Planning for the Beginning of the Year

WOW!  This week was my first day back with the kiddos!  I'm whooped… You know how you plan so much for that first day and then when it's over you think to yourself… "What in the world am I doing tomorrow???"  Yep, that's where I'm at right now!

I thought I would share with you briefly about how I do my planning.  I use Planbook.  I used it last year for the first time and absolutely LOVED it!  It is extremely customizable and the best part is when you have a sub… it is WONDERFUL!!!  It's very easy to add the extra things that you want to say to a sub by simply typing it into your plans.  Also, many of my routines are in my plans automatically everyday just in case I am not there unexpectedly!

Here is a screen shot of my FIRST DAY basic plans…

Planbook does cost $12.00 a year.  I have purchased it myself and did not receive any compensation or anything for promoting this on my blog.

I am just beginning to get everything into Planbook this year.  There are tons of options and I am just tipping the iceberg here…

The other thing that I wanted to share with you today is planning your Guided Reading Groups.  

It's going to be a good few weeks of teaching routines in my classroom before we get to Guided Reading Groups but it's never to early to start thinking about planning for those groups.  First, I use Fountas and Pinnell Reading Benchmark Data from the end of the students Kindergarten year.  Now, I understand many students either regress or excel over the summer but it still gives me a good idea of where they are at as far as their reading level.  I can easily adjust my groups once I get started.

After I have my "centers" up and running and am ready to start Guided Reading I look at the levels of my kids to start the year.  When I start, I usually just look at their reading level.  After we move throughout the year I continuously change groups depending on level and/or skill.  There was a great post recently on Adventures in Literacy Land Blog by Wendy from Mrs. D's Literacy Lab that talks about grouping students depending on other reading skills in addition to reading level.

I have a Guided Reading Binder that I use for my groups.  

Here are some pics.  There are different very plain planning pages.  All I put on there is what groups I am working with each day and what level book I am using.

My groups are continuously changing throughout the school year so I use velcro on my pages in my binder.  I put each group page in a page protector and put velcro on the page.  I just type up their names (pretty small) and laminate.  I put a velcro dot on the back of their name and they can be easily switched!

Then I keep my Guided Reading Lesson Plans Levels A-Z in the back.  I use alphabet tabs and just put a few copies behind each letter!  EASY!  

And if you are feeling really super crazy and want to be ultra organized… I also have my Ultimate Guided Reading Toolkit.  It has about 400 pages of specific hands-on activities.  The activities can be used with any books (A-N Fountas and Pinnell).  They are not book specific only skill specific!

Now, get ready to FLY AWAY to your next stop!


  1. Those guided reading packets look awesome! And I like that planbook app. I need more organization in my life.

    Don't Let the Teacher Stay Up Late

  2. Your guided reading binder looks awesome! So super organized....I wish I was blogging back when I had my own classroom!
    BigTime Literacy

  3. I love your guided reading binder. I recommended your Ultimate Guided Reading Kit during a literacy training I presented to new teachers. :)

    Read With Me ABC

  4. I like the way you set up your notebook. I have been organizing my binder different every year for the last 3 years! I may use some of your ideas. Thanks!

  5. WOW! You're one organized gal! Thanks for sharing and I'll have to take a peek at your products. :)
    Literacy Loving Gals

  6. My next door neighbor uses Planbook and loves it! I have considered using it too but haven't taken the plunge. I just might have to to do it!

    Reading Toward the Stars

  7. I've used Planbook for several years. The administrators are soooo helpful and quickly get back to you with issues. They have listened to what their subscribers want, and every year it gets better and better!