Guided Reading Time & Freebies!!

Yeah everyone wants to talk about Guided Reading in July!!  Some background for my guided reading groups; I teach 4 guided readings at 15minutes each!  While I am meeting with students my other students are participating in Daily 5.  I don’t do the typical Daily 5 with the mini lessons in between.  I would rather allow for more small group time!  I also don’t follow the typical Daily 5 student choices.
I have a Smartboard file that has the Daily 5 headers; read to someone, read to self, word work, work on writing, and listen to read.  I then have a column to the side for guided reading groups.  The students’ pictures are under the given header.  This is SO quick!  We do a very fast paced version of Daily 5!  The meeting at the carpet each time allows for students to have time to clean up and for me to draw attention to those that worked hard and cleaned up quietly!  As an incentive to cleaning up quickly I call 3 students to place a stone in our jar that made it to the carpet quickly and sat with a quiet finger while waiting for me.  This allows me a coulple  minutes to get ready for the next group or finish up with my current group. The photo on the side is a screen shot of my Daily 5 Smartboard file…. sorry so small, but have to protect the pictures! 🙂  I have a weeks worth of files already created so I just flip to the next slide and it’s there!  Also, this way I know for sure what student is getting during Daily 5.
My guided reading groups follow a detailed plan (see below)!  Our district encourages us to teach multiple aspects of reading and writing.  My groups start with a form of phonological awareness and/or word work (phonics) depending on the groups level.  I’m sure you are well aware that phonolgical awareness is simply auditory and phonics is working with words, letters, etc. 
For phonological awareness I work on rhyming, segmenting, blending, etc.  For word work I do something called Mix it & Fix it.  The students have letters at the top of their board, I call out a word, they pull down those letters to create the word,  I state ‘mix it’ and the students mix up the letters, when I state ‘fix it’ the students fix the letters, we end with me stating ‘push up and say it.’  Another one of my absolute favorite thing to do during this word work time is; sound boxes
In this photo you can see I use the sound boxes in multiple ways!  The students can build the words with letters or simply write in the letters (I use this method most!)  This is a concept that helps in SO MANY ways!  The students are really using multiple stategies into one concept.  This has helped greatly with their writings and phonological awareness (I know I know- that’s using their ears and not their writings!)  However, when I say “what are the sounds in the cat?”  The student then goes back to placing that word into its given boxes like they do everyday during guided reading all mentally.
I have in the past used a line to teach missing sounds at the beginning of year’s writing.  However, this coming year I am going to go straight to sound boxes.  This way the students will already be aware of the concept with my guided use.
Also, everyday I manage to squeeze in a guided writing with each of my groups!  I know that alot of guided readings + programs call for writing every other day, but I think writing in Kindergarten is SO important that we do it everyday!  I use a paper that’s called Read, Stop, Respond.  This is something at our school that grades K-4 participate in.  It gradually gets more involved as the grades go up.  The Kindegarten format I use is very simple, but does get the students aware to the process!  I will leave a sample of the writing paper below! (of course!!!)
Below you can find a copy of my sound boxes.  I copy these onto cardstock  and laminate.  The students use dry erase markers and an eraser- they lasted all year long!!  Also, below is a copy of my guided reading plans that I use.  The read, stop, respond paper is also located below.   Last but not least- below strategy cards that are great for guided reading!! I would love to hear if you are currently using sound boxes with your kiddos!  Also, if you have never used them before what do you think?  Also- let me know what you think about Daily 5! 

Let me know what you think!  Have a super exciting & safe 4th of July!!


  1. I do Guided Reading & D5 in K almost exactly like you do – it's what has come to be the most workable model for me after several years of trying different versions of stations and D5. Four groups, 15 minute rounds, no mini-lessons. I do whole group instruction either before or after D5 time, and a share/re-teach time as often as I can after the whole thing is done.

    I have a clip-board check-in rather than SMART Board because my board is older & will waste power if left on the whole time (or take forever to warm up btwn rounds). I mark who is meeting with me when I do my weekly plans, and then check in goes quickly as the students tell me their choices & we get to work. My GR plans are Jan Richardson's, but it looks like yours are similar and may be easier to use. I'm going to see how they work for me. (thanks!)

    I made an Elkonin boxes slide for my SMART board to give the students practice hearing just the phonemes (no letters) in words, and it helps them to practice this in the large group. We do it in our small group, and then it makes great scaffolding for picking out the manipulative letters that make the sounds, or later writing down lines to hold the spaces for our sounds when we are doing writing, and matching letters, blends & digraphs that we have learned to the lines we made to hold our sound places.

    These resources are great – thank you so much!

    Erin Lyons

  2. Thanks so much for your comments about Elkonin boxes. I use them, first with only sounds, then written letters…your step putting the boxes in for missing phonemes is genius. It's the missing link for my writing instruction.

  3. Very inspired by your Addition and Subtraction Story Problems. I can see this as a daily or weekly quick check for a fun review or warm up for a lesson. Thanks for the tips on guided reading. Really love your website.

Leave a Reply