This is part three in my Guided Reading series. If you missed Using Linking Charts or Back to School Reading Assessments or the Welcome Flip Book click the links to catch up with us! I find that keeping anecdotal records is essential to my teaching and the students’ progress in guided reading. I use these anecdotal records to help me decide what to teach next with each student and group.
I’ve been a binder girl! I kept all my records neatly organized in a binder. Information like letters or sounds students can identify, sight words known, running records and all my notes on each student. I kept a binder for each group. That made it easy to grab the binder for the group I was meeting with and just keep it with me as I met with them.
I like to keep the level and percent of the books I give running records on and also the self correction ratio. Taking notes on what cues the student is using is also valuable for what I need to teach next. I get all this information from taking running records.
My students are below grade level in reading so we work hard to learn sight words. Keeping track of their words lets me know what work we still have to do.
Keeping track of phonemic awareness and phonics skills is a great way to determine where your lessons should head next.
But now, I have to say that I have switched from using the binder to using the iPad! I use Notability app now on my iPad. It is not free, but it is worth the money- $7.99 I think. This is not a paid promotion, I just want to pass on to you how easy it is to use this app. Look how pretty the colored folders are!
The folders are super easy to set up. I have mine set by grades using the divider tab: Kindergarten, First Grade and Second Grade. Then under each grade level I create a subject (student).
One of the great things about this app is that you can use the PDFs you already have and use those on your iPad. So the same forms I WAS using in my binder, I can now use in Notability on my iPad. You can even pick and choose what pages you want. So the non-grade specific anecdotal records form above can be uploaded to each student.
But I don’t want all the sight word lists for each student, so I only upload the ones each student would need.
Download your file from Google Drive. Then for each student upload the file, deselect all, then select only the pages you want to add. I like to group like pages together for each student: sight word lists together and anecdotal forms separate. You can duplicate the forms right within the app so you will have what you need and not run out. NO MORE COPYING!! Or hole punching!
I use the highlighter to quickly mark letters/sounds or sight words known when doing a quick assessment. On this form, I typed in the name. My handwriting on the iPad is not the neatest. lol!
Besides typing and highlighting, you can use the pen to choose colors and width of the pen. When I am writing, I like the pen on a very thin setting. This page is for the whole group at once, so you can just create a subject- I called it All- and put forms there that would be for the whole group at once. Just open it instead of flipping back and forth between students. The forms used in both the binder and on the iPad can be found here.
The stylus that I use is the Musemee Notier Prime. It has a plastic disk on the end and is the best stylus that I have found for writing on the iPad. Those stylus pens with the round rubber tips do not write thin enough. Another trick for writing these notes is turning the iPad sideways so the boxes are enlarged! You can even use your fingers to enlarge the screen, write your notes, and then pinch it back to regular size.
Now a question for you- Do you keep anecdotal records in a binder or on the iPad? Or maybe another way?