Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Guided Reading BUNDLE: Summer Prep

If you have been following me for a few years now, you know that I have a large, first grade (and kindergarten) guided reading bundle for sale in my TpT store. This bundle took me 6 months to create!  It is certainly the most extensive thing I have ever created.  This bundle includes activities for pre-readers through levels j/k.  The reason it includes packs for those not yet reading and those below grade level is because of what I've lived the past 13 years.  I have never had more than 4-5 kids come to me in August reading "at grade level."  It just doesn't happen.  I work in a very low, Title I school district.  The majority of our incoming kindergartners have never been to pre-school and our building is their first school setting.  I get a WIDE range of learners from non readers to the occasional above grade level reader.  I know that having just 4 kids come to you on grade level is probably not the norm everywhere.  However, every teacher gets a wide range of learners.  So that's the backstory behind why my pack is technically a k/1 bundle.

I have received wonderful feedback on my guided reading packs over the last two years, so today I wanted to take some time to share what all is included and how I choose to use it in my first grade classroom.  *Before I get into the meat and potatoes, I want to let you know that if you are interested in purchasing this bundle, do it THIS SUMMER!  There is a lot of prep required as far as printing and laminating/cutting goes.  Summer is a fantastic opportunity for prep!  We all like to have grand ideas of doing things "in the fall," but when fall rolls around and a thousand other things come up, our "plans" don't go as planned!  So if you have the time this summer, I strongly recommend taking full advantage and getting this bundle ready for your classroom!  You will be SO HAPPY that you did!

As I mentioned above, this bundle includes activities for pre-readers through levels j/k.  Each pack is somewhere between 100-150 pages.  Most levels are their own individual entity, but some are combined.  Each pack has activities carefully selected and created to match that specific level's needs. For example, in the pre-reader pack, you'll find many alphabet ID and beginning sound activities.  In the level E pack, you'll find digraph and sight word activities.  My selection process in creating these activities was based on research as well as my 13 years experience teaching first graders how to read.

There are many games included in the packs, because everything is more fun in game-form, right? There are also flash cards and printables.  What you won't find in here are books.  I  do not have experience with leveling text {and honestly have no interest in learning how!!}.  I also prefer to use real books with my students during guided reading time.  I like to give them an authentic experience when learning to read.  However, I know that not everyone has that option.  I am fortunate enough to have a leveled book room at my building.  It contains packs of leveled books from pre-reader through level z.  Each teacher checks out the book sets that he/she needs and returns them when finished.  It's been a wonderful system for many years.  If you do not have access to real books, I highly recommend Reading A to Z.  A membership is pretty affordable and you can print your own books for your guided reading groups.  You can also sign up for a free trial to see if a membership is something you're interested in.

Once you've prepped the materials, you can store them in a variety of ways.  I prefer to store mine by skill, as I have a plethora of materials that I've either created of purchased over the past 13 years. I use clear tubs to keep my materials in.  When I need a specific game or activity, I go straight to the tub and grab what I need.  You can also store the materials by level in your tubs.  There are labels included in the bundle for organizing by level.  If you don't have the space or don't want to spend the money on tubs, you can always organize your materials in binders. Simply print out the included binder covers by level and add some clear sheet protectors to your binders.  Place games and printables inside them for quick access.  You can also purchase poly pockets that snap or zip shut if you want something more secure inside the binders.  The binder method is nice if you prefer to plan at home or need to plan at home for some reason.  They are great for on the go!

If you're on the fence, feel free to watch a YouTube video preview HERE or browse my other guided reading blog posts HERE.  However, I can say with certainty that this purchase is going to be an invaluable resource for many years to come! Feel free to email me with questions at meganwheeler44@yahoo.com



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