Guided Reading

Guided Reading
Guided Reading



Guided Reading For YOU!

Well hello there!  I hope this post finds you in great spirits!  In this post I will be answering a lot of frequently asked questions about my Endless Guided Reading Mega bundles and guided reading in general!  Below I will have a quick recording you can listen on to me babble about the bundles and answer some of those initial questions about the bundles!

You can click below to listen in!

Phoneme Segmentation Caterpillar from my Kindergarten Bundle!

I am SO GLAD I purchased this! What a FABULOUS find! I have taught for over 30 years & try to stay very current on best teaching practices. I'm eager to put this Guided Reading Mega Bundle into action in my classroom. Imagine my delight when I logged on to rate this & saw that it has already been updated! Tara, you are wonderful. I recommend this to K teachers fresh out of college to those of us on the other end! You won't be disappointed!

I own your Kindergarten Endless Bundle so I had to own your First Grade Endless Bundle too since I know how amazing your work is! I'm thrilled with this product and the many ways it is helping my students to become better, more confident readers! I so enjoy coming back for the new updates! It's like a gift that keeps on giving...and the real gift is the success that my students are achieving!

You can view more about what your fellow teachers are saying below!

Kindergarten Bundle

First Grade Bundle

Below is a detailed list of what I explained in the sound bite above!  You can see the two bundles are similar, but vary still!  I didn't mention it in the sound clip, but the units are completely separate of each other!  The easy readers, packets, etc do not overlap!  A lot of teachers have both bundles for even more differentiation options in the classroom!

 Writing strips!  These are in both the kindergarten and first grade bundles!

In the sound bite above I also mentioned a master list for each of the bundles!  These can be very visually overstimulating, but all of the information is there in one place HA!  A lot of bundle owners as for these so I've included the images below, but also download links where you can store the PDF or print!

The kindergarten map below shows the two easy reader titles per week, their DRA levels, sight word focus, phonemic awareness skill, and the phonics/word work skill for the week!

Download the Kindergarten master map HERE.


Below is a look at the first grade master map!  The map lists the two books per week.  You'll notice that it lists a {f} fiction and {nf} nonfiction book per week!  The comprehension focus, phonemic awareness focus, and phonics/word work skill is also listed!  On the following two pages you'll see the DRA levels for each book!  If you teach to Fountas and Pinnell you can view THIS correlation sheet to help you convert from DRA to F&P!

Download the First Grade master map HERE.

A look at one of the nonfiction readers within the first grade bundle!  The nonfiction readers all have "true life" photographs in them!
My guided reading lesson are divided into these four sections:
Phonemic awareness/letter sounds {2-3 minutes}
 Phonics/letter names/sight words {3-4 minutes} 
Book Study - -comprehension & fluency {5-6 minutes} 
Guided Writing  {5 minutes}
That totals for around a 15 minute guided reading lesson. 

As the year progresses my guided reading lessons are divided as follows:

Phonics/Sight Word Work {3-4 minutes}
 Book Study & Discussion {6-7 minutes} 
Guided Writing {5 minutes}

Phonemic SegmentationPhoneme segmentation is a very important skill we work on.  All of my guided reading packets are FILLED with fun and exciting phoneme segmentation activities.  I will share just a few right now :)  Anyway, I work a lot on phoneme segmentation because has a huge impact on our young readers and writers. Once my students master breaking down words into their individual sounds they are more confident in writing and reading independently. 

 The below picture show my box of phoneme segmentation goodies!  We use slinkys, gems, cars, and bingo wands!

Below students are stretching the sounds in their words using slinkys!  I purchased my slinkys from the party goods section at Walmart!

Below the little one has my Phoneme Segmentation Stretcher cards {k bundle}. These are great because the kiddos stretch the word by "pressing" the button for each sound, then pulling it back together at the end!

The following picture is more word work since the students are writing the sounds, but you can also still use these cards to "push up" the sounds into each box using gems, snap cubes!

We also LOVE our magenetic bingo wands at the guided reading table!  Watch those in action HERE!  I have a packet within the k bundle that is filled with fun activities that go along great with these magnetic wands!  "Wand"erful Guided Reading Packet

We also stretch out words using our little highways!

Sight Word Sight word practice is another biggie that we do everyday during our guided reading group.  I will first go through the sight words that we've covered so far in the year.  I ask that all students are watching the word, even if it's not their turn.  Grab a freebie set of flashcards below!

We then go into our sight word mix & fix work.  I love this activity and it's so beneficial to the students.  Here's how it goes....I have placed the letters needed for the sight word into a little container { I purchased these 6 for $1 at Family Dollar}.  Each student has their own container of letters.  I will ask the students to build the word first using their letters.  If the students are not yet comfortable with the word, for instance Monday-Tuesday as we are just learning the word I will leave my flashcard on the table for them to use as a guide.  We will then mix our word {mix up the letters in a random order} and then I will have the students fix it.  We will do this about 2-3 times.  The last time I will ask them to leave the letters on the top of the board and then practice writing the word.

You can snag these freebie sight word cards HERE!

Phonics/Word Work Activities

Along with the phonemic awareness piece and sight word work we also spend a few minutes on phonics work!  Below is  picture from earlier in the school year when we were still working with our names!  The kiddos had to mix and fix their own names!

Writing strips!!!!  I can not say enough about my love for writing strips at guided reading time!  They are great for keeping the kiddos busy, you can clearly keep them accountable but going back to check their written words, and they are differentiated!  Writing strips are in my K and 1st grade bundle!


When working on fluency it doesn't take a lot of time, but will have such a huge impact! To build fluency I focus around my four areas that my students are assessed on the AIMS web!  So, we work on letter naming, letter sounds, phonemic awareness, and nonsense words!  You saw above some ways we work on PSF!  For letter names and sounds I have a complete deck of letter flashcards A-Z with capital and lowercase.  I will then set the timer for one minute and flash them to the kiddos!  I will have told them if we were working on sounds or naming prior.  We will try to get through the entire stack before the one minute timer!  For nonsense words I use the following nonsense cards and simply go around the table to each kiddos 2-3 times and have them read the word for me!  I don't start this though until around November! 

The other cards pictured below are used for just another way to practice PSF!  I will show the kiddos the picture and they will simply stretch out the word on their fingers, and pull it back together!

We do work on fluency in other areas as well!  Below the kiddos are working on my Chunkin' it cards!

Chunkin It Up For Primary Learners

Build Background for the Book

After our phonemic & phonological awareness work we move into our books!  I always begin with building background to the book we will be reading.  If we are reading a book about family we will discuss who is in our families.  I always try to get each student to share something that connects them to the story we are about to read.  I have noticed that if they already have an interest with the book they will be more excited about the book and work hard!  After we build background I will then go into introducing the book.

Book Walk

During our book walk I will point out the title, and the front cover illustration.  We will discuss any connections we have to the front cover from the information that was shared during our building background.  We then look at each picture and note the reading pattern and the pictures within the story.  This is a step that I start to back off slightly with my above group as the year progresses.  I transition them into doing a book walk independently.

Shared Read

During our shared read I will have each student read one page.  We rotate the book around the table.  I like doing this because it gives me an opportunity to see each students using 1:1 tracking and I can emphasize that great readers read with a steady pace and never race their words.

Independent Read

After our shared read each students receives their own book and they read independently two times.  This sounds like mass chaos, but it works and am able to stagger their starting points so that not all students are reading the same page at the same time!

Guided Writing

Another one of my favorites during guided reading is taking the time to respond to the book with a guided writing activity!   The below picture shows my students this week doing a guided writing activity.    Because we are still working on our sight words I laid out in order the words that they would start their sentences with.  I tapped the words several times and they read them with me.  I also demonstrated the spaces between my words by leaving a space between the cards!  Grad these freebie sight word cards below!

 Both my kindergarten and first grade bundles come with daily guided writing templates!

What about my "Nonreaders?"

Especially in kindergarten we will have students that come in as "nonreaders" Of course the teacher in me says ALL of my kiddos can read, but if you have students struggling with text I have a few packets in the kindergarten bundle that will help! Something that I have had great success with in my classroom is providing my students with material that have one to one tracking dots!  You can see from the image below that I have the kids start with simple tracking strips that are simply pictures and then I start to swap out those pictures for words!

The image below shows my "I Can Read Mix and Fix Sentences"  I used these for a solid two months with my lowest readers.  They were SO proud of their sentence reading, building, and writing each day!  It helped tremendously with their reading confidence!

So, you made the big jump and purchased the know it is going to be awesome, but how will you organize all this "awesomeness?"  Below I will show you how I got all of my firstie materials quickly organized!  With the help of my dear husband we got this all organized in about 3 hours!  That was me printing, him laminating, "us" cutting, and me organizing! I will go through each part of the organizing, but if you still have questions ...always feel free to email me! :)
Alright, let's go! I have one green basket now for k materials and one for 1st grade materials.  Inside my green basket I now have a binder for lessons/printables and all of my activities rubber-banded together and placed down in the basket. 

I like to keep the activity cards/strips in the basket until I need them for that week of instruction.  I then can easily switch them out so my guided reading "tub" does't start to overflow!  Below is a look my firstie writing strips, sound cards, sight words, and the Gotcha! cards are not pictured because above stated dear husband was busy cutting those!
Below is a look into my guided reading caddy...this is more k focused, but your can see how I organize my "go-to" resources for the week....then I transfer those back to the green baskets when not using them.  I love having the separate baskets so material is easily accessible in case I change my mind mid-lesson...that is acceptable, right!? :)

If you're using my step by step packets you'll probably want to get those organized into a binder! So, I set up a binder first!  I then labeled a tab for each week of guided reading!  This will help me to be able to access that week's material quickly!

At the start of each week's tab I have placed in a sheet protector the lesson plans, printable books, and word sorts!  Now when I teach this lesson I'll just pull that sheet protector and have everything I need!

You can read a lot more detail about how I organize my 1st grade guided reading bundle HERE for the kindergarten organization post view HERE.

If you're still craving for more information about my guided reading groups you can view this very informative post!

If you are wanting to see how the kindergarten and first grade step by step guided reading packets would work for your kiddos you can download free samples of both!  You can view a free week of kindergarten guided reading HERE and first grade HERE.

 If you own parts of the bundles but would like to "upgrade" to the mega bundle while it's on sale I can help with store credit for any "duplicates" you will have purchased!  You can simply email me at and I will be more than willing to assist!  If you have any guided reading questions please feel free to shoot me an email and I can be a sounding board for you!




  1. Thank you so much for the information! Happy New Year and all the best in 2016!

  2. You are beyond amazing!!! What a god send you are to so many teachers around the world. Love you big!!!

  3. I can't get the free first grade packet to work. It says "Server Not Found".

    1. Just fixed it sorry about that! And here is the link-

  4. Thank you for offering to credits! There are so many times when I purchase an item before the bundle to see if I even like it. I don't want to spend $68 - $98 for something I can't find a use for with my students. But if the item works and I like when I purchase the bundle I have paid double for one item. I wish more sellers would offer credits.

    1. I will always do what is BEST for teachers! I appreciate you taking the time to tell me thank you!!! >>>kisses<<< :) Tara

  5. You mentioned word sorts above...are those included in your pack or how do you go about choosing words for those? I'm thinking that's something I need to start doing with my kiddos! Thanks!
    I've gone back and read all of your guided reading posts this morning in an attempt to re-vamp my guided reading/writing for the rest of the year. Thanks for all the time and energy you spend creating and advising us teachers who hope to someday be as wonderful as you!

    1. Hey there! The word sorts go along with the phonics skills for the week! So, if the kiddos are working on long vowels the word sorts will be long vowels pictures and/or words to sort! :)


  6. I meant and still mean every word of that review! Your products are stellar Tara! I own so many of them and love them all! Thanks for all you do!