Materials For Guided Reading

Getting Books for Guided Reading

Teacher Basket/ Storing Guided Reading Supplies

Taking Anecdotal Notes of Student's Reading

Guided Reading Planning Binder

Guided Reading Folder

Assessment Binder

Getting Books for Guided Reading

     I have had many teacher contact me asking WHAT I use to teach guided reading.  I am very lucky.  My school has a pretty large bookroom with LOTS of leveled books that I use for Guided Reading.  Also, our basal series (Scott Foresman Series) comes with two boxes of guided reading sets.  They are ok, but a little dry.  If your school does not provide the small, leveled books for guided reading there are other places to get materials.

This is paid subscription (which I do not have), but I have heard good things.  Books are printable with activities and lessons with all kind of stuff.  Membership is $50 or $80 depending on the type of membership.

This site also has several printable books bout the adventures of a little boy named Tommy.  I DON'T know what these are leveled (sorry!), but you could level them yourself.  There is a formula, but I don't know it.  These books are free if you become a member (which is free, you just have to sign up).

This site is very similar to the one above.  It has free printable books that are leveled to use as send home readers or in guided reading.  This is an excellent resource for teachers that do not have access to short guided reading text.  There are a few for the primary grades, but most books seem to be geared to upper elementary.

These are the COOLEST magazines.  They have all different topics (many will fit in Sci/ SS content area).  The site also added readability so you can figure out what level you will need.  Each magazine is about $3.50, which I found to be pretty reasonable.  They are jam packed with info.  I just bought several to use this school year.

When in doubt, check Ebay.  I just searched leveled books and three pages came up.  Some were 3rd-4th grade level and one was even the Scott Foresman series I was telling you about!  I don't know how someone is selling it on Ebay!  The one thing I couldn’t tell is if they were sets or individual leveled books. That would be a good thing to ask sellers.



I would NEVER suggest breaking copyright, but I have HEARD of some teachers who buy a kids magazine, like Nickelodeon (sp?) and then make copies of an article.  Then the students all have the same piece of writing, it is short and the teacher can zero in on a skill.  It is also really high interest.   However, you wouldn’t know the level.


Time for Kids
Time for Kids magazine puts many of the articles online for free. You can print the articles to use in your reading groups. To get an approximate level you can cut and paste the article into Word. Go to the Tool bar and click on Options and the select the spelling and grammar tab. On the bottom check the box that says readability level.



          Instead of students coming to my reading table, I move to the students.  I find that this saves a bunch of transition time, but it requires my reading materials to be organized and portable.  I stole this idea from our school's roving Reading Specialist and it works for me.

         I have a reading basket of all the materials I use in class.

It is a basket that I picked up a the Dollar General.  In the back of the basket I keep all of my "teachery" things.  In the front I keep cards I use in groups, pens, markers, dry erase markers and post it notes.


This is a close up of the materials in the front of my basket.  I have my cup of writing utensils, post it notes, two different kinds of response cards (see the how to reading strategies page for more on these) and three EZ Readers. I use the EZ Readers with my lower readers who have a difficult time with tracking the words.  these are very helpful with my ESOL students as well.  My school provided me with these.


These are some of the materials I keep in the back of the basket.  In each of the file folders I have lesson plans for the books I am currently teaching.  My homeroom is the orange file folder, the other homeroom I teach is the blue folder. I keep any general reading  information in the manila folder.  The wikki sticks are used in groups to highlight paragraphs, words or phrases.


These are two spinners that I purchased at The School Box.  One spinner is for before reading and the other spinner is for after reading. I keep these with me in the back of my basket.

November 2007- When I moved into my new classroom for second grade, I also somewhat rearranged how I organize my reading supplies as well.

This is the shelf behind my guided reading table.  The shelf on the left is full of reading materials and the shelf on the right is math materials.

I bought several of the 81/2 by 11 drawers from Wal-Mart. I keep most of my materials in these labeled drawers.  I have post it notes and note paper, office supplies, crayons, markers and colored pencils, highlighter tape, comprehension questions, EZ Readers  and stickers.

In the very top of the drawer are the red, green and yellow book boxes from Really Good Stiff. Each reading group is assigned a book box.  I store any familiar reads or any new reads in the box.  When I taught fourth grade, I wrote a lesson plan for each guided reading text, since it took a few days to get through each book.  In second, we can get through a book in one to two meetings.  Now, I simply read the book in advance and stick a post it note with ideas for tricky words, word work and comprehension questions.  Then I rubber band all the books together with the post it note on top and stick it in the correct book box.

You may also notice the big white basket of brain phones.  These were provided by my assistant principal.  She made them herself from PVC pipe.  My kids that are still learning to internalize reading enjoy these phones because it keeps them from distracting others.  My AP simply went to Home Depot and bought the PVC pipe and fitted them together!

Speedie Readies

I also have a folder of speedie readies.  I got this idea from Ms Powell's website, although her idea is slightly different than mine.  In this folder I have all the free Time for Kids, National Geographic and all the other free sample magazines that I get in the mail form various companies.  Instead of throwing them away, I keep the magazines and when students are finished reading in guided reading groups, or they are waiting for me (for some reason) they can look at these (free! ) magazines!  I haven't used them as much as I could.  I keep forgetting about them!  I am going to try to remember this year!



Group Materials

One thing that may be difficult for some is keeping up with the materials for each guided reading group. I have found a system that is very simple for me.  I assign each group a magazine file like the one pictured below:


All materials for this guided reading group are kept in the file.  For example, the copies of books, student spiral notebooks for any writing or response work to guided reading and sometimes post it notes.  If students are assigned a project during guided reading, they can keep their materials in here as well.


In the past I have kept all the magazine files on a desk or table because they wouldn't fit on my reading cart.  In 2006 I tried storing them behind my table.



I know they are ugly and don't match (all black, white and orange).  This year I may try to buy these really cute ones from Really Good Stuff!


09/06 Update: I found these really cute magazines bins at the DOLLAR store!  I bought enough to have one for each group in my classes.  They were to big to store on the shelf behind the guided reading table (see above picture) so I have them on the rolling cart next to the table.



3/09-As the years have progressed I have found that I mostly enjoy storing all the groups materials in the plastic book boxes from Really Good Stuff.  I have done this for the last 2 years and it keeps me organized!  You can see the book bins behind my table to the left on a short shelf under the lamp and CD player.





Is This My Book?

Guided reading with fluent readers is very different than with beginning readers.  First of all, it takes more than one session to actually finish reading a book. One thing that drove me NUTS during guided reading groups was figuring out and passing out student copies of the guided reading texts.  Since students jotted down thoughts on post it notes and marked pages with them, it DID matter that students always kept the same copy of the text.  Now, when I first introduce and pass out books, I also give students a post it.  They write their name on the post it and then stick it INSIDE the cover.  Now we can always figure who the books belong to!



Reading Tool Kit

I loved this idea that I found on Ms. Gurian's website. You can create a tool box for students to use during guided reading- or even in independent reading time! She also included directions on how to use it!  Love it and will be work on making these for next school year!!!


Taking Anecdotal Notes of Student's Reading

     It is important to remember that in guided reading, one thing you are doing is listening for what a child does while they read so that you can match your instruction to what the child needs.  If the child only uses visual cues (what the word starts with ,ends with or  vowel patterns), then you need to teach the kid other ways to decode!  To be able to be a reflective teacher, then you need to be able to notice and recall what the reader does.

In order to do this, I take anecdotal notes while the student reads.  I note fluency, strategies, miscues, were they able to answer my comprehension questions I asked after the reading?  I have tried MANY ways to keep notes. 

Here are just few to give you some ideas.  I have tried and decided against several, but I am really picky, so just because I couldn't make it work, doesn't mean you can't!

I have had note cards taped in a staircase fashion to a clipboard so I can just flip to the next card.  Each student had one index card.  When I filled the index card up with notes, I peeled it off the clipboard and filed it away in a index card file box.  Then I taped a new card in place. I am lazy and thought this was a lot of work to maintain so I scratched it. 

     After that I bought each student a small spiral notebook, similar to this picture.  Each student got one with their name labeled on the front.  I noted reading and writing conferences in the spiral.  This was ok, but the spiral notebooks were bulky and it was a pain to sort through 22 of them to find the student I needed.  So I scrapped this idea.

   Then I bought I bought a big package of Avery address labels and printed this form on them.  I would pre-write each students name on one label so I would be sure to meet with each child.  Then I mark on the label a s I listened to the child read.  After I finished several reading labels, I would stick them all in the little spirals from above.  However, I didn't like this because I felt like it was too much extra work to have to find the spiral and stick the label in.


And last but not least, the method I am going to try this year!  I just figured out that my computer grading program will print out a class list in a table format.  It is a two column format: the students name on the left column and then a big blank box next to each name. I am going to print these to use as my writing workshop anecdotal notes.  However, I have created my own version for the reading anecdotal notes because I want something slightly more structured.  I cannot decide how I am going to use it yet.


Here is the reading anecdotal notes I am intending on using.  One sheet will have 14 students on it ( I wish I could fit the entire class).  I can look down and in a glance know who I need to conference with. I will keep all these clipped together on a clipboard. When I finish with a sheet (and meet with most/ all students), I hole punch it and keep it in my assessment binder.

  Sandra Hogan, a first grade teacher shared this great idea, "I have been using this for awhile and it's been working for me. I use the 3X4 address labels. After writing my notes, I stick them on their page in my reading record notebook. I have one large 3 ring notebook with dividers with their names. I have their sight word checklists, running reading records, and a blank page for anecdotal notes. After reading groups, I stick their label (with date and notes) on their page. No printing pages or setting up--just putting 4 sheets of labels on a clipboard and recording. It's been great. This way I can flip to all of their reading assessments and practice. If you get a large enough binder you can store their other language assessments. "



I would love to hear any ideas you have!  Please email me with any of your ideas to add to the site!