How to Organize Your Reading Program

One of the things I do as a materials creator is consider storage options as part of my initial design. I think about how the materials will be used my students and how much space I’m going to need. I designed these to work in hardware storage drawers, but there are other options!

Before we get into it, here are your important numbers:

  • The cards are all 3″ x 3.5″ (Picture cards, phoneme cards, and decodable readers).
  • There are seven rainbow colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink.
    • Each color has 8 card sets. (This means there are 56 card sets for the main part of the program.)
    • Each set has ~11 picture cards, 1 decodable reader, and 1 word booklet.
  • The phonemic awareness cards are designed to use up 14 “drawers,” but you could shrink (or expand) this “drawer” number without too much trouble.
    • Each of those 14 drawers would contain 3 phoneme cards and any objects and pictures you add.
  • General guidance is that you want to search for “Index Card Storage” or “Photo Storage” to find compatible options.

The Rhyme and Reason Reading Program

You need the materials before you can store the materials! Two formats, three options, pick what’s best for you.

Perfect for: Teachers who prefer to read on a screen and who will be using the materials for years to come.

eBook + Printable Materials

Digital Downloads: Get instant access, free lifetime updates, and easily replace lost or damaged card materials.

*Recommend Option: Perfect for Montessori teachers who will be using the materials for years to come.

Physical Book

The physical book will be easy to reference in class as you flip between sections. Order your copy on Amazon and it will ship directly to you.

Rhyme and Reason Reading Program Book

Printable Materials

Digital Downloads: Get instant access, free lifetime updates, and easily replace lost or damaged materials.

Perfect for: Homeschoolers who only need to teach one or two children. If you don’t own a printer, then this option is less expensive.

Physical Book

The physical book will be easy to reference in class. Order your copy on Amazon and it will be shipped directly to you.

Rhyme and Reason Reading Program Book

Pre-Printed Materials

Don’t want to print? Buy the separate materials book on Amazon and cut the pages apart. This book contains the same materials as the printable.

Rhyme and Reason Reading Program Card Materials Book

Note: The bonuses are not in this book, they are in the Freebie Library.

I have included Amazon affiliate links to products that I use and enjoy. These are for your convenience. I do receive a small percentage from every purchase without any increase to your price. Click on the pictures to be whisked away to Amazon.

The Full Classroom Set Up

This set up is optimized for student experience. It’s the biggest option as far as storage goes, but I like that multiple students can use the program at once (they just remove the drawer they are using). Everything is obviously labelled so the students can independently get their own work and put things away.

This set up is probably overkill for a homeschool environment, but you know your needs better than I do!

I use 3 of these.
Organize Montessori reading program
Sticker labels are included with the download.
Montessori reading program materials
Items in the main drawers: Picture cards, word booklet, decodable reader.
Montessori sound objects
Items in the sound drawers: Phoneme cards, optional assorted objects + pictures.

The Rainbow Set Up

This takes up much less space and is still attractive!

You will need some kind of divider, which you could DIY out of card stock, to keep the card sets separate. This set up may be a little trickier for children to manage completely independently because the cards will be snug.

Red Card box
Orange card box

The Limited-Space Set Up

I actually have one of these boxes on my desk. I use it as part of my personal knowledge management system (long story). It’s a lovely box with four built in sections, the lid moves smoothly and the magnetic closure is satisfying. If you get two boxes, that’s 8 sections- perfect!

Two of these.
I like all my tabs to match.

The Travelers Set Up

Why are you traveling? I don’t know, but I’m very excited for you. Send postcards.

The stationery nerd in me pines for this album.
The ad showed that this box won’t catch on fire or get damaged in a flood. Please suspend all classes for the day if that happens to you; the lessons can wait.

I’m-Only-Teaching-One-Person Set Up

I interpret this as you only needing one color set out at a time, and then you’ll store the rest while they aren’t in use.

Just put all the same color materials in the same box while in storage.
Nine drawers. Put the Phonemic Awareness cards in the first drawer and the eight card sets for that color in the remaining drawers.

The Budget Set Up

I see you. Put out one drawer at a time in this nice tray, store whatever isn’t in use in ziplock bags.

Put the contents for each “drawer” in a slot. Put this nice display on your shelf.

Nice to haves

Card stock. You’ll want at least 150 pages I think.
If you don’t have a paper guillotine, you’re playing life on hard mode. I highly recommend this model. I’ve been using it for about 4 years with no issues and it’s self sharpening.
Totally optional, but heckin’ cool. If you print your Moveable Alphabet, attach it to these adhesive magnet sheets, then cut out the letters, you have a magnetic Moveable Alphabet. Dope.
Put your magnetic Movable Alphabet on these!

These are just some ideas. Mix-and-match or go a totally different route. Happy teaching.

If you have a sweet set up, post it and tag me on instagram @RhymeAndReasonAcademy (Tag me in the photo, not just the description. I won’t see it otherwise.)

Do you know someone who would find this interesting? Share it!

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