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A Simple Guided Reading Plan + FrEeBiEs!

Here is my Simple Guide to Guided Reading:

First, you have to set up your Guided Reading Table:

Children love routines. It makes them feel safe and comfortable. But they also seek novelty and their motivation to learn is peeked when we present information in different ways. That said, I like to keep my Guided Reading routine the same each week, but each day I toss in some fun, new ideas.

Since Guided Reading is taught through small group instruction, and is designed to provide differentiated teaching that supports students in developing reading proficiency, I begin by assessing my students (see more on assessment below)and meeting with them in small, homogeneous groups. These groups are flexible and change as often as needed.

So what does a typical Guided Routine look like?

Basically, I like to plan my small group lessons around these concepts:

Monday: Alphabet Work: Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, and letter recognition.

Tuesday: Sight Word Work: Reading and spelling sight words (I limit my lessons to one or two sight words.)

Wednesday: Reading Strategy Work:  Discussing and practice reading strategies such as blending, segmenting, stretching out words, etc.

Thursday: Comprehension Work: Practicing comprehension strategies such as digging deeper, looking for evidence, and re-telling stories.

Friday: Writing Work: Practicing writing by completing the writing prompt that relates to the story or topic that week. 

How to bring novelty into your weekly Guided Reading routine?

Monday: Alphabet Work: (Phonemic Awareness, Phonics, and letter recognition)

We might focus on initial sounds by placing a cube on each image that begins with a particular letter. 
We might use clear and colored spoons to practice word families or onset rimes. This cute idea came from Heidi's blog:
And we reinforce letter recognition by using alphabet pin cards, laminated letter tracing cards, and bingo markers that help us practice letter formation . 

Tuesday: Sight Word Work: (1 or 2 Sight Words) 
Click the image to grab the set of Pocket-Lockets. 

We create Sight Word charts where students use the sight word in a sentence, the teacher writes the sentence, and the student gets to sign their sentence.
We use my Pocket-Lockets set to create a pocket watch or a locket by spelling a particular sight word with letter squares. Students get to wear their pocket watch or locket home. 
And we use choral reading to read our Sight Word Mini Books together.
We use laminated Dragonflies in First's cute  iPhone templates to copy sight words or write a sentence using a sight word with dry-erase pens.

Wednesday: Reading Strategy Work: (Reading Strategies) 

Click the image to grab this cute, FREE set of posters. 
We use multiple copies of small trade books, phonetic books, or familiar literature books to practice reading decoding strategies together. We discuss the strategies found on these FREE posters from Mrs. Ricca's Kindergarten and share how we used them to read. 
Students also practice partner reading their book during this time. 

Thursday: Comprehension Work: (Comprehension Strategies)

Students use their trade books, phonetic books, or familiar literature books to discuss new vocabulary, look for evidence in the illustrations or text, and re-tell parts of the story. Concepts of print, such as identifying characters, the setting, the problem, the solution, or sequencing parts of the story are also addressed. 

Friday: Writing Work: (Writing Component)
Click the image to grab the American Symbol Flag Writing Template. 

Students respond to a writing prompt that relates to that week's story or a concept of print, such as the characters, the setting, etc. I use my Writing Prompts every Friday. We also used my Career Writing templates after reading about community helpers and my American Symbol Flag template after reading about our national symbols. 

A Word About Assessments:

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There you have it! I keep the routine the same, but I change out the way I teach each lesson or the materials I use. Sometimes I dress the part wearing a wig and windshield wiper sunglasses if we are discussing the letter W. And sometimes we will play an Onset Rime Hopscotch game. Keep it fresh and new!
Leave a comment and let us know about some great ideas YOU have for making Guided Reading fun!

The Best Apps for Guided Reading

Hi everyone!  It's Cori here from Mrs. B's Beehive! Today I am continuing our April discussion about guided reading.  I am focusing on the best apps I've found to make the most out of your small group time!

As several other of my Kinder Tribe friends have mentioned, Jan Richardson's book - Next Steps in Guided Reading is the best place to start when you are beginning your guided reading program!  Following her schedule, here are some apps that work well for each part of a guided reading session.

Sight Words

Jan suggests starting with a sight word review and introduction.  

Sight Word Ninja is a fun game that the students can play independently.  I like that when the students miss a word, the app brings it up again to reinforce it.

Eggy 250 HD is another sight word app that focuses on consistent word recognition, and has a large bank of sight words.

Sight Words and Spelling with Pixopop is a newer app (to me), and what I really love about this app, is that you can create your own sight word list, and have the students practice with the specific words you would like them to.

Letter Recognition
Moving on to letter recognition with your students who are most likely in the Pre-A to B levels.  These apps focus on remembering the name of each letter, and matching upper and lower case.

Little Finder ABC is a fun challenge game.  It gives you 1 minute to see how many letters you can get correct.  My kids love the game aspect of this one.

Little Matchups ABC Alphabet helps students to connect uppercase letters to lower case one, and provides some instruction on letter sounds.  There is also ABC Ninja, like the sight word game that is great for letter recognition.

Letter Sounds

The next part of the guided reading model is letter sounds.  Depending on what level you are at, you might be focusing on beginning, ending, or medial sound recognition.

Gappy Learns Reading  is one of my favorite's because it doesn't spoon feed the answer to the students if they get the question wrong, they have to keep trying! There are different options to focus on beginning, medial, or final sounds, or to spell the entire CVC word.

Montessori Crosswords  also does a great job of scaffolding for the students, and gives them plenty of clues to assist them in figuring out which letter should go in each box.


Helping students to put a proper sentence together can be a challenge in Kindergarten.  Figuring out what actually classifies as a sentence is a good first step!

Sentence Reading Magic reads the sentence to the student, and then they have to put the sentence in the correct order.


There are a lot of great reading apps out there, but for my beginning readers, I like to stick with the classics.

Starfall Learn to Read is a fun and engaging app.  The students read the sentence, and after they are done, they get to press the picture, and the character acts out what they just read.  Slap stick humor at its best!

I mean, how can you go wrong with BOB Books? Colorful pictures and follow-up activities with the words in the story make this a necessity for your guided reading program!

What apps am I missing?  Let me know if you have found some fantastic apps for your guided reading groups, I always love learning about new and engaging resources!

Effective Grouping for Guided Reading

Hello Kinder Tribe friends!  Heather here from Learning with Mrs. Langley with some tips on effective grouping for guided reading! Enjoy! 

Guided Reading instruction is a powerful way to improve students' reading level and comprehension at the primary level.  Establishing and maintaining groups can be a struggle and while research supports this as an effective practice often teachers are left without any guidance on how to set this up in the classroom.  Here are some guidelines for establishing and maintaining such groups.  

#1 Assessment

At the beginning of the year it is part of the regular classroom routine to assess students to find their individual instructional level.  You may have a system already in place (my district uses DIBELS) or you could be on your own.  I use my DIBELS reports to help me make these decisions early on but we only test 3 times a year and we move forward at a much faster pace in Kindergarten.  This leaves me with a lot of assessment on my own.  Here is how I break it down. 

  • Letter Naming- Letter naming is not a required to skill to read however it is an early literacy skill. Students may start reading without being able to quickly identify all the letters in the alphabet however it is a good skill to have when it comes to reading and writing down the road. My lowest reading group includes all of the students that have not yet mastered this skill.  Our goal is to read 45-55 letter names in one minute.  Once they are doing this I am comfortable moving them on. 
Effective grouping for Guided Reading , letter naming fluency, interventions
View more about Letter Naming Intervention HERE
  • Phoneme Segmentation- This is a skill that students will FLY through.  Phoneme Segmentation is the ability to break words down into their individual sounds.  If I say "cat" you say /c/a/t/. Many times this skill can be overlooked and it can be a true roadblock to reading for many.  In my experience it is essential that students master this skill before they move on to any other skills in reading.  These students are also grouped into my lowest reading group for individual practice on this skill.
learning with mrs langley, effective grouping for guided reading, interventions, phoneme segmentation, guided reading
View more about Phoneme Segmentation Intervention HERE
  • CVC Words- Our next step is to move on to reading the sounds in words.  If students are ready to start saying letter sounds for every letter they make up the majority of my class groups in the "middle" range.  Through the year this middle range group works on reading each letter in the word to blending the words. 
  • Blending and Beyond- My high groups are students that are blending those CVC words (without sounding them out first) and these students are ready to move on to new skills like digraphs, vowel combinations, and long vowels.  These skills are not taught within our regular kindergarten curriculum so this differentiation is essential to keep these students challenged.   

learning with mrs langley, effective grouping for guided reading, interventions, CVC words, guided reading
View more about CVC Word Intervention HERE.

#2 Establishing a Routine

Once you have establish your groups then you can decide when to meet.  For me it works best to meet first thing in the morning when my students are fresh and everyone is engaged in independent word work centers.  I have 45 minutes of small group instruction time which gives me time to meet with 3 groups a day.  Students in your low and low medium groups need to meet more often (every day) while the higher groups can meet just two or three times each week.  Here is one way to schedule groups. 
learning with mrs langley, effective grouping for guided reading, interventions, guided reading schedule, guided reading
Low Groups 5 times a week, Low to Med 4 times a week and High Groups 2 times a week.  
learning with mrs langley, effective grouping for guided reading, interventions, guided reading schedule, guided reading
This schedule stays in the front of my notebook with a plan for each day and each group. 
I use this form to plan out my week and list all of the materials I will need to teach each group.  It really helps your routine if you know what you need when those little faces show up at your small group table!  

You can get your free editable copy HERE

 #3 Be Flexible! 

Groups will change from day to day sometimes.  As soon as a student has made that jump to the next level it is ok to move them on.  If a student is struggling and the rest of the group is making good progress it is also a good time to move them back to a different group.  Of course my students never know what group I'm working with so there is no stigma attached to being "moved back".  It is important to have students working within their own level to be truly effective. 

Thank you for joining me today here at the Kinder Tribe!  Do you have any tips for effective grouping during Guided Reading?  If so leave your ideas in the comments below!  Thanks friends! 

Word Work During Guided Reading

Hey everyone. It’s Deirdre from Mrs. Garcia’s Super Scholars here today, and I am so excited to share how I incorporate targeted word work into my guided reading lessons.

Like Breanna mentioned last week, IF YOU DO NOT HAVE THIS BOOK YOU NEED TO GET ON THAT RIGHT NOW. This book is my GR bible.

In every single GR session, I use targeted word building geared towards that level. There are 3 tools I use for this.

Letter magnets. I have this awesome set from Lakeshore. I love that they are color-coded by consonants and vowels, and that they are easily organized and accessible. In the past I’ve also used letter tiles, wikki stix, and letter stickers, but I like how easily magnets move.

Magnetic whiteboards. I love these because they stack well without letters sticking to other boards, and I can write on them as well. Some of my kids need the support of Elkonin boxes, and I can quickly draw these on the board. I have used cookie sheets from the Dollar Tree as well, they work especially well if you're on budget! Having all the letters at the bottom also helps them practice ABC order as they put them back in place. After reading, we usually use the top of the board for writing dictated sentences.

Word Building Cards. Using Jan Richardson’s suggestions for each level, I’ve made word building cards to help me easily set up for my GR teams. I have the word card “ladders” on a ribbon for each level that I use while working with my groups, as well as a cheat sheet for which letters to grab out of my magnet box.  I usually have letters for both my groups for that day on the board so we can transition quickly.

Once my boards are set up, I can quickly start my GR groups. My team comes to my table and has a minute or two to build the sight words that are on my easel as I settle the rest of the class into stations. When I get to my table, I have them clear their workspace (top of the board) and we go through the word ladder for their level.

Word Work takes about 2 minutes, but it packs a huge punch! We have a large Scholastic guided reading library of book sets (PTL), and I will usually use a word card that has some words from that day's books. My kids are already acquainted to words before they start reading, and they have those word decoding strategies fresh in their mind before we start.

Here’s a quick snippet of what it looks like in action. This is an D-level group so they are pretty independent and need much less prompting than very beginning readers. Please excuse my awful voice! 

How do you incorporate word work into your GR lessons? I’d love to hear about it!

Classroom Management During Guided Reading?

Hey y'all!! Emily here, from Carnes' Corner.  I'm so excited to be here today, and share some of my tips for classroom management during guided reading!

Small group guided reading is SUCH an important time in my classroom.  If we miss a day of school (or go on a field trip), I ALWAYS double up our rotations the next day or later in the week, so that I am able to meet with each group EVERY week!

However, making sure that my students who are NOT in the group with me stay on task is not always easy.  So, what do I do with them to ensure that my reading group is getting my full attention??

The most important thing I did was to establish routine at the very beginning of the year. The kids practiced how to get materials out, how to clean them up, how to ask/answer questions about the activity they're doing, and what to do if they get done early..

We review and go over our procedures and expectations DAILY.  I'm serious y'all...I ask them what voice level they should be using, who they need to ask for help, etc. each time before they go to where they're working...

Here's my view of the other students...I make sure to place myself in the corner of the room, so I can see all of them.  

{work on writing - option one}

Now, I did walk around and take a few close up pictures, so you could see the bit of organized chaos that is Daily Five/Guided Reading...

{listening to reading - you'll see our whisper phones and reading buddies - stuffed animals - under our library if you look closely}

{read to self/read to someone - they get to choose now}

{work on writing - option 2}

I use my Daily Five time to do guided reading groups (and will pull my students individually during literacy centers if needed).  I use the same rotation schedule each week, so the kids know exactly where they're going each day.  I've combined Read to Self/Read to Someone in to one group so that I could take guided reading on my own.  

I've found that by giving them teeny bits of choices (like if they're going to read with a partner/alone or whether they're going to do paper work or the cards on the carpet) they're more involved and engaged in what they're doing because they have a bit more ownership in the activity (or at least they think they do!)

At the end of our 20 minutes, I check any work that I need to, award the friends who went above and beyond what was expected of them, and we move on with our day.  I love it!

All in all, it works really well (most days).  Check out what my classroom sounds like while a student reads to me.  I'm so impressed with my kinders!

Guided Reading Plans

When I was thinking about how to start my post, one song came to mind.  The song starts with, "Let's start at the very beginning, it's a very good place to start...." So, I am starting from the beginning.  During this post I am going to walk you through my lesson plan sheet, along with showing you how I store and organize my guided reading activities.  

A few years ago I started to implement the guided reading plus lesson format during all of my reading reading groups as part of my core instruction.  Each year thereafter, I tweaked it a little, until I finally came up with this format.  It includes many of the same components, but has also has been changed to meet my teaching style along with my kiddo's needs.

The top section is for the phonics activity.  On the first day of the group we begin with a short phonics activity.  This activity correspond with the child's text reading level {the levels are listed on the planning sheet}.  After checking which skill the group is going to work on, I then look through the pocket which contains the activities to match the skill.  

Before I continue, I have to show you my storage system.  This is something that I have been working on for the past few months.  Each drawer contains the phonics activities for that level. To help organize the activities by skill, I am using these clear poly pouches.  This makes it easy to see the activities and grab the activity for the group.


After a short phonics activity we do a short strategy lesson.  These lessons were created my Deanna Jump.  I also have been using these songs and lessons created by Deanna Jump to help children remember and apply the strategies.  

Now for the reading!  Once we have completed our short strategy lesson, we apply our lessons to our new book.  I give a small book introduction and then invite them to read.  We use many different tools to help point to the words and stretch out words.

To wrap up Day 1, we have a short conversation about the book.  As of late, we have been answering the question, "What is the book mostly about?"  This is a question that our district is wanting us to ask after every book.

I typically meet with reading groups on 2 consecutive days.  During Day 2 we focus more on comprehension, and "dive" deeper into the book, but first, we quickly review the strategy we are focusing on, and then go right into the book.

While the children are reading, I pick a focus and a question to ask.  This helps children slow down, and not only help me gauge where they are and what they are understanding, but they are now taking that task on themselves.

After the book, the children and I engage in a conversations around the book.  In addition, I also select an area that I would like the children to practice more.

We then wrap up our group with a comprehension focus.  This is an activity that can be done "outside" of the book.  We read a short passage and then walk through the comprehension activity.  

The children then can go back and complete the activity on their own or with a partner.  This is sometimes the same activity that we did in group, or is sometimes a different activity.  It all depends on the needs of the group and the activity.

I know what you are thinking...WOW!  That's a lot!  You would be correct.  It is a lot, but is also a focused plan.  I needed a plan that I could check skills off so I wasn't jumping all around and searching for materials and ideas.  This has helped me to narrow in on the tasks.  It has also helped my kiddo's reading scores.  They are all reading at level and I have not been able to say that ever!  

If you are interested in my guided reading plan yo can pick it up here for free!

How do you plan your groups?