Saturday, October 1, 2011

Guided Reading- How it looks in Room 10 and a non-fiction freebie

Strap in for a long one!

I've had a few e-mails asking how I run guided reading during Daily Five so I took a bunch of pictures and *hopefully* this will give you a good peek into my guided reading time!

Here's my table where the magic happens! I LOVE my easel! My pensive lives in the middle of the table along with a large desk calendar, my teacher editions, and a caddy with lots of writing utensils.

Now that my students are comfortable with Daily Five and we've built our stamina up to 20 minutes, it is time for me to begin guided reading groups. During the first four weeks, while my students were learning how to do Daily Five, I met with individual students during that time to figure out how my groups should look.

This year, I will be running 5 groups. I have a small easel next to my guided reading table and each group *usually* has a chart or other paper where we record our learning or I write things that we will practice. I put a sticky note on the edge of each one with their "number" so I can quickly flip to the chart that I need.

This group is an on-level first grade group. We will be following the small group on-level lessons from the Treasures teacher edition. We will meet on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.  This chart features our weekly phonics fluency automaticity words & sight words.  This pack is available at my Teacher's Notebook store for both Treasures users AND the file contains the same set of lists with the Treasures correlation removed for non-Treasures users!

This is an on-level 2nd grade group. We will also be following the small group lessons in Treasures. We use the leveled readers and will meet on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. My hope is that in a few weeks, this group can meet three days a week to allow me to meet with other groups more, do individual progress monitoring, and individual conferences.

Group 3 is a mix of 1st and 2nd graders who are beyond level. At this time, it is all boys who love non-fiction texts but don't quite understand how to use all of the text features. Our first study will be on non-fiction text features. Next week, we are working on identifying them, learning what they are, and then finding them in our own non-fiction books. I blew up pictures from a non-fiction book and we will be spending time studying these! We will meet on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

Group 4 is a group of all girls who are beyond level. I want to focus on voracious reading to help grow their vocabulary and expand their book selection. We are going to start with several author and genre studies- first up is Mercer Mayer! I am still working on the unit and can't wait to share it with them! Though the books we read will be easy for them, I think the lovable character will help them get excited about doing more author studies in the future. We'll be meeting on Tuesday and Thursday.

My last group is a mix of 1st and 2nd graders who are very good readers and just need to keep doing what they're doing! We will be doing "book clubs". Our first one is on a Magic Tree House book. We're going to start studying prairie life this week by reading other prairie books and articles. Then we'll start the book next week. We'll meet on Wednesday and Friday. These kiddos will have a lot of reading to do on their own so we can discuss and extend our comprehension during our guided reading time.  We also do The Chocolate Touch- which my kiddos love!

Here are my group lesson plans so you can see how I organize them. Hopefully my sentence fragments and little notes will be understandable! :) You can download a copy of this form as well as several others I've made for individual conferring on my class website here.

Behind my table I have these Sterlite containers (I love my containers!). Each group has a drawer where I store their books and materials for the upcoming week. Any worksheets or workbook pages we will need are copied or ripped out and put into the folder inside the drawers.

I think that's it! Feel free to shoot me questions, but hopefully that was a little helpful!

You can click the graphic below to download some non-fiction features cards that my group 3 will be using this week to label text features! If you find them useful or my post, I'd love to hear from you in the comments! :)


  1. Christina-

    Thanks for sharing! I teach 6th grade, and we were told last year to begin small group instruction, but none of us (4th-6th) really got it going last year. I AM GOING TO DO IT this year! :) I did sort of a little trial run last week and will really start it this next week-I like your reading/writing conference sheet being together (easier to keep up with). Wish me luck! :)


  2. Whew! Great post! I am teaching a 1/2 split as well. I have been working on how to do my groups..and now that I have "seen" it, I can get it done! Thanks for that. I also have a question...if you are focusing on all these different skills in small groups, how do you handle whole group comprehension and phonics/word building lessons? What does that look like? I feel like I am running in circles when I teach the "focus skills" whole group, because I am not really sure who's to use! =) I am differentiating spelling with the same phonics skills, so that I am figuring out slowly...I was just curious as to how it looks in your room. Thanks again for the great picture!


  3. Could this post be directed towards me? Haha! Seriously .... thank you Christina. This is so helpful. I just switched up my groups based on your post!

  4. Um.... where is your BELOW level group??? Because that's all I have, really. :(

  5. Love all your charts!! Guided Reading is my FAVORITE part of the day. Those "r blends" look just like my words this past week. I wish they didn't come so soon into the Treasures Series--so many of my students aren't ready for them.

    First Grade and Fabulous

  6. Thank you so much for the nonfiction text feature cards.

  7. WOW! Five groups! That's a lot to plan for! Kudos!

    I started Daily 5 this year and while I love the lessons, I find it overwhelming to fit everything in and I end up doing big chunky lessons rather than how it should be. It never even occurred to me to just do conferences for a while!

    Loving your blog! Thanks for sharing.

  8. OMG - I love the group lesson plan sheets that you use in your pensive! Can't believe after so many years of teaching guided reading that I didn't simplify my group lesson plan sheets(I have been using 1 page per day for my groups).

    In response to Lacie's comment -- you had the same thought I did. You are not alone with those that need a bit more help. I have 3 below grade level groups (1 with no text and only a handful of letter sounds) and 1 above grade level group. It's a joy to watch most of those little ones grow by leaps and bounds throughout the year.

  9. These are great! Thanks for sharing.

  10. I realize that this post is now several months old, but I just read it for the first time and I have a question. You mentioned that you are doing a book club with some of your good readers. I am teaching 1st grade for the first time (coming from K), and I have a few kiddos who are well beyond grade level and good readers. I would LOVE for them to do book clubs. Any ideas on how to get these started in my own classroom? I've tried searching for ideas, but haven't found much. Any help would be appreciated!!! I hope you see this. :-)

  11. Hi Erica- my "book clubs" are groups of kids reading the same book. We did a Little Critter author study, have read a Magic Tree House book together and studied that period of history, done a non-fiction feature study, and are currently doing an in-depth comprehension study for one of the leveled readers that came with our reading series.

    Basically, that group doesn't do the workbook pages and things like that because they are truly beyond what the "on level" reading groups are doing.

    Hope that helps!


  12. Could you tell me where you got your guided reading lesson format? I would like a copy. Thank you! :)

  13. Hi Christina! I love all of your ideas! just nominated for the Versatile Blogger award on my blog. Here are the requirements if you wish to spread the cheer:

    1. Thank the blogger who nominated you
    2. Include a link to their site
    3. Include the award image in your post
    4. Give 7 random facts about your self... see below
    5. Nominate 5-10 other bloggers and let them know

    Thanks for your great blog,

    Kammy Hanson @

  14. This is great stuff! Thank you so much for sharing. I feel so sloppy during my VERY important guided reading/conferencing time. Reading your blog makes it all seem much less stressful.

    Thanks again!
    Kati Fulkerson

  15. Just found your "nonfiction text features" cards on pinterest.
    Thanks for sharing!

  16. Just found your "nonfiction text features" cards on pinterest.
    Thanks for sharing!

  17. I followed a link to your Daily Math and then started reading all of your Daily 5 stuff - it is Amazing! Thank you so much for sharing.


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