This binder is the cornerstone when it comes to teaching reading the TRwBB way. Subscribe below to receive our How to Make the Official Teaching Reading with Bob Books Binder guide absolutely free.
Also, here is a video that my awesome assistant Shelley put together that explains it really well:
How to Use the TRwBB Binder System
Because our students are learning to read the language as they go along, what is most important is reviewing at the appropriate frequency. The binder is really all about managing pace, and every single child will be different. This system allows us to all organize our binders the same way, while still catering to each individual child’s pace.
Here’s how it’ll work. Each new sound learned (whether it be a diphthong, a digraph, a long vowel, a basic letter sound, a sight word—whatever) will be written on a 3×2.5 card. (There is now a printable curriculum available and so you only need to hand-write cards if you’re using the free lessons from the blog.) This size card will neatly slide into the nine-pocket plastic pages. On the first day a sound is learned, it’ll go into the “daily” section. After a few more lessons, in which said sound has been reviewed daily, you — the Reading Teacher Extraordinaire — will need to evaluate. If the child is consistently doing well with the sound, move it to the Even or Odd section.
Now, Even and Odd represent the date. So, for instance, if today is February 14th, your student will review the cards in his Even section. On February 15th, have him review the Odd section.
If the child does well with Even or Odd (essentially every-other-day) practice, pick a day of the week — Monday, perhaps — and move it there. (If you have a day of the week on which you never do lessons, please do not assign anything to practice on that day.) In this simple act of moving the card from Even to Monday or from Odd to Tuesday, you have moved the practice from every-other-day to once-per-week. Do you see how this changes the frequency with very little effort?
When the child gets really, really consistent, pick a number between 1 and 31 and move the card there. This means that the practice will now be monthly, with 1-31 representing the dates of the days of the months. Please note that using the 31st will actually equate to every-other-month practice rather than monthly practice, so you may or may not want to assign anything to number 31.
Right now, because of the stage we are in, I have moved all of the basic letter sounds to monthly practice. I find that Daughter A. really does need that occasional review.
An Example Progression
Okay, so let’s say I just taught Daughter A. the ow diphthong. Remember our chart? I’m going to write it on half of a 3×5 card. Since this is a brand new sound, it goes in the daily section.
A week later, she is doing pretty well, so I decide to review it on Odd days only.
Two weeks after this, she seems to really have it down. I decide to move it to Wednesday review.
Three months go by, and I’ve noticed she is even reading the ow diphthong sound on her own. She really knows it. I take the card, and move it to the 22 tab, meaning that we will now only review it on the 22nd of every month.
An Example Lesson
I sit down with my student, binder in my lap. I open it up, and I head to the Basic Lessons section. Since I’ve already printed out all the lessons, I flip to where we left off. Last time. I write down anything I need to remember — especially anything we did different from the printed lesson.
Next, we learn anything new. Each new sound gets its own card, and I write each simple chart as we go along. I suppose it could be done in advance, but I never do that! If there is more than one sight word that day, I usually write them both on one card.
(Sometimes, we introduce a word as a sight word, and then later we introduce the rule it follows. Once that happens, these sight word cards can be thrown away, and the new rule cards kept in their place.)
Today, there is a new sight word: who. I write on a card.
I teach the sight word. “This says, ‘who.’ Look at it until you know it and can read it in your book.”
Next, there is a new blend to learn: ook. I write the ook chart on half of a 3×5 card (I keep a little stack in the binder pocket for this purpose). I place the card in the daily section.
Today is an Even day, so we review our Even section cards. It is also a Monday, so we review whatever items are in the Monday tab. Today is the 20th of the month, so we also review any cards in the 20 tab.
After all of this, learning the new things and reviewing the old, we read our new pages.
And that is all.
For further information (with bad pictures!), click here.
Know Your Students
This system works great, as long as you pay attention to your student. Is your student forgetting something consistently? Move the card backwards in the progression. Is your student bored with reviewing something? Move the card forwards in the progression.
It is that easy.
Get My Free Binder Guide!
The Teaching Reading with Bob Books method uses a special binder system in order to simply and easily tailor the frequency of review to the needs of each individual child. This free guide explains exactly what you need and how to build the TRwBB Binder so that you can get started teaching right away.