Guided Reading

Reading Strategies

Reading Strategies

The very first reading strategy that I teach my kindergartners on the first week of school is to sit in reading position using the cute little song. Students are very responsive and quickly develop habits of quiet sitting at the reading table. Now I want to say this strategy is a lot for me and my sanity, but actually, if students sit in a quiet manner at the guided reading table their attention is maximized.

Book Boxes: And Guided Readers.

Book Boxes: And Guided Readers.

A home reading program will be more effective if the student has a way to save or store the books. A book box is a great at-home storage solution. A book box can easily be made out of a shoe box - either a regular shoe box or a purchased plastic shoe box. Your students can decorate the boxes at home. They can be elaborately decorated right from the pages of pinterest, or just covered with stickers. 

Using Leveled Readers At Your Guided Reading Table

Using Leveled Readers At Your Guided Reading Table

Guided Reading is an important part of the literacy spectrum as it is a time to work with students of similar needs and abilities using material at their instructional level.  It is a time to introduce and practice important reading strategies, build one to one correspondence, and to practice the importance of rereading text, and more.

If you are like me and find the guided books in your basal series to be marginal at best, you need something more. I have been making thematic books for two decades now, and find they fit the bill for effective guided reading. I have several sets for sale at our on-line store, they are moderately priced. My students love these little books! I usually sent home two a week. Additionally, each of our 50 plus thematic units and 12 homework packets each contain at least one guided reader.

Reader's Theater in Kindergarten

Using Reader's Theater in kindergarten is not only great fun, but it is the perfect way to build reading confidence, fluency, and developed comprehension skills. This week students were working hard in their reading groups to read, practice, refine, and then perform!

These scripts are perfect for benchmark kindergarten readers! The scripts are engaging as they are based on familiar folktales. 

8.00 12.00
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You can purchase each of these theaters separately, or as a bundle! You kids will love them!

Or if you prefer, purchase them at our TPT Store by clicking here.


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Reader's Workshop in Kindergarten

Research shows that the more a child reads, the better reader he will become. Consequently, when Spring arrives in my Kindergarten Classroom, Reader’s Workshop goes full throttle. 
Students have "Eyes on Text."
My school uses an extravention model that allows me 20 minutes to work only with on-benchmark level students. This is a great time to empower these students with the joy of reading. Please keep in mind, that I begin this stage of the readers’ workshop during our 3rd trimester. I have worked my students to this level of independence through mini-lessons, strategy practice, and guided reading instruction the first two-thirds of the year. And of utmost importance to successful readers’s workshop,  I must continually know the exact reading level of each student on it’s fluid level.

To begin the process, each students needs a drawer, bin, baggie, etc. to call their own. I  currently use a drawer. I call a few students at a time (that are on the same level) read a book together using guided reading techniques and have them add it to their drawer. 

As their drawer builds, I am able to call students individually or as a group and listen to them read. If they read a book with no errors, and it is one that has been in their drawer for at least 5 days, I will them give the student a new book in exchange.

While I am working with individual students or small groups the other students are engaged in reading. I never tell students they must read individually or with partners, because children are cooperative by nature and I enjoy seeing them come up with unique ways to read together, or perhaps crawl under a table to enjoy reading alone for the day. I especially enjoy observing students helping and cheering on each other in the reading process. 

I have certainly found this to be the most productive way to reach the Fountas and Pinnell goal of instructional level D by the end of kindergarten. And, more importantly, allow students to experience the joy of independent reading.

If you are looking for guided readers that are at appropriate kindergarten levels, we offer several guided reading sets such as this one. 

Additionally, each of our thematic unit includes at least one thematic guided reader. 

Teaching an Effective Guided Reading Lesson: Scaffold The Reading

Following the picture walk portion of a guided reading lesson, the teacher passes each student a copy of the guided reading book and invites students to point at each word as he/she reads the story. During this initial reading, the teacher models good reading behaviors such as tracking print, phrasing, inflection, etc. as students follow or read along.

Next, the group turns back to the cover and reads together as a group (choral reading). During this reading, the teacher guides, observes and supports the students. Following this reading, the students re-read independently as the teacher focuses on one student at a time. Next, the students should re-read the book at least one more time. One way to accomplish this is to have a basket of book-buddies (stuffed animal pets) available for the students to read the story to in the classroom library, at another table, or other location in the room, and then return back to the reading table when that task is completed. This will allow the teacher to keep one or two students at the table that may need additional scaffolding.

Check out these adorable space-themed guided readers. 

Contents Include

The Stars -- Level D
My Rocketship -- Level C
Space Explorer -- Level B
Rockets -- Level C
The Aliens -- Level B

Teaching an Effective Guided Reading Lesson: Building Background

Building Background

After the mini-lesson portion of a guided reading lesson, it is time to activate student’s prior background knowledge. For example, if the book is about the ocean, ask students what they already know about the ocean or sea life (you can simply accept responses and make it an oral conversation, or you may want to record responses and make a list or a spider graph. Next, make connections from their responses that will draw their interest toward the text that is about to be read. 

You may wish to follow student responses with a personal experience that you have had with the subject. My students always love to hear these personal stories, they find the notion that teacher’s having a life outside of the classroom is suspect, at best. I might relate an experience such as the following. (Holding a shell) I might say. “One time I was able to sail on a giant cruiseship across the ocean.” (I will show a personal picture of me on the ship). “One day as our ship was cruising, right out of my window I saw a large whale jump into the air.” “This trip on the ocean was so exciting for me, I brought back this seashell so I can better remember it and all of the great ocean creatures I was able to see.”

The kids are now ready! They want to know more about the ocean! At this time, show the students the selected book (teacher holding the copy), and take a "picture walk" (an important tool which builds confidence and support for the reading strategy of using pictures as context clues). To do this, turn through the book page by page calling attention to the pictures. Ask questions such as “What do you see on this page?”; “What do you think is happening on this page?” and “Do you know what this is a picture of?”

Before you turn the last page, allow students to predict what picture might be on the last page to represent the ending of the story. Remember to guide this activity with great care and thought, intentionally implanting important vocabulary words along the way.

Check out these great thematic guided readers:


Teaching an Effective Guided Reading Lesson: The Mini Lesson

Contains Seven Leveled B or C Guided Readers

Guiding Their Reading: The Mini-Lesson

A guided reading lesson usually opens with a brief mini-lesson. The objective of the lesson is generally something that will help students read the text to be presented. And most generally, will look different for each reading group. For example, if you are going to read the book "Little Hearts," found in our February Guided Books,  you could choose from limitless mini-lessons. Following are a few suggestions.

Tracking Print
The strategy of tracking print can be practiced by printing simple sight words on cards and using picture cards or small objects for support in reading the sentence. 

Place the word cards in a row to construct a sentence. “Think Aloud” as you place the cards, talking about the words (and cards/objects), drawing attention to the space between words. “Okay. I now have a sentence. I will take my finger and point under each word that my voice is saying.” Point at each word one by one in a slightly exaggerated fashion. Ask students to read the sentence one by one pointing at each word as the word is spoken. After the activity, remind students that when you read today’s book, point at each word as it is read. *Note. For lower level groups, use only objects rather than words and allow students to practice naming an object only when their finger is pointing at it as they practice the skill of tracking.

Sight words: 
To practice the sight words included in your chosen guided reading selection, have the words ready to go, printed on cards. First show the students each word in flash-card style. Next, pull out a small deck of cards (about 3 or 4 of each word) with the words printed on them. “We are going to play Hot-Potato-Word!” “To play, I will draw the top card and read it. I will then pass it to ____ (the person at my left), and then he will read it and pass it, and he will read and pass until it gets back to me. I will then put the card in a container to cool it down.” After play, remind students to look for the sight words just practiced as they read the day’s book.

Guided Reading: Building A Bridge to Independence

Guided reading is the bridge between shared reading and independent reading. It is an instructional strategy that helps students become better readers. It can be used in many different grades, but it is most common in kindergarten, first, and second.

Guided reading provides the opportunity to apply reading strategies in a supportive environment. With the teacher’s guidance, students can better use new skills such as: sight words, decode words, use context clues, look at word structure, and decide if a word or sentence makes sense. During these guided times of reading, the teacher is able to scaffold students to a higher level of performance in a risk free setting.

At this time of the year in kindergarten, I am very concerned that students learns to track print. It is my upmost objective during each lesson. I call this strategy: Point at the word your voice is saying. After reading the “real” books, I like to use “paper” books, to provide a take-home hands-on opportunity with text. This set of emergent books with a Christmas Theme, are great examples of paper books that awards opportunity to provide strategic practice with text.

--Portions of this blog post first appeared at Hameray's blog

Letter Buddies Books

Hameray has thought of about everything when it comes to their “Letter Buddies.” 

These books are great for small hands as they are the perfect size. Each book has tactile letters on the cover, and an adjective the accompanies each letter on the back cover such as “Meet Happy H.”

Inside the book, you will find seven pages that each contain a picture that begins with the letter and the label for the picture written in nice large font. The last page of the book  is a search for the picture the does not begin with the letter. 

If you love the “Old” books of Rigby and Wright Group of the past, or if you are new to teaching, you will LOVE these Letter Buddies books.

And here is the best thing, you can enter to win a classroom teaching kit valued at $370. 
Enter today!

Guided Readers for Beginning Readers

Guided reading is the bridge between shared reading and independent reading. It is an instructional strategy that helps students become better readers. It can be used in many different grades, but it is most common in kindergarten, first, and second grade.

Guided reading provides the opportunity to apply reading strategies in a supportive environment. With the teacher’s guidance, students can read sight words, decode words, use context clues, look at word structure, and decide if a word or sentence makes sense. 

In order for the teacher to provide pertinent instruction, guided reading groups should be limited to four or five students. Better readers can be in slightly larger groups, but guided reading is not a whole group activity! Groups can be flexible, but should be formed primarily on the basis of reading level. As students develop stronger reading skills, guided reading groups can be determined by interest.

Because guided reading is designed to develop independent reading, students should be able to read at least 90% of the book without any help. Books of this difficulty are “just right” - they give students a bit of a challenge, but don’t frustrate them. 

If you’re looking for some “just right” books, Kindergarten Kiosk has a number of guided reading books to meet your needs. Each of our units includes one or more books; we also have numerous sets of guided reading books available. Help your students cross the bridge to independence through guided reading!

Tracking Print Using Pointers


Tracking print is a skill that is imperative to the learning to read process. As students point at the word their voice is saying, they develop motor behaviors that will move to the automaticity of eyes movement from left to right as print is tracked. It also aides students pay detailed attention to sight words and to the decoding of text. Because this skill is so important, I like to add variety to keep tracking fun and exciting.

It is easy to make a pointer using a craft stick. You can glue just about anything on the top such as a paper tooth when reading a dental book, a snowflake, a heart, or even a shamrock. Kids love to make their own pointers to bring to the guided reading table. It makes a great art center!


 I love using these finger lights at guided reading! Students who have been struggling with word to word correspondence seem to perfect the skill when they are able to use these fun, inexpensive beams.  


I especially love to use these pointers when we are reading one of our space books like the alien book in the picture. Because these lights are fairly inexpensive, I can send these lights home  with the paper reader if it is in my budget for the school year. If not, they are still working a year later, ready to use again and again.

Students that are struggling with tracking print have a kinesthetic link with the light as it glows on each word. Students that can already track print are able to increase fluency as they glide the light along.

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Another of my favorites is pointing with monster, witch, or alien fingers!

What people are saying....

Tremendous! Thanks so much for offering!
Love being able to print books off to send home for fluency!
This is such a great resource, thank you for sharing!
Love these books to practice sight words as well as discuss a topic. It helps my students have books in their hands that they can read! Thank you!

Fall Themed Guided Reading Books for Early Emergent Readers

Don't loose valuable teaching time and wait to start guided reading just because your reading series may lead you that way. Check out our "Fall Guided Reading Books" at either of our on-line stores. These simple books are great to teach early reading strategies such as: 1) Sit in reading position. 2) Point at the word your voice is saying. 3) Use the pictures for clues.

Your students will love these simple books with great text, ready to color pictures, and engaging endings. Or, if you are a parent looking for a way to promote reading at home, these books will offer the needed support you are looking for.

The price is great too! Get these five books for only $4.00.