!  I return on Friday, August 15th for a Teacher's Institute Day, but know I'll go back sooner than that to get things organized in my new room.  I have to change rooms, which I don't mind at all.  Lots of changes are happening at my school this year.  However, change makes us grow as individuals, which is always a bonus.  One day soon, I'll share some pictures of my new surroundings.  Okay, I'm going to end this post with a silly quote I found online. 

Happy Friday! 



  1. I would put all of these things on a "must have" list. I love the pre-sharpened pencils.

  2. Post it notes are simply the best! I love using them for pre- and post-self-assessment "bullseyes." Students write down what they know, what they want to know, what they learned, etc. (so adaptable) and mark it on the bullseye (can be right in the center if they feel spot on, or can put it further out if their not sure. AND it's anonymous. Easy and tactile assessment!

    Also, pre-sharpened pencils? I need to wipe the drool off my chin. What a genius product.

    Going Places in Fourth Grade

    1. Ha! Too funny about the drool and thanks for the Post-It Note activity! ;)

  3. Thanks for the pencil link--I will be headed that way. I adore school supplies, and your must haves are fantastic!

    Mrs. Bartel’s School Family

  4. yep, lots of those are on my list two, and never thought about ordering pencils pre-sharpened, but I can see why that is important! :-) Summer is going by fast, isn't it? Always does....have a great weekend!

    1. Yep, summer is flying! You have yourself a great weekend, too, Michelle. Thanks for stopping by! ;)

  5. We had the same idea--top 5 must-supplies! I also do NOT sharpen pencils. Who has time for that?! Staples has some presharpened (48 ct) for $3 and I just bought like 7 packs.

    I am ALSO a huge fan of the Post-It chart paper..way easier to take off and post somewhere :)

  6. This post made me want to go school shopping really bad! I know I'm not the only one, but school supplies are such a weakness - especially post-its!

    That Fancy Blog Boutique
    Teaching In A Nutshell

  7. I feel the same and I can NOT live without Post-Its! :-D Thanks for stopping by, Kristin! It's nice to see a new face. ;)


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