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How to Set Up a Small Group Literacy Binder

Classroom Setup, ELA Organization, Literacy, Small Groups & Literacy Centers

Written by: Katie Palmer

Planning and organizing small group reading can be a challenge! Lucky for you, team Lucky Little Learners has all your reading small group needs covered with the Small Group & Intervention Literacy Kit! This post will walk you through the steps of setting up and using your small group reading binder.

how to set up a small group literacy binder

First off, what is the Small Group & Intervention Literacy Kit?

As you can see, the literacy kit is LOADED with helpful teaching materials and strategies. Now, it is time to build your small group reading binder!

Suggested Supplies:

  • binder
  • page protectors
  • 3 hole punch
  • dry erase markers
  • sticky notes

Binder Sections

Does this Literacy Kit look like an amazing tool to teach small group reading? Then why not set one up in your classroom? Grab a binder (we all have an extra one, two or seven laying around) and put in the binder cover and dividers. Your small group literacy binder is best divided into the following sections: Data, Lesson Plans, Groups, Resources, Calendars and Notes.

1. Data

The Small Group Reading Literacy Kit includes assessments to help teachers pinpoint exactly which areas students need additional help in. (There are assessments in Phonemic Awareness and Phonics, as well as a Student Data Booklet.) This should be the first section of your binder as this is the first thing you will use with students!

phonics survey to assess students skill levels to prepare for targeted small group instruction

Tip: Keep your original assessment copies in page protectors. (Then you know when you need to make copies!) Next, make a few copies of each level of assessment so there are always copies ready to go. (Teachable moments come without knowing!)

2. Lesson Plans

The second section of the small group reading binder is Lesson Plans. There are many amazing lesson planning resources included in the Literacy Kit.

small group lesson plan templates for multiple groups in one elementary classroom

There are a couple ways to set up this section.

  1. Have one original copy of each lesson planning sheet that will be used. Next, make copies each week of the sheets you need.
  2. Or, at the beginning of the year make enough copies for each week. Next, hole punch them, date them and ta-da you have a small group reading lesson plan book for the year!

Which lesson planning pages are best to use?

This resource includes a few different small group reading lesson plan pages.

  1. Guided small group lesson plan templates: These templates lay out a tried and true format for small group lessons. First, teachers simply need to input their weekly focus. Next, fill in the boxes for each section. (Sections are: Set Up, Teach, Engage, Practice & Show What You Know.)
  2. I Do, We Do, You Do: This template focuses on the three part teaching strategy-I Do (teacher modeled) We Do (teacher and students do it together) and You Do (student independent practice).
  3. Or, for broader planning, simply list the materials needed and quick instruction notes for each day on this planning page.

Tip: It might also be helpful to have a copy of the skill progression (included in the Literacy Kit) in this section to checkoff as the year goes on!

1st and 2nd grade phonics skill progression sheets to guide small group lessons


Keeping your groups flexible is best practice in small group reading instruction. Two different templates are included in this resource (one square and one rectangular format). Group member names and weekly focus targets can be listed on the templates.

small group planner options for flexible instruction

Tip: Place the small group reading planning sheet in a page protector. Use a dry erase marker to write student names in groups. Then, when needed, erase and move student names to a new group.

Bonus Tip: Put student names on post it tabs. Put these tabs on the group planning pages and mark what skill each student struggled with OR mastered during the day’s lesson.

2 Ways to Get This Resource

All Access member? Download free.

toothy task kits

Or... Purchase the bundle in our shop.

toothy task kits


The Small Group & Intervention Literacy Kit includes instructional resources & hands-on intervention activities for: comprehension, fluency, phonemic awareness, phonics, sight words and writing. These activities are purposeful and engaging.

Tip: Put a post it tab on the first page of each resource section to separate.

Bonus Tip: Print a copy of each resource to keep in the binder. Then, all resources are always ready to be prepped.

What is included in each section?

  • 1st & 2nd grade Comprehension Toothy: Characters & Character Traits (with Toothy Mats)
  • Comprehension Bookmarks
  • Printable Comprehension Dice
  • 7 Graphic Organizers
  • Open-Ended Reading Question Cards (to guide discussions)
  • Vocabulary Routine
  • Bookmarks featuring fluency strategies
  • Fluency Technique Strategy Cards
  • 24 Fiction Reading Passages (with comprehension questions)
  • 24 Nonfiction Reading Passages (with comprehension questions)

For a closer look at these reading passages, head here: 2nd Grade Reading Comprehension Passages.

Phonemic Awareness
  • Phonemic Awareness Toothy Task Cards
  • Sound Boxes
  • 1st & 2nd Grade Short Vowel Phonics Mats (Check out Phonics Mats FREE here: Free Phonics Worksheets)
  • Decoding strategies bookmarks and mini posters
  • Phonics word & sentence lists: these are amazing! There are word lists for 50 different sounds, each with 20 words and two sentences.Teachers will never need to wrack their brains to come up with practice words again!
  • Word Building Cards & Mat
  • Best of All: Word Building Folder! After the prep work is done once, it can be used multiple times! Students will have ALL the needed materials to build words through meaningful practice.
word building folder for application of phonics small group lessons
Sight Words
  • Heart Words Mat & Cards-PERFECT for practicing sight words
  • Sight word flashcards
  • Sight Word practice mats
heart words resources to use with reading groups in 1st or 2nd grade

2 Ways to Get This Resource

All Access member? Download free.

toothy task kits

Or... Purchase the bundle in our shop.

toothy task kits
  • Sentence Scrambles-practice sentence editing
  • WOW Sentences-practice writing more detailed sentences
  • 4 Writing Prompts with several graphic organizers each
sentence building activities for reading interventions in elementary

BONUS RESOURCES: The Small Group Reading Kit ALSO includes hands-on literacy activities/interventions.

There are several ways to prep and store these. Options include:

Note: The storage items above are Amazon Affiliate links.


It is helpful to have a calendar section in your small group reading binder. This way planning by month is done in a snap! Plan by sound, theme or unit!

basic weekly small group schedule sheet


The last featured section in the binder is for notes. How did a lesson go? Who needs more help on a certain skill? The small group reading notes template are exactly what you need to keep anecdotal notes on student progress!

sample small group notes sheet to track student observations during small groups

2 Ways to Get Literacy Kit Resources

Join All Access to download everything we've ever made.

toothy task kits

Or... Purchase the bundle in our shop.

toothy task kits

Other Helpful Posts

If you found this post helpful, check out these ones too!

Happy teaching!

how to set up a small group literacy binder


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