Wednesday, August 27, 2014

"Project Organization" for the Guided Reading Book Room is underway!

I'm going to start with some background information about our district that leads up to "Project Organization".  In previous years, our district used basal programs for reading, as mostly everyone did, before researchers uncovered better reading practices to develop competent readers.  When my school district began using the Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment Kits, everything needed to be revamped, including our reading program. Teachers were finding many students struggling to keep up with the class, when using the basal materials.  The stories in the anthology readers were too difficult for some students to read independently because they were not *just-right* books.  On the other hand, the same goes for the above-level students.  They were also not reading materials that were *just-right* for them.  Students were either falling farther and farther into the proverbial cracks or not progressing ahead at an appropriate rate.

To correct this problem, at the end of the 2012-2013 school year, our classroom teachers were asked to pull together any sets of books from their classrooms for the purpose of getting them leveled with a Fountas and Pinnell guided reading level.  The reading staff worked numerous hours leveling hundreds and hundreds of books.  We used Scholastic's Book Wizard and Literacy Leveler App, in addition to Fountas and Pinnell's Leveled Books Website to level all of the books that came our way.  Once the books were leveled, we needed to organize them for teachers to use. 

Book Wizard site
Literacy Leveler App
F&P site

Of course, the issue then became "Where do we store all of the books?"  The custodial staff was diligent in clearing out stored materials in a storage closet to create a Book Room purely dedicated to teachers accessing multi-leveled book sets with ease for use in their guided reading groups.  At the start of the 2013-2014 school year, teachers had access to a variety of fiction and nonfiction book sets.  

To keep titles and use of the materials organized, teachers used (still do!) an iPad and a QR Code located in the room to retrieve the check-out form attached to a working Google document.

Yes, this could be cuter. :)

When teachers click on 
Classroom* and F and P Level* tabs, 
class sections and levels appear.

Well, at the start of this school year, the reading team is noticing how the Book Room is slowly reverting back into a *storage room*Book Room.  Now that we've switched over to Lucy Calkins' Reading Workshop, we're spotting old reading basal materials on the floor and on rolling carts, encyclopedias (from the 1970s), previously used phonics programs, in addition to single and multiple copies of unleveled books squeezed onto shelves that were already organized and leveled.  

Needless to say, the reading team has been re-organizing it little by little since school started. Over the summer, our principal ordered even more leveled book sets for the staff to use with their students (yay!).  Those materials should be arriving in the very near future, so an organized Book Room is in demand!  Thankfully, new baskets and shelving units have been ordered, too. 

There's still loads to do for "Project Organization".  Above are the before pictures, but the make-over reveal pictures will be taken once the project has been completed.  Hopefully that will be very soon. Check back for an update. 


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