Guided Reading FUN!

Guided Reading is my most favourite time of the day!
I love working on important reading skills with my small groups and watching the students reading skills develop is probably the most rewarding part of my job!
Guided Reading starts after about 6 weeks of school.  I take the first 6 weeks to really get to know my students...and test them on their letter/sound knowledge and sight word recognition.  This allows me to place them into groups more accurately.
Not everyone starts with Guided Reading right away.  I teach a JK/SK combined class (Pre-K/K) and many of the JK students just are not ready for a book yet.  To reinforce their letter/sound knowledge, I will work with them on one letter at a time by reading an Alphabet Reader and then having them colour in the pictures in their own book which they take home.
We play lots of games too!
Students are asked to find upper and lower case magnetic letters, circle a specific letter on each page, sort out small manipulatives with the same beginning sound, or go on a hunt around the room for something that starts with that letter.
I am so impressed with how quickly they learn their sounds!
I have A LOT of things I use for Guided Reading.
This cart is my absolute favourite for holding everything!  I bought it years back with my Scholastic bonus points.
You can't tell by the picture, but the back side is great too - it has a mini pocket chart and an area to hold larger books.  The top easel comes off too!
My books sit on a large shelf my husband made for me.  I don't know about your classrooms, but I always find that there is never enough storage space!
Each group is named by shape and has a plastic book bin to hold everything including their reading logs, books, and sight word rings.  One group, who is reading above grade level, has Guided Reading Workbooks which go home weekly to reinforce specific skills we are covering in class.  That is also found in the book bin.
Extra books are found in the red and yellow baskets underneath.  I also keep extra notes to parents in case of a lost book, book report pages, and paper there.
Sometimes Guided Reading time gets interrupted and disrupts the group.
When I wear this flower necklace, the students know that I am reading and unless it's an emergency, I don't like to be interrupted.  They can ask Mrs. Petrone, the DECE, or another friend in the classroom, for help.
Works like a charm!
My students who are ready for Guided Reading usually read with me anywhere from 3-5 times per week, depending on their reading level.  I keep track of groups, document their progress and record which books they have read in my teacher log book.
The students have their own log as well.  It's a simple pouch...the front is a letter to parents explaining Guided Reading time and when the books go home, and the back is a log of all the books we have read.
Each student begins the year by creating a sight word ring.
They are made with white cardstock and are attached by using a metal binder ring.  The students write their name on the first card and decorate it with stickers.  Each time we encounter a new sight word that is a little tricky, we write it on a new card and attach it to our ring.  I keep these in the book bins and we review these words at the beginning of each Guided Reading lesson.  I don't send them home for fear that they won't come back!  If a student moves groups, the sight word ring goes with them, into the new book bin.
Guided Reading time isn't just about reading the book (yes, that's very important, but understanding what is in the book is too!).
Here are some games we play before we get started on the book:
A great way to reinforce sight words is by playing the 'slap-a-word' game.  I bought these fly swatters at the Dollar Store and printed my cards.  I choose words to focus on that are in the story and have students 'swat' the word when they see it.
I'll mix up a bunch of letters and have students unscramble them to form a sight word we are focusing on.  There is another picture of the sight word ring too.
Tip:  I keep my magnetic letters in a fishing tackle box (it has so many dividers) so that they are easy to find.
Students roll the sight word die and read the word.  Sometimes I'll tell them that I want to see if they can roll a specific word on it and they love that too!
Teaching CVC words has never been so much fun!  My students love the Word Sliders!  They always ask for them!
I love that they show the student one letter at a time, we say the sound it makes, and then I reveal the next letter.  It's a great way to teach them about blending sounds to form a word.  Then they check to see if they are correct by looking at the picture.
In my Guided Reading FUN! pack you will also find other ways to teach CVC words...
Have students use their finger or a small counter to point to each dot while saying the sound until the three sounds are blended, forming a CVC word.
You can have students use magnetic letters or word tiles to build CVC words on their own!
As the readers progress with difficulty, the focus changes and you might find that there are a lot of words that become challenging for the students.
Bossy "e" words (i.e. rake, bone) ask students to say the long vowel sound.  To reinforce this concept, I created cards with pictures on them.  After introducing vowels and the two sounds they make, I'll have my students write the bossy "e" words on dry erase boards.
The group of students that is reading above grade level is ready for a challenge.  I use these blend place mats and cards to teach those tricky blend sounds (i.e. br, gl).
I might have them record their answers inside their workbook or write them on dry erase board.
I don't do all of this in one sitting!
I'll choose a specific focus for that day (ie. sight words -> the, come, here, little, our) and take about 5-7 minutes playing games and working on them.  When it's time to actually read the book, students love to use various pointers to help them track the print.
The witch finger is by far the most favourite!
(You can find these at the Dollar Store around Halloween.)
Working on comprehension is very important!  There are students each year who are such proficient readers, but then they can't remember anything about what they just read!
I like using these comprehension cards after we have read a story to see if the students are on track.
So there you have it!
All about my Guided Reading time!
You can find the Alphabet Readers here (both in colour - teacher copy, and black and white - student copy).
And you can find all of the other activities featured above as well as LOTS more in my new


  1. Looks great! Thank you so much!
    Deldreqka Scott

  2. I really appreciate your sharing the "guided reading" activities in your classroom. I love using your ideas in the classroom. Thanks for providing great ideas! I continue to use your pocket chart activities! With your guided reading, do you use particular readers (emergent readers, etc. ) with your class? What levels are your child on at this time of the year?
    Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Maryann,
      We use a lot of PM books (which are my favourite!). Our school library also has levelled readers from Scholastic but I find the spacing in between the words a little tight for my students. Because I teach a JK/SK combined class, I have a few students who are still working on letters/sounds (not reading yet), a few groups reading at a DRA Level 1-2, a few groups reading at a DRA Level 6, and a group reading at a DRA Level 14 (which is nearly end of Grade 1!). I am so proud of all my students! They BEG me to read each day!!!

  3. I always love reading how others conduct guided reading, what activities they use and the resources they implement. Thanks for sharing.
    ✿Tiffani Time 4 Kindergarten


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