Category Archives: Guided Reading

Guided Reading Made Simple

I love anything that will help make my life easier and I stumbled upon two great ideas last school year that have helped make my Guided Reading groups run so much more smoothly!

2 ideas to simplify your Guided Reading time!Kristen's Kindergarten

Just changing up these two simple routines has bought me back 3-4 minutes of time and gives my students repeated alphabet practice along with a simple routine they can follow.ย  When my students see their material baskets out and ready by their whiteboards, they know which routine we will be practicing first and have everything they need ready to go!

In the same way, I used to spend 20 minutes or so every Friday afternoon getting magnetic letters ready for my students so we could make words, but after discovering this idea, my students do all the work and practice locating letters too!

Click here to read more about these tips that will buy you back precious Guided Reading minutes!




Each vacation we have from school, a few of my school friends and I trek to our closest IKEA and buy lots of things we don’t really need.ย  Here’s what I got from our Thanksgiving trip.


I got this adorable cart I’ve had my eye on for 2 years now!ย  I got rid of the previous shelf that was here, got rid of lots of stuff and consolidated it down to this. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  My friend who went along suggested that I could use this card to help pass out materials to the kids more quickly.ย  I love that idea…just load up the materials on the cart and roll them to the kids or pick up materials from them.ย  I pushed it around my room and felt a little like a stewardess. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  IMG_1348

Here’s a look at what’s sitting on the top shelf.ย  These are the things I use on a regular basis.ย  The tall pink thing you see is my dollar store collapsible trash can.ย  I put things in it when I’m demo-ing how to do something. IMG_1349

The second shelf holds all my demo materials, pattern blocks, cubes, tiles, cards for our agenda, etc. IMG_1350This is another cart I got that I shared about a few weeks ago.ย  I went back to IKEA and got two more of these.ย  I’m using it to store the masters for my Math and Literacy Work Stations.ย  That way if I run out, I can quickly find the replacements. This is the same cart that I use for my small group materials.

Don’t forget that today is the first day of the Tpt Cyber Monday and Tuesday sale.

sale_300_300Use the code “CYBER” to get the discount. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

Guided Reading Groups

It is a difficult thing for me to find a system that works for organizing my guided reading materials I am using each week.

I went from this:

Screen Shot 2013-11-14 at 9.43.53 PMI used to put all my materials into Ziploc baggies and line them up in this tub.ย  They got all mixed up, so that wasn’t working–it was taking too much time to find what I needed.

To this:

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My stacking drawers are similar to these except I have drawers that slide in and out.ย  Functional, yets, problematic, yes!!ย  I was very limited to the size and quantity of materials I could fit in these baskets.ย  I needed to find something new!!

To the new love of my life: IMG_1274

I got this beauty at IKEA last time I was there for $15.00!!!ย  The drawers are called LENNART drawers. I had to do some quick assembly, but this bad boy fits right under my horseshoe table with about an inch of clearance.ย  The drawers have waves in the back of the tracks to keep the drawers from falling out.ย  The drawers slide in and out very smoothly and they are about 3 1/2 to 4 inches deep, so I can store everything I need in them!ย  There is also a nice 4 inch space under the bottom basket where another basket could easily slide in.ย  IMG_1275I’m going back to IKEA in two weeks and you’d better believe that several more of these are on my wishlist!! I need one for the other side of my horseshoe table and this is the perfect height for me to put my laptop on (well at least for short people like me it works!!).ย  I have several more places picked out in my classroom that will be getting a set of these. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’ll share some more pictures later this week of my guided reading materials in them. ๐Ÿ™‚

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

My Literacy Schedule

One of the things I’ve been most frustrated with since I started using Literacy Work Stations (about 6 or 7 years ago) was my small group time.ย  I’ve always felt like I could meet with more than one group a day and ideally, I would like to be able to see all my kiddos everyday in small groups.ย  I cannot do this alone, so I will use my assistant to work with some of the groups as well.

This will work really well as long as I haveย  an assistant (or a student teacher!!!).ย  After that, my assistant or I will see at least 4 out of the 5 groups a day.

I was telling my student teacher that sometimes you just have to work with small groups like this and then suddenly, the perfect plan will happen!ย  It finally did–6 years later! ๐Ÿ™‚

When I speak of small groups I am speaking of Guided Reading Groups. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here’s how it will look:

8:40-8:55 Morning Message/Opening Routine (Journeys)

8:55-9:15 Shared Reading

9:15-9:30 Literacy Work Stations/Small Group with me/Small Group with my student teacher/10 students to Waterford Literacy

9:30-9:45 Phonemic Awareness game/mini-lesson

9:45-10:00 Literacy Work Stations/Small Group with me/Small Group with my student teacher/Small Group with my assistant

10:00-10:20 Clean up/Writing mini-lesson

10:20-10:50 Writer’s Workshop

10:50-10:55 Clean up for Lunch

So during the first round of work stations I will meet with group 1, my student teacher will meet with group 3 and my assistant will meet with 10 students (5 will use Waterford Literacy and 5 will have their guided reading lesson).ย  During the second round of work stations, I will meet with group 2, my student teacher will meet with group 4 and my assistant will meet with group 5 (or the other 1/2 of the students who did not get their guided reading group because they were using Waterford).ย  The children who attended the guided reading group in round 1 (who were not on the computer) will go back to the computer lab during our math work stations to get their Waterford time.

Confused?? So was I, but I think I can make it all work! ๐Ÿ™‚

I really, really, REALLY like Literacy Work Stations, but this will help me create fewer activities for them so I can pick the best activities that will help my students learn the most.ย  I will still have at least 10 activities out, but it will take the students a bit longer to get through all of them, so it will increase their “staying power” and I will drive myself less crazy trying to change the activities out once a month. ๐Ÿ™‚

Most of my activities stay for a month right now, but having said that, I will say that I do change them out frequently to allow for learning new sight words, new skills, new letters, etc.ย  Same activities, but we can practice new skills with them.

I’ll let you know how this works!ย  I’m glad I have my timer from IKEA (see Monday’s post) to keep me on track! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Kristen ๐Ÿ™‚

Magical Monday 6

MagicalMondayBanner copy

I hope you all enjoyed our Facebook Freebie Hop last week!ย  It was so much fun and it’s been great chatting with lots of you on Facebook!

This week’s Magical Monday post is about guided reading.ย  I am looking for a new way to organize my guided reading groups so I don’t have to keep changing their names on all my papers. ๐Ÿ™‚

Here are a couple of pins I found.ย  Not sure which one I’ll use yet or if a combination of some of these will be what happens! ๐Ÿ™‚

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You can find all of these pins on my Guided Reading Pinterest board.

How do you manage your Guided Reading groups?

Kristen ๐Ÿ˜‰

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