July 1, 2013

The Great Reading Response Binder Journey

It all started with this pin.

You see... Kaitlyn from Smiles and Sunshine, reposted a great reading response activity for Throwback Thursday called Interesting InterviewsSuch a creative and fun activity! Thanks for blogging about it Kaitlyn.  :)

Naturally, I pinned for later use, but then the wheels in my head started turning.

Wouldn't it be nice if all my reading response ideas were complied in one place?
What if...I didn't have to go searching through all my books?
What if... it was there?  In one place?  Organized?  WHAT?!?

Well.... that would be glorious!!

And so...the great response binder journey began. I pulled out all my books with graphic organizers and response sheets.  My goodness... I have a lot of them... at home...in the summer. Sheesh!

Lucy was not helpful.

 Riley was even less helpful.  He just looked annoyed the whole time.

I painstakingly flipped through all the books and flagged the goods and copied.

One of my favorite resources I looked through again was Constructing Meaning by Nancy Boyles.  I blogged about using this book here. Excellent resource! I was happy to go back and look through it because it reminded me just HOW good it was.  So often I think teachers (myself included) look for something new, but we already have great resources right at our fingertips... ya know? I should probably dig out the bible of all reading instruction: Guiding Readers and Writers by F&P. There is NO WAY I have used everything out of that big ol' book, and it is chalked full of good stuff. Hmm...

Anyway...time to get back on track...

Then, I hit the computer. I scrounged up all the organizers/responses I had created or had "stolen" from other awesome bloggers. AND THEN, I tackled the ebooks.

Let's fast forward here.  You don't need to know about every click and page turn...let's just say it was time consuming.

 I printed, I copied, I sorted, I sorted again, I labeled with post-its, and I finally put it all into my binder.

Ta Da!

I have 5 tabs: Strategies, Fiction, Non-Fiction, Vocabulary, and Foldables. The strategies, fiction and non-fiction tabs all have sub categories by skill. I lumped all the vocabulary and foldables together.  Apparently, my need to organize did not go THAT far.

Other books I found helpful in the reading response hunt were:

As I said, it was nice going back through what I already had.  I found a few gems that I had missed over the years and will definitely start using next year.  But, I didn't find anything like the cute Interesting Interview activity that I had seen on Smiles and Sunshine.  She found this activity in a book too, but it is apparently in the one graphic organizer book I do NOT own.  

So... I made my own sample and put this puppy in the back of my binder under... foldables, of course so I wouldn't forget about it.

I made my sample about the book, Escaping the Giant Wave, which I reviewed last week for Fiction Friday. Great survival/adventure story!

Below is the template I used for my sample response. Yours to download and use if you like for FREE!

And on that note, I'm linking up with Classroom Freebies for Manic Monday.  Enjoy!!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


  1. Amanda:

    What an awesome project! I am slowly working on something along those lines for math. I started with just organizing all my computer folders, and that was huge! Maybe by next summer . . .

    Math is Elementary

  2. I love this project! It looks like a lot of work, but so worth it!

  3. I'm thinking about doing the same, but with all my grammar practice. Just haven't gotten the motivation to do it yet.

    Oodles of Teaching Fun

  4. Wow! What an accomplishment! Thank you for sharing the template for the character interview! :-) Lauren Teacher Mom of 3

  5. Thanks for sharing the template!!

  6. I'm definitely adding this project to my "to do" list! Thanks for sharing. :)

  7. I love this foldable! I can't wait to use it. Since I'm looping up with my class I am on the "hunt" for new and fun ways to incorporate skills in all the subjects. Thanks!!!

    :) Nicole
    Tadpole Tidbits

  8. Thanks for sharing the template!! I love it

  9. Very nice post and also useful. I read every comments carefully. Thanks a lot.
    clipping path


Thank you for taking a moment to share your thoughts!