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Guided Reading Makes Me Happy! {Freebie, too!}

The other day I posted about balanced literacy and all the components. Today I’m back to share how I do one component of balanced literacy in my classroom… something near and dear to my heart (since it pretty much is my whole school day…)- guided reading!

At the beginning of the school year,  I posted about my organization for each group and so far after a few weeks in it has still been working out well and keeping me prepared for all my groups each week! I keep my lesson plans for the day, my texts and any follow up games/reading response pages within each section of the accordion file.


Another piece that keeps me very organized and ready for my groups is my guided reading buckets. These hold anything that doesn’t fit in my accordion file. I have whisper phones which we use the first few minutes of our guided reading groups to warm up by practicing reading previously read stories to work on fluency, read with expression, etc. I don’t know if you use whisper phones but man oh man do my kids LOVE them. I personally LOVE them because they actually get my friends to just start reading as soon as they sit down. Hoping the novelty doesn’t ever wear off… 🙂 I also use post it notes, highlighters and highlighting tape all to find evidence in the text to support answers to comprehension questions or find word patterns/sight words/vocabulary, etc. For my littlest friends, I use pointers to focus on the words we are reading, stickers to encourage super reading and segmenting boxes when we are writing or completing phonemic awareness activities. When writing about reading, we use post it note tape to fix any mistakes made. All of the stuff in our bucket just makes guided reading more engaging! You can also read about some other items I use with my littlest friends here.


With my emergent readers, I use little reading folders that include Level A, B, C or D passages. The passages include simple sentences with sight words and predictable text. These passages align with F&P’s leveling system and have helped my little friends gain confidence and become stronger readers. I am so proud of the progress they have made! After reading through the text twice on their own, I also have two reading response questions that my friends answer with writing and drawing. After the reading response questions are done, each student goes back and highlights, circles and underlines three of our sight words that were a focus of the day for the story. I also complete a running record with my friends throughout the week to see if they are at an independent, instructional or frustrational level for the stories.

Here’s a quick video showing a quick run through of a guided reading lesson using my packs: 
Level A:

I include all the stories for the week and the previous week in the folders so we use these folders as fluency folders and as our warm up with the whisper phones! My little friends love these passages and so do I!


Level B:

Level C:
Level D:
You can check out the Guided Reading Passages packs here! I have Levels Pre A-Z for both fiction and non fiction.  

A few other items that keep guided reading running smoothly in my room are my running record binder (the cute cover makes keeping track of students that much more exciting), my observations pages and my “super day” notes that I send home to parents.

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I have a tab for each student within my running record binder and a copy of the running records I’ll be using for the week within the appropriate tabs. I then also have my observations pages in this binder as well and I either make notes after the completion of a running record or simply when they are reading through their guided reading stories.  I make notes on self correcting, errors they are making frequently, their fluency, reading with expression, etc. When a student does something spectacular during our reading groups, I make a really big deal of it and tell them how excited I am that he/she was such a super reader and then I give them a little note that I share with the group and then send home to the child’s parents. I love the smiles I get from my friends (no matter the age!) when they get one of these little notes!  If you are looking for a running record binder cover, observations pages and notes for home, you can download these guided reading freebies here! I hope they help make guided reading a happy time in your classroom too! 🙂
Thanks to Hello Literacy for the fonts and Teaching Super Power for the graphics!

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Have a great day!
Picture of Aylin Claahsen

Aylin Claahsen

Providing resources and support to engage all readers.

6 Responses

  1. Great post! I enjoy reading about how other teachers do their guided reading groups. My students love whisper phones too! Highlighter tape is so great for so many different ways! Marking text evidence is a great idea! Thank you for the freebie!
    Conversations in Literacy

  2. Spelling is important because it aids in reading. It helps cement the connection that is shared between sounds and letters. Learning high frequency sight words also has been shown to help with both reading and writing. This is why students learn sight words during their early years. Spelling and reading also have a common factor, proficiency with language. Likewise, https://vocabmonk.com helps the students to build their vocabulary with the spellings of the word.

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Hi, I'm Aylin!

I’m so happy you’re here! I’m a certified reading specialist who loves talking all things literacy. I have a huge passion for providing resources and support to engage all readers!


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