Saturday, January 24, 2015

Interactive Notebooks for Guided Reading

Over the past two weeks, I have started using interactive notebooks as part of my reading group instruction. This is something totally new for me and I have to say... I am LOVING it and so are my students! When students come over to reading group now, they always ask "do we need to bring our notebooks? Are we going to do another page?"

This year, I have six guided reading groups reading texts ranging from a level C up to a level J. Each group has such different needs so I have been doing unique activities with each group.

Today, I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching with her fabulous linky, Five for Friday!! Here's a peek at my 5 favorite reading notebook activities!

I'll start with my intervention kiddos! These are the activities that I did with my two lowest reading groups this week. One of the groups is reading at a level C and the other is at a level E. I have a lot of kids that are in need of reading intervention this year and these notebook pages are perfect for them! 

 In this first interactive page, students wrote CVC words that matched a picture. Then, they cut out the pictures/words and glued them under a heading depending on the vowel sound.

The finished product:

We are learning about blends and digraphs in our literacy instruction and this group drew lines to connect pictures to their beginning blends. Simple and effective!! One of the things that I love about these notebooks is that students keep them in their book bins for Daily 5 and they often look back at their work. Great way to revisit their previous learning!!

This last interactive phonics page was completed only by my lowest reading group, my level C students. They connected CVC words to their pictures.They did a really great job with this too!

All of these pages can be found in The Sassy School Teacher's fabulous product, First Grade Phonics for Interactive Notebooks. These are super cute and a huge time saver for me. Great, interactive practice for my intervention students! Click the link to check it out in her TpT store!!

Okay, moving on with some of my other reading groups! My next level reading group is my level F group. This week, we read a text called My New Pet. After our typical reading group of strategy discussion, reading, and fluency work, we practiced responding to the text through writing. Students had to think of three ways to care for a pet that were mentioned in the text. We had a great discussion about the differences between "ways we already know how to take care of a pet" vs "ways that were mentioned in the text." 

Now, for these interactive pages, I am not using an existing product. What I have been doing the past two weeks is just quickly creating headings, questions, sorting activities in Google Drive at school in the mornings. Since the prompts and activities are so specific to the text that we are reading, I'm not planning on making a TpT product with these "text-specific" resources. However, later in this post, you will see an interactive page that features a common core aligned language activity. I may consider compiling some of those pages in a product for TpT at some point!

Here's a look at my simple headings/questions that I put together in Google... three to a page and printed to our color printer... simple!! Especially when I'm running around like a crazy person in the morning before school... please tell me I'm not the only one!

In Google Drive, I started a folder to house all of my interactive printables, organized by guided reading level so that I can easily print these out next year or when other guided reading groups reach that level text.

Okay, moving up in the guided reading continuum... this is the activity that my level H group completed. We are working on nonfiction texts and text features. This week. students read a nonfiction text about sea turtles. We practiced writing facts and focused on using the text to support our writing (checking factual information, spelling help, etc) but then putting our ideas into our own words. 

This group LOVED this activity! I guided them in writing two facts and then they wanted to write more on their own later in the week! This little darling filled a whole page in her notebook!

Finally, my level J group is working on summarizing and sequencing. We read a longer fiction text over the course of a few days and students wrote about the beginning, middle, and end of the story.

This group also went the extra mile and filled more than one page in their descriptions of the story!
The last type of interactive notebook page that we completed was a Common Core Language based activity. This activity was completed by all of my students. We are learning about nouns. This week, we have been discussing the different meanings of "s" on the end of a noun (plural nouns and possessive nouns). We began this activity by finding all of the nouns in our sentences with an "s" at the end and highlighting them. Then we cut and pasted the sentences under the headings based on if they were plural or if they were possessive.

This was another one of those pages that I quickly put together before school one day. Here's a link to my Google Doc if you'd like to print and use this in your classroom! It's not fancy, but it was very effective with my students!

I hope that you enjoyed a look at a topic that is quickly becoming near and dear to my heart. These reading notebooks are a big motivator in my students' learning! 


  1. Just a few questions because I have been wanting to do more in guided reading. I have 4 groups each for 15 min. Do they do the notebook part with u on the table? And how long are your groups?

    1. Those are great questions! I meet with my groups for about 15-20 minutes. I meet with my lower groups three times a week and my higher readers twice a week. We haven't been doing the notebooks every group time because I want to get a lot of reading and strategy discussion into the group time. When we use our notebooks, we often complete the notebooks at my table at the end of group time, but sometimes, I get them started and explain the directions and have them finish independently during their word work round of the Daily 5. It's definitely a work in progress for me! Hope that helps.

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  3. I love this post! I used Interactive Notebooks last year in 4th grade and my students I fell in love! Since moving to first this year, I've used them some with math, but not with reading. Your post has inspired me to give it a try. I love the idea of doing them during guided reading so you can personalize the learning for everyone. Thanks for all the great ideas!
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