Before you begin the process of taking running record to organize your guided reading groups, it's important to have everything in place and ready to go.
I love to organize things in a binder so of course I naturally thought of having a running record binder to house everything I need for screening. Plus I love that I can carry the binder with me and squeeze in a few running records without being stuck to my guided reading table.
The first step to organizing your running record binder is to decide on the assessment tools you will be using. Most school districts have already decided this for you but if you do not have a formal provided benchmark system I suggest creating an account in Reading A-Z and using their running record material. This is what I have been using for the last several years.
Gather the materials
Alongside your running record system you will need a binder, plastic page protectors, and the printables shown above which are free to download. Just click on the download picture below.
ready the tabs
Print the tabs on cardstock and cut them out.
I also like to laminate my tabs and use a heavy duty packing tape to secure them so they last all year. I like the looks of adhering the tabs to the page protectors so they stick out from the binder's edge.
If you are using a school laminator which is a thinner laminate than the sheets from home, I suggest cutting and folding the tabs closed before laminating. After laminating you will take an exacto knife to cut open the bottom of the tab so it can be sandwiched on the front and bottom of the page protector.
lay out the tabs
The next step in organizing your running record binder is to take a page protector and lay out the tabs evenly down the side. I like to do this so I know how many tabs will show at once and to get the spacing even as I create the binder.
Then tape a tab to each page protector. I like to use double-sided tape, scrapbook permanent adhesive, or just plain clear package tape.
Add Running Record Materials
The last step is to add the appropriate running record materials to each page protector. For me, this means an assembled benchmark book and several copies of the matching running record assessment. Depending on the grade you teach, I recommend using at least a 2 or 3 inch binder because it does get full. You can also use two binders if you feel one binder is too full.
There you have it - a super simple way to organize your running records so they are all in one spot and easily assessible when you need it.
Please let me know in the comments below what is your favorite way to organize running records. I love hearing different ideas!
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