Monday, February 10, 2014

Reading Response Sticks and Some Simple Organization Ideas

I have heard of and seen some products for question sticks but never could find any that met what I was looking for. I wanted to be able to put out questions for the standards I was teaching that week, so I decided to come up with my own. Common Core Accountable Talk/Reading Response Sticks.

 The Common Core State Standards require students to read closely and respond to complex text. By using these reading response sticks I can hold my students accountable for thinking about their reading. It also forces all students to answer and the ones that always have an answer for every single question to sit back and allow others an opportunity to speak.

Every card has the common core standard {Literature, Informational Text, Foundational Skills, Writing, and Language} in the bottom corner and every standard has a total of six response sticks with each strand on a different color for easy organization.

Keep reading to see how you can win a set of these!!

While I'm on the point of organization, I also want to share some things {small things, but it is the small things that make us teachers happy right} that I have done that make my heart smile.

The first is I chose this pocket chart as my free item from Highlights. Did you know if you send home their subscription forms all parents have to do is sign that they do not want the subscription and you get free items from that?? I chose this red pocket chart that I use to organize my papers we will need during the week. I labeled different sections of the chart with the days of the week and then on Friday afternoon I just slide in all of my copies in the appropriate place. It also helps during the day for me to see what we have left to accomplish {or sometimes what I forgot about...Oops!} I actually thumbtacked mine to the front of a bookshelf to hide the ugliness behind it.

These next two ideas are my favorite. First, I wanted to order privacy screens for my kids since they sit in groups but those bad boys are expensive! So, I asked each child to bring in a trifold board and had my husband cut them in half. We call them our offices and they think they are just big stuff now. They fit perfectly on their desks. I might even let them decorate their "office" soon. I know this is not necessarily organization but I had to share anyway!

This last idea is super simple it just took me actually getting it together but it makes my guided reading/math life so much easier. I used a crate and hanging folders to organize all of my group materials. Each group has their own color folder and I keep two sets in the crate. One has materials for this week and the ones behind have their materials for next week since I'm an ahead of the game kind of planner girl {I'm already planned for next week as of this morning}

The huge binders separate my math and reading sections. Click {HERE} to download the binder labels. You can't see but in front of the binders is another hanging folder that stores the materials I need for all groups such as my schedule of who meets when, reading strategy cards that I printed 4/page on, laminated, and put on a ring{I got them HERE from Cara Carroll}light pointers {Read that post HERE}, and my response sticks I mentioned above.

So I said you would have a chance to win a set of my reading response sticks. Just head on over and like my facebook page and comment on the post I started with the picture of this product{on my facebook page, not this post}with your email and maybe an idea you have of how you might use them in your classroom. I will pick one winner tomorrow night.

Good Luck!


  1. I love your color-coded accountable talk sticks! I think I would make a set for myself to use in small group, and then multiple sets for the students to pull and use when they are peer editing each other's writing and when they are Reading To Someone during our Daily 5 block! I absolutely love your products, and thanks for sharing your great organizational ideas!


  2. I would LOVE to win.... I would use these reading sticks as part of my literacy instruction. I often partner kids up to talk about what we are reading. It would be so easy to pass out discussion sticks to partnerships (have multiple copies of sticks) and that would be the topic they discuss....

  3. I love these. I could really use these in my guided reading sessions and in my Daily 5! They are very cute and really to the point. I love them!

  4. Love these "reading response sticks." They'd be great to use in guided reading groups, during Daily 5 and in centers! I love how you color coded them!


  5. Thanks for sharing these great ideas!!!