Organizing Reading Levels

After so many years of teaching fifth grade students, I'm still getting the hang of how different my reading program is. In my experience, classroom libraries tend to be organized so differently in primary classrooms compared to junior. For example, I had a leveled library in fifth grade, but each book wasn't leveled to a specific Fountas & Pinnell level as it is in my primary classroom, but rather to an overall grade range. It didn't seem quite as necessary, somehow. Perhaps it was simply that the leveling tools seem to favor the primary literature, perhaps it is just a result of having so many Canadian resources in my library - I simply couldn't get more detailed information than a general grade level.

Whatever the reason, I'm feeling the need to focus much more closely on current student reading levels for my independent, guided and home-reading programs. With this being my first year teaching primary grades I'm still completely in this learning curve. I had a great list of student groups written up with the book levels penciled in next to each name, but after a couple of weeks that was simply no good... the data was redundant already! So, I've been playing around with some other organizational strategies.

Enter the standard file folder and a handful of stickies. BINGO! It seems so simple now!

I separated the inside of a folder into sections for each of the reading levels in the range of my students' abilities, placed their names on stickies, and now I'm able to move them quickly and easily, plus it is a piece of cake to pick out meaningful groups based on reading ability.
I have removed the students' names from the photo, but you get the idea. If you have a great strategy for organizing reading levels I'd love to hear it! I'm still looking for ways to make my primary class run smoothly!


  1. What do you use to test your kiddies for a reading level?

    1. Hi Barbara! We use the PM Benchmark system primarily for leveling student reading. As a quick check I've been using the Reading A to Z benchmark passages with running records. They provide a quick check and the RAZ site provides a correlation chart so I can be sure the levels are matching up to our system!


    2. Great way to have an organized visual of current levels.

    3. Thanks! It is just so easy and convenient! Glad you stopped by! :)



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