Sunday, October 4, 2015

Starting Guided Reading

Hi, friends!  I hope you had a nice weekend.  I was out of town for a craft show with my mom.  It's been an annual tradition since I can remember.  I always look forward to it!  The weather is getting cooler {finally} here in Ohio and I'm loving it!  Perfect sweatshirt and coffee weather!

So we are nearing the end of the 1st quarter...seems crazy that I've been back to school for almost 9 weeks.  The hardest days are over {PTL!}.  Now that my kids have the procedures/routines down, we can start to really hit the curriculum.  We began Writing Workshop a few weeks ago.  I posted about that HERE. *And to see all of my many Writing Workshop posts, check out the sidebar on the left side of my blog {shown below}.  Scroll down to see "Writing" and click on it.

I typically like to give my kids the first quarter to get re-acclimated with school and into the literacy center routine before jumping into guided reading.  We've been doing centers for about 4 weeks now and the kids are secure for the most part with the routines and behavior expectations.  Tomorrow, I'll be starting guided reading!  Hooray!  *FYI-I do teach whole-group Phonics and Reading, so everyone is getting that every day!  This post is dedicated to how I start and plan for my groups.

First, I take a running record on each child.  I use Fountas and Pinnell leveling kits.  I then write down the levels and the kids' names under them.  I do end up combining some levels.  For example, I have some D/E kids.  It's ok to combine them.  I have to do this because I don't have much help with reading groups.  I also don't have time built into my day to run more than 2 groups.  So once I have everyone in a group, I select my three lowest groups.  This year, that means two level B groups {Yikes!} and a level C group.  I have one support staff member who pulls a B group.   I will be running the level C and the other B group.  I will run one group during literacy centers and one group during silent reading time.  Each group is approximately 20-25 minutes.  I will keep these groups until the end of the 2nd quarter.  To get a free guide about how I use the 20 minutes, click the cover below.

I use my focus skills by level booklet that's included in my Guided Reading Resources pack to plan for my instruction.  It lists specific skills that should be taught at each guided reading level.  It's such a life-saver when it comes to planning!  I ended up binding my pages into a spiral book so I can take it back and forth from school.

I use leveled texts from our school's book room.  You can also use Reading A to Z.  In addition to using leveled texts, I supplement with activities from my 1st Grade Guided Reading Bundle.  It's loaded with activities that are appropriate for each level.  Below are a few of my favorite activities!

People often ask me how I store/organize my guided reading materials.  I have cubbies in my room where the kids hang their coats and bags.  Above them are built in shelves, which I believe were intended to be used for mailboxes.  I have a separate mailbox unit, so I use the shelves to house my skill bins.  I keep everything that is NON-SEASONAL organized by skill.  This makes finding a particular game/activity super easy!  It also comes in very handy when planning my guided reading groups, as well as my day-to-day classroom instruction.  The tubs I use are Sterilite.  I like that they are clear, so I can see what I'm looking for.

I am often asked if this product can be used with those who do not use Fountas and Pinnell guided reading.  The answer is YES!  ABSOLUTELY!  This pack was developed for first grade readers and will work in ANY first grade classroom that uses ANY form of guided reading.  In fact, you don't even have to do guided reading to use this phenomenal resource!  It can be used in the following ways:
  • RTI for second graders
  • RTI for first graders
  • Guided Reading
  • Literacy Centers
  • Tutoring
  • Whole-group phonics instruction
  • Free time activities
  • Enrichment with kindergarten

To check out this amazing, 1,300 page guided reading resource pack, click the cover below!  *Click on "Comments and Ratings" under the product once you get to TpT to see what other teachers/parents are saying about it!  Don't have the money to purchase the bundle right now?  Each level is also available for individual purchase!  Just head to my TpT store {Mrs. Wheeler} and click on "Guided Reading" on the left.

Questions?  Leave them below or send me an email at


Susie Sincock said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

This is such a wonderful resource and I feel so very lucky to have it! Thank you, Megan!

Lindsay Scott _ Staff - OakviewES said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Where do the sentences with the touch dots come from? Are they in one of your packets?

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