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Additional Information on CABB Binders


CABB Binders

Small Group Guided Practice, Intervention, Strategy Groups & Projects

Allen Dodge - Managing Director, School Materials Network, Tyrone Georgia

These photos and the text that follows will give you an idea of how our big book binders help teachers work with small groups of students learning literacy skills, strategies and concepts.  There are also many other instructional uses for binders of this size. CABB Binders have been used for students’ collaborative writing projects, poetry charts, creative re-telling of classic stories, and for practice illustrating the stories they write. These binders also offer students a medium for displaying and presenting projects such as those in Science, Math, Social Studies or STEM activities. When used for brief intervention lessons, they save teachers instructional time as compared to setting up and using higher technology devices.

Specifically, these uses range from supporting teachers’ instructional mini-charts to collaborative writing, drawing and graphing. Teachers like them because they are easier and faster to set up than other media.   

One of the attached photographs depicts how CABB Binders engage small groups of students in their lessons and help them remain focused.  Others are examples of some of the graphics and content teachers may use with those small groups.

Beginning in late 2017 teachers, coaches and other specialists in New York City’s schools started using CABB Binders for English Language Arts intervention at Grades 6 through 12.  These big book binders serve as backstop displays for additional representations of new content that follow whole-class lessons.  Often those representations are displayed as graphic organizers that help students understand various reading comprehension strategies.  New York City teachers also use CABB Binders for re-teaching and to provide extra (guided) practice when students need more repetition. 

Through their professional learning guidebook, Teaching to Transform:  An Instructional Practice Guide to Support Struggling Readers and Writers in Grade 6 – 12 (pgs. 17 & 29), New York City educators are advised to use CABB Binders with groups of three to six students in sessions that last no longer than 5 to 10 minutes. These sessions often occur within mini-lessons designed to follow whole-class delivery of new content. Since there is virtually no set-up time, teachers and students gain great benefits from those follow-up sessions, even in such short durations.

The first example in which CABB Binders are depicted in the New York City Instructional Practice Guide is in a chapter on effective instructional methods. In it, they begin with the Gradual Release of Responsibility model and highlight these steps in this sequence: explicit description of a strategy, modeling, collaborative practice, guided practice and independent practice. The photographic vignette of a small group “mustered” in front of a CABB Binder is used to show teachers what these small groups may look like. There are, of course, variations of this method that teachers may elect to use, still, with great effect.

New York City teachers are also encouraged to sequence these brief instructional moments into three parts or fewer.  First, there is direct instruction by the teacher on the concept that needs to be learned.  Secondly, the teacher prompts students to discuss that concept and develop an understanding of it.  The third segment is a writing task which should create durable memory of that new concept.  Most important in these shortened versions of the Gradual Release model are direct instruction and student practice.

Throughout these entire sessions, CABB Binders remain standing on their own and open to the single page or two-page spread created by the teacher as the topical or strategic focus of the follow-up lesson.  Small group differentiated instruction, therefore, becomes highly effective and easy to implement when the teacher uses a CABB Binder to re-introduce the concept, maintain students’ focus, and prepare students for written work.

Research supporting the application for small group lessons described in New York City Department of Education’s guidebook was published by dozens of familiar authors. Among them are: Tim Rasinski, Arthur Applebee, Jennifer Langer, Martin Nystrand, Adam Gamoran, Anita Archer, Charles Hughes, Lauren Artzi, Isabel Beck, Margaret McKeown, Kyleen Beers, Bob Probst, Doug Fisher, Nancy Frey, Margarite Calderone, Lucy Calkins, Nell Duke, P David Pearson, Yvonne and David Freeman, and many more. Together, the books and articles cited in the NYC guidebook for teaching struggling readers and writers may be considered as a current globally-recognized framework of best practices in literacy intervention. Irene Fountas and Gay Sue Pinnell, Mel Silberman, Jan Richardson, Jeanie Box, and David Little are some other education researchers who provide evidence of effectiveness for teaching, discussing and learning in small groups.

In addition to how New York City teachers use CABB Binders, teachers in Georgia and South Carolina have also been using CABB Binders for more than 20 years to support students’ collaborative writing tasks and projects.  Examples of these are found in writing poetry, re-telling stories, making picture dictionaries, and drawing and writing content for classroom presentations in any subject.  In recent months, teachers also began using big book binders with some of their Tier 2 RTI interventions.  In ways similar to New York City teachers’ experiences with CABB Binders, southern teachers have discovered that big book binders are very useful tools for a variety of instructional methods, especially within their intervention tiers. 

Georgia’s ESOL teachers recently found out how well CABB Binders support supplemental instruction in both their “push-in” and “pull-out” modes.  Teachers can accelerate students’ vocabulary acquisition by creating big book pages with the visual supports (graphics) and text they need.  Since these pages are large enough to engage up to 6 students at a time, interactive small group lessons with CABB Binders help produce rich experiences for learning vocabulary without the need for multiple copies of the same book.

There is still one more application for CABB Binders that can make teachers’ jobs easier. Since these binders have durable covers, teachers’ favorite mini-charts can be stored in them and preserved for future uses. For teachers who use them, these binders not only assist in their presentations and practice with small groups, but they also offer capabilities of improving organization and providing protection for their materials.

The Director of Literacy Education, New York City Department of Education, allowed me to take photos of some graphic organizers in her CABB Binder.  Three of them are among the photos attached to this set of papers.  She uses her binder in district-level presentations and to coach the more than 70 literacy specialists working for her.  Her specialists, in turn, are using CABB Binders in demonstration lessons with teachers in their own classrooms and with their own students.

New York City’s orders for CABB Binders have constantly been increasing in both size and frequency, confirming that CABB Binders really do add value to teachers’ time and enhancements to their lessons.   This is also why I am sharing this information with you.



CABB Binders are twice the Size of Ordinary Binders! 

Dimensions: 18" x 22"

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