Saturday, July 14, 2012

Documentation & a Freebie

        As you all know there are at least a million and half different ways to document your conferencing with your students.  If you are really fortunate your principal lets you pick the method as long as it gets done.  I have worked for the same principal my entire career so I am one of those really fortunate people that has had the opportunity to try and find what works best for me (after all I am the one required to write the info).  At first I had no idea how I wanted to record my notes so what did I do?  I copied my directing teacher's method that I learned during my student teaching.  I wrote down my notes on sticky notes and then transferred the sticky notes into a binder where each student had their own page.  This didn't really work for me.  It was a pain to transfer the sticky notes every day and it was way too overwhelming to wait until Friday.  I couldn't keep track of who I had already met with (I hadn't figured out yet that I could prewrite my students names down-oops).  Next I tried the pages of labels.  I prewrote the names out so I could see who I had and had not yet met with so this was a little better but I still didn't like having to move the notes because it was a pain and labels can get expensive if you don't catch them on sale and I needed the larger size so that I could fit everything that I wanted to document.  Then I found MY method!  I had begun typing up my lesson plans but was still given the traditional plan book so I then used that (free) plan book to record my notes.  It is wonderful!  I can divide the book in half one half for reading and one for writing, this year I want to see if I can divide it into thirds so that math can be in the same book.  I prewrite the names so that I can make sure that I conference with everyone before turning the page.  There is even enough space left over to double up my students that need multiple conferences per week.  I can usually get to everyone in a normal week so there are plenty of pages to get me through the whole year!

        There are also probably a bajillion different ways to record your guided reading notes.  I couldn't find just the right form for me, so I made it.  I am attaching the form I use just in case you haven't found your Goldilocks form for Guided Reading.

E-mail me ( and I would be happy
to share with you a FREE copy of my Guided Reading lesson plan.

        If you haven't found the "just right" form for you maybe my form will work for you.  If my form doesn't work for you don't be afraid to create your own!


  1. Your post made me laugh because I have done ALL of those techniques too. Why is it so hard to find the right thing? I tried to download your form, but got an error message. Was anyone else having trouble with that too?

    The Teaching Thief

  2. Hmmm ...trying to figure out what's wrong, hopefully I can fix the error. Thanks for letting me know!

    :) Nicole

  3. What a good idea! I've tried all of those methods, plus a couple of forms I created, but haven't liked any of them yet. Let the tweeking continue! (I'm excited to try yours.) Thanks for sharing.

  4. This may be asking a lot, but I'm also trying to refine my note taking. Would you be willing to share a picture of a page or 2 of your conference notes in this format? Thanks!

  5. Hmm not sure how to get you samples . . . if you e-mail me at I would be happy to share with you what I have.