Reader's, Writer's, and Spelling Binders

Hi everyone! I know I've mentioned the student binders I've been working on in the past. Well, I finally got one set put together yesterday!

And I'm linking up with my fabulous friend Tara for her famous...
So. I am trying something a bit different this year and I'm using two binders.

One will be for our Reader's and Writer's Workshops, plus Spelling...
(Math, Science, and Social Studies will be in a separate binder...I won't be introducing those to my class until the second week of school, so more on that soon!)

Back to these binders! So, last year, I had a Reader's and Writer's Workshop binder and I really loved it. It was the perfect place to store Reader's Responses, anchor charts we created together, graphic organizers, etc.

I wanted to add Spelling to the mix as well, since there is so much overlap among the three subjects.

I also divided three subjects among two binders so I could have more sections! One thing I learned from last year was the more sections I had set up, the easier it was for my students to really organize their resources. And here are the sections...

For Reader's Workshop we have the following tabs:
  • Reader's  For notes, anchor charts, anything from our mini-lessons.
  • Responses  For our Reader's Response questions.
  • Records  To keep track of books read in class.

For Writer's Workshop, we have two sections:
  • Writer's  For notes, anchor charts, anything from our mini-lessons.
  • Notebook For student writing pieces. I like the idea of having an actual notebook in Writer's Workshop, but I also use a TON of graphic organizers, so I ultimately prefer the binder setup.

And for Spelling:
  • Spelling  For notes and spelling work for the week.
  • List To store and keep track of our spelling list. I've grown weary of lost lists each week!!
  • Resources This section is the very last one for a reason. As I mentioned last evening, I'm looking to store word features and patterns discussed during spelling, so that student can utilize them with their writing. I'm hoping to add not only spelling resources, but also Reader's and Writer's Workshop resources for the students in this back section.
I have a lot more to share about these binders, but it's kind of hard without seeing them without the actual work inside them! So I will definitely be blogging more about them once school has begun. more thing! I also have gotten a (tiny) bit carried away with the numbering system this year, thanks to Tara and Teri! I can't stop numbering things!! It has made getting my room ready SO much easier this summer.

I even numbered these binder covers, 'cause I like how it looks with the design. Plus I don't have to wait for a final class list. If you would like to download a set, please click on the image below:
Do you use binders with your class? Or notebooks or folders? Or a combination of them? I would love to read about your favorite set up!


  1. wow........this.looks.amazing.

    Love it, love your blog, love your designs. Keep up the great work! Thank your for continuing to share your outstanding ideas : )

    Forever Grateful,
    Tales From a Traveling Teacher

    1. What a nice thing to say--thank you very much Kelli! :)

  2. Amazing as usual!!!! My head is spinning....I may have to put these onto my list for next year....or wait....maybe this year....I could add it, just have to tweak what I do....something for me to obsess about the next few! Love them:)

    4th Grade Frolics

  3. So good looking, Kristen. I'm not at all surprised. I can't wait to see how you put these to work in your international classroom :)

    And, Tara: add it...change is good ;) Just take deep breaths.

    Fun in Room 4B

  4. Kristen - I love your blog as well and look forward to hearing more about your binders. I'm starting Reader's Workshop binders this year and am not sure exactly what I want to put in them yet (my students don't start until September 6th here in NJ.) I also use the numbering system in my room which is super helpful since I work on a military base and kids are constantly coming and going. It makes things so much easier!


    1. Hey Michelle! Thanks! I will try to share them asap. We have a lot of kids coming and going in our program too--I don't know why I didn't number before! :)

  5. Hey Kristen!

    Amazing Job!

    What is the font you use for the title Readers Workshop and Spelling

    I love it!

    Keep up the great work!

    The Reading Corner

    1. Thanks and sorry for the delay! It's coffeehouse espresso by sweet shoppe designs!

  6. Oh my gosh, I LOVE YOU! We are actually using 3 composition books (reading response journal, math journal, and writing journal) and then they are have a data notebook in a binder (which I need a cover for, hint hint). I am determined to find a way to make these covers work in my room!

  7. I love these and they will work perfectly in my fifth grade classroom! Thanks so much for being so generous with your designs!!

  8. OOOH LOVE!!! I am so doing notebooks next year. We used composition notebooks last year and this year, and I just don't have the flexibility with those. I'm loving this idea and can't wait to change it up next will be on my summer Monday Made It list for next year :)

    Super Pig and Tyrant King

  9. I love keeping my kiddos organized- you always have such great tips! Thank you :)

    The Learning Tree

  10. Thank you so much for posting about this. I am training the teachers at my schools in Balanced Literacy and welcome any information to pass onto them. I used reading and writing notebooks in the past. My reading were spiral notebooks and writing were composition. In my reading notebooks, we had a section for reading logs and resources and another section for responses. I really thought I had a third section but for the life of me can't remember. lol I like the way you divided yours.

    I bookmarked this page and will definitely be checking back from time-to-time to see your new posts on notebooks. I will also pass your blog onto other teachers in my schools. :)

    Thanks again :)

  11. I love how you put it in just one binder. What font did you use for the tabs and what font do you use most often? Thank you for all of your hard work. Your amazing. I use composition books for writing. I might switch if I can find binders for a good price.

    1. Thanks, you always leave such nice comments Kimberly! It's coffee house espresso by sweet shoppe designs, my all-time fave!

  12. These are absolutely wonderful! My grade level team just does a writing binder, and it's driving me nuts not to be able to put more than just writing things inside! Maybe I'll sneak some other stuff in there...

    On another note, do you buy all of these binders yourself? They can get expensive! Where are the best deals???

    Thanks for another fabulous freebie that I can't wait to use :)

    1. I did buy them...not sure if it was the best buy but I was crunched for time. They were just under $2 each, I think and I got them from Shoplet. Thanks for visiting and the kind words :) :)

  13. I have used reading binders each year with sections. They work great! I also hole punch their reading folder and place it in the binder so it's less hole punching to do and the students just place their work right in their folders when they are done. It keeps the binders neat and kids stay focused without having to wait in line to punch papers themselves or disturb a reading group.

  14. Your awesome. ALMOST makes me wish I taught older kids, almost. ;)

    Ms.M's Blog
    A Teacher's Plan

  15. Gave you a shout out on my blog today -- thanks for sharing your amazing creations!

  16. I just decorated my classroom yesterday and hung up the D'Nealian Alphabet and the Genre Posters I purchased from your shop!I'm so in love with them and my black and bright room! Stop by and see my photos if you have a chance! The room is not completely finished yet but I'm ready for my second graders!

    Creative Lesson Cafe

  17. USB drives that every classroom should have!!

    To help Teachers prepare their classrooms for another exciting year we are offering the following promo to all Teachers, Staff and School Administrators:

    Fun and Cool USB Drives: 20$ off orders over $100 use promo code: TeachersRule

    Go to
    Offer is good through 9/30/12

  18. Kristen, You are my blogging idol. I have been asked to speak at a technology conference in October and I am looking for advice. Please check out my post and if you are willing link up with some tips, help me spread the word I am hoping some of these amazing teacher bloggers out there can help me narrow down what I should really focus on for my presentation.

    Thanks, Mindy

  19. Love your idea... last year I did a literacy notebook, combined reading and writing. Wasn't happy with it and trying to figure out how to do it this year. Love your idea. I have the binders and will give it a try. THANKS!

  20. Your covers are so cute!!!!! I LOVE your designs!!!! You are so talented! I'm using notebooks this year (actually I'll post some pictures today). The binders get too heavy for my kids and I hate seeing loose leaf paper all over the place :)
    Can't wait to see all that you're going to share with us this year!! I hope you have a wonderful year my friend!

  21. I so love to get my kiddos organized and keep them that way. I have also found that binders are the way to go...things can be added without difficulty!

    Love your binder covers.

    Mrs. B's Nook

  22. Great idea! What font do you use for the tabs? They are super cute!


    1. thanks, it's coffee house espresso by sweet shoppe designs :) :)

  23. I love ladybugs, so I had to check out your page..then come to find you name is the same as mine too! I also have a reading binder, sub binder and more in my store, plus lots of freebies. I do a 10 weekly teacher finds on my blog too. In addition, I have writing prompt cards for writing sticks with an adorable ladybug theme actually.

    Your blog is great and I love the design. Thanks for the ideas and tipss!

    Take a Walk on the Teaching Side

    My Teachers Pay Teachers Store

  24. Hi Kristin,

    I have been looking all summer for a way to setup a binder for my 5th graders (ELA). I was wondering if you still like this layout or if you have changed anything. Love your blog!



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