The Easiest Way to Put Together Decodable Readers

Have you ever spent hours cutting booklets, ordering page numbers, stapling them….times 20 or 25 kids?

And then, if you’re like me, at least one kid has a page missing or out of place… #forreal

Last year, I introduced my decodable readers and blogged about why science tells us that decodables are a MUST in the classroom and I blogged about our routines too.

But the downfall to doing decodable readers with the whole class each week is a HUGE prep commitment!  I mean, I did it last year (READ: a copy mom did it for me!), but it sure would’ve been nice to have a better way.

Now, we do!  I’ve made all of my decodable booklets print, fold, and staple friendly!  That’s it! No cutting and ordering page numbers and making mistakes any more.  If you have my decodables and are like me, you need visuals.  And step by step instructions.  Because, let’s face it…I’m spatially challenged! 🙂  Let’s chat about the easiest way to put together decodables!

Printing the Booklet

The first thing you will need to do is get all those settings right on your printer and Adobe Reader.  I’ll walk you through it step by step in this video…

A few things to note:  Not all printers are created equally.  That means, not all printer settings are created equally.  Your 2-sided setting may be in a different place, or you may have to click the “advanced settings” button in your print dialog box.  The important part is that you choose double sided printing with it flipping along the short edge!

Chances are you can’t print directly to your school copy machine.  If you can… COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS!  I taught for 10+ years at 3 schools and only one of those years I was able to print to the copier and it. was. magical.  No, really!

Where were we?  Oh yeah, you will probably need to print to an actual printer first and then copy the number you need.  So…follow the printing steps in the video and print your booklet.  Then, take it off the printer AS IS!  Do not reorder the pages!

Fold the Readers

It’s that simple.  Just fold it.

No, but really.  Take the papers off the printer–as is– and line up the pages.  If they’ve printed correctly you will have page 5 on top page in the top right corner, then page 7, then page 9.

You will fold the booklet from left to right.  That is, so that page 4 folds on top of page 5. Once you’ve folded the booklet, it will look like this…

Staple the Booklet

Yep, again…it’s that easy.  2 staples…3 staples…whatever your preference is!

And that’s it, y’all!

Ok, But Can the Kids Do It?

Yes, they can!  If you have taught your kids how to use the stapler, this is super easy for kids to do!

Have your kids put together their booklets first thing in the morning as part of their morning work.  Last year, we did our decodables starting on Wednesday, so this would be my Wednesday morning work.

Leave the stack of decodables by the door or in your “morning work” spot.  Have them grab their booklet stack as they come in.

Then, they fold and staple and put it in their phonics folder so it is ready to go for phonics or reading time!

Don’t want your kids doing it?  Don’t let your kids use your staplers?  Just have a copy mom do it.  Or have an early finisher you trust do it for you!  Or take the extra 10 minutes and do it yourself.  Seriously 30 seconds TOPS to fold and staple one of these booklets, ya’ll!  You can totally do it!

Find an entire year of decodables for kindergarten here and first grade here.


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