Guided Reading | How to teach Guided Reading to Early Readers Part 1

do you always feel like you don't know

exactly what to teach during your guided

reading groups and feel stuck every week

as you're creating your lesson plans if

so this is the video for you


hey there if you're new here my name is

Anna welcome to my channel I was a

primary teacher for 23 years and on this

channel I provide professional

development videos to help teachers

improve their craft by learning tips and

strategies for rigorous and small group

instruction not only that also I try to

help teachers learn how to engage their

learners with activities that are fun

and exciting yet meet the state

standards so if these types of videos

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if you're feeling stressed every week

when you start planning your guided

reading instruction stick around because

I'm going to be taking you through my

lesson plan for day ones guided reading

instruction for my early readers this is

just for early readers now this video is

part one of a three-part video series

that I'm doing I have used this proven

structure with my own students in my own

classroom and has resulted in all of my

students leaving my classroom reading on

or above grade level teaching children

to read on how to read understand what

they read and find joy in the process of

reading is a seriously complex task

trust me I know I have been there I know

firsthand how difficult it could be and

it does take time to figure it all out

and get into a rhythm during your guided

reading block it's just it's no easy

task when I first implemented guided

reading in my own classroom I was a hot

mess I mean literally hot mess I

struggled to stay on task and I

struggled to get through all of my

groups within that 15 to 20 minutes time

that aisle I did for each group it

honestly it was not a pretty sight trust

me but you know teaching the other way

and teaching reading whole group was

just so much worse and if you take

anything away from this video today this

is what I want you to know for sure

consistency in your guided reading

instruction is absolutely the key to

solving most of your struggles with

teaching guided reading I promise you

guided reading has always been an

essential part in my classroom and it

was a necessary strategy that allowed me

to differentiate my instruction for each

and every one of my students that was

key by grouping with students by their

instructional reading level I was able

to pinpoint specific skills and

strategies that were needed to move

each one of my students to the next

level of reading guided reading is

critical to meeting the needs of all of

your learners now before you begin

guided reading with your students you

absolutely need to make sure that you

have established routines and set up

expectations at the beginning of the


this is crucial for guided reading

success before you ever meet with a

small group make sure the rest of the

class understands the routines

expectations and activities that they're

going to be doing while you're working

with your group this is critical when I

started to implementing guided reading

in my own classroom I was somewhat plan

for the week yet I still felt like I was

kind of throwing my guided reading group

work together you know five minutes

before my first group and at the

eleventh hour can you relate let me know

in the comments if you can relate with

that so after thousands of hours

literally thousands of hours reflecting

on how I can better plan implement and

execute my guided reading group time I

came up with a plan that actually worked

and created less stress for me

so in this three-part video series I

want to walk you through my effective

guided reading plan for your your early

readers throughout this series I will be

using one of my own guided reading

blocks called ready to quit so let's

jump into it the first part of the

lesson plan for your early readers is

sight word instruction so important so

that's how I usually start my lesson

now remember my guided reading group

lessons are only 15 to 20 minutes

probably lure more along the lines of 20

minutes usually my advanced group I can

get through in about 15 minutes but

usually it runs about 20 minutes I try

to keep it 15 but it always succeed I

talk a lot so the first thing you're

going to do and this is part of my

lesson plan for my early readers is

sight word instruction now my sight word


and as I said I like to make sure I'm

consistent every single day with my

guided reading instructions so I had I

created instructional tri-folds to make

sure I'm staying on course my students

are staying put my students are staying

alert and ready and we just move through

the lesson you must teach guided reading

with urgency you have 20 minutes to get

it all in you cannot have tons of

distractions so I made these

instructional tri-folds to keep me on

task to make sure I am doing what needs

to be done in the allotted time it needs

to be done in so the first thing we're

going to do is I want to talk about

sight word instruction now I have four

or five different types of activities

that I do during sight word instruction

one of the things I want to talk about

is I want to talk about one of the

activities I do where we are we write it

and say it that's one of my activities

again having everything right at your

fingertips during your guided reading

instruction is key to a chaos free

instructional period trust me

so let's do the write it and say it

instructional technique for sight words

now number one I have three sight words

that I have chosen from my book that I

am going to work on today these are the

three sight words however if you have

sight words that you know your students

are struggling with use those sight

words and you can find that out by doing

a sight word assessment something very

important I feel that teachers teaching

guided reading should have because you

need to know what sight words they know

what sight words they can read and what

sight words they can write again we're

talking about two different skills here

we're talking about sight words they can

read sight words that can write so it's

important that you know both so I'm

chose these three sight words for this

specific book that I was teaching so

everyone would have a whiteboard this is

only three minutes everyone has a

whiteboard everyone has a a white buff

pen again I always have these materials

very easily accessible to me so I would

start with the word was now I wouldn't

have these up like this these would be

turned over because I don't want them

seeing them yet

I wanna see what they know so I'm gonna

say Boise because looks right the word


our whiteboard everyone like the word

was and again I'm observing I'm seeing

what they're doing I'm seeing if they're

getting it I'm seeing if they're trying

to sound it out and I'm just if I if I

see a student trying to sound it out and

say remember boys and girls you know

sight words are words that we know by

sight they don't always follow our

English rules our English language rules

so we need to know them by sight right

away so I'll see what they do I might I

might give some instruction to each

child if they're if they're writing it

correctly so I want to see boys and

girls length the word was with me here's

how we write the word wise w a s let's

write that down on our whiteboard and

let's say the letters as we write them W

a s was let's do it again W a s was

let's point to the letters W a s was

that's the word was let's practice the

next word and then I will introduce the

next word this is a three minute

instructional period for your guided

reading group it's quick you do it with

urgency you get it done this is just

about practicing words using different

instructional techniques this is just

one of my instructional techniques that

are in that's in my instructional

trifold so this is the right-hand side

simple it's not a lot it doesn't require

any prep and it's quick and it's easy

that's the first part of my guided

reading instruction we are doing sight

word instruction again it's three

minutes it's quick and I'm only doing

three words and maybe after I do the

word I'll turn it over so they see it

this is important we want them to just

see it in different ways see it on a

whiteboard see it in a pocket chart and

then next time I meet with them which is

going to be during day two we're going

to use some academic letters so there's

lots of different ways to practice your

sight word instruction with your

students that's three minutes of your

lesson plan which is sight word

instruction the next part of your lesson

is going to be book introduction this is

a 30 second introduction this is not

long it's quick and it's done

30 seconds might even be too long so the

way I'm gonna do it of course

my reading glasses is this story ready

to quit now they have it in front of

them it's about a little boy named Dylan

he wants to quit his soccer team because

they never win let's read on and find

out what happens to Dylan in this story

it's quick it's 15 seconds maybe if that

then I go to the next part of the lesson

plan which is preview and predict

everyone has their book in front of them

now sore they're sitting at my table and

everyone's got their block and I'll say

boys and girls let's take a minute and

do a quick picture walk I want you to

take a quick picture walk and think

about what's happening on each page of

the story and you know what don't you

get to page four I want you to turn and

talk to your partner and tell them what

you think is going on in this particular

on this particular page looking at the

illustration we want them to start to

talk to their partners and do a turn and

talk activity this is quick this is one

minute they're previewing the pictures

they're looking at the story the

illustrations they're not reading it's

quick they're just doing a quick look at

all of the pictures and I show them how

to do that I model it and then I tell

them to stop on each for and I want you

to turn and talk to your partner and

tell them what you think is going on in

this picture knowing what the title of

the book is and knowing and looking at

this picture what do you predict is

happening it's quick preview and

predicts is very very quick it's a one

minute part of your instructional period

so tell me have you used any of those

strategies in your own reading groups

let me know in the comments below I'd

love to hear from you and find out if

these are some of the things that you do

during your reading group inst your

reading group instructional time I'd

love to know let me know in the comments

below okay the next part of the lesson

is your read and prompt part now this is

the part where your students reading

that's what they're doing now if you

want to ensure that our students are

engaged and actively reading there are

tools to do that you know I talked about

engagement tools I have my little my

little eyeballs can you see those

my little eyeballs so they use little

eyeballs or sometimes I have little


use they put them on their fingers and

they use those they use those two Eids

so this is a green wine I am blue I have

white I have red so I like to use little

different types of engagement tools to

help them stay engaged with the text so

I might hand out my eyeballs or I might

hand out my little flashlights or during

Halloween I might have my little witches

fingers out so I definitely give them

some type of tool to feel more engaged

with the text so now what they're doing

is they are now looking at the text in

their reading now this is the part of

the of the the lesson where your

students are interacting with the text

now each student has in front of them

their strategy fans I call these my

strategy fans now these are where

they're using their strategies to help

them solve unknown words or difficult

words in the text that they come up with

not only that but I also have my

sounding out bookmark that I give them

so we have both of these and from them

now this is my large one that I use for

display and for teaching purposes and

modeling but every child has my smaller

one like this and it's right in front of

them when they're looking at their book

it's hard to see with the glare with

they're looking at their book and they

have the strategy trifold in front of

them and the decoding trifold in front

of them so they can use different

strategies as they're reading now this

is the part of the lesson where they're

quietly whisper reading we're not doing

round-robin reading that's not what

we're doing we're doing whisper reading

and I'm listening in this is the part

where now I'm prompting them so now I

have a guided reading prompt this is my

instructional prompts to instruct them

and prompt them on fluency on decoding

on maybe comprehension or vocabulary it

depends what I'm hearing and this is

also the time that I'm taking my

anecdotal notes I always have two little

post-it notes and sometimes I have

another sheet that I leave in front of

me that has other post-it notes on it so

I can have one for each child it kind of

depends what I'm doing that particular

day but I have my post-it notes on here

and this is where I'm writing down my

anecdotal notes what am I seeing

what strategies are they using what


jeez are they not using are they having

difficulty with certain vowel sounds did

they get stuck on a word are they

self-correcting these are the things I'm

writing down on my anecdotal notes as

they are reading now remember this is

not round-robin reading so this is where

everyone's whisper reading and I lean in

and I'm listening to the child reading

and I'm writing my notes and I'm

prompting maybe I'm prompting for


maybe I'm prompting for decoding of

unknown words this is where I'm seeing

what they're doing in their reading now

I might lean in to each child is their

reading and listen I might lean in to

the next child and listen I might lean

in to the next child and listen I might

focus on one child the whole time it

really depends on what my goal is if I

know what student is having difficulty

with certain things

maybe that's the student I focus on that

day but I really like to check in with

each student to see how they're reading

if a student finishes before other

students they know to read it again they

know that they go right back to the

beginning this is something I've modeled

before and they go right back to the

beginning and they start again sometimes

I also take running records when I'm

listening so I have running records for

every single one of my books and

sometimes if I don't have it out or

don't have it printed I will use a blank

piece of paper and do a running record

as they're as they're reading those

running records and those quick

assessments that you do really help you

to move your students forward and

advance them into the in the in the

stories that the reading the levels that

the reading and the groups that they're

in so it's important to kind of

constantly keep that that assessment

that you're doing not formalized

assessments again I can do a running

record on a post-it note I don't need a

full eight-and-a-half by 11 sheet of

paper I can very easily do a running

record on a post-it note and know

exactly how that with how that student

is performing what their issue what

they're having difficulty with what

strategies what they're using if they're

if they're miscues are visual or if

they're miscues are meaning based I know

right away just by listening to them so

this is the time that you're doing that

you're listening to them read you're

listening in you're prompting they're

using their strategy they're using their

strategy fans

they're using their decoding bookmark

again it's not round-robin reading their

reading with a whisper reading so you

can hear that okay so that's the next

part of the lesson plan which is read

and prompt and that goes on for about

anywhere between five to seven minutes

again that all depends on your students

what they're capable of what their level

is what their experiences with guided

reading it really all depends but it's

usually anywhere between five to seven

minutes that's the next part that's the

reading part that's the part where

you're instructing them as well with

their reading and prompting them so the

next part of the lesson plan our

discussion prompts this is a two to

three minute part portion of the lesson

that's what we're discussing the story

so I always have a very specific idea

about what I want to focus on for each

book because I read the book I know what

the book focuses on and I know what

comprehension skills I want to focus on

so for this particular story ready to

quit I know I want to focus on either

problem or solution or describing

characters especially how Dillon changed

from the beginning of the story to the

end of the story again because I read

the book and I know what's happening in

the story so it's very easy for me to

pick out a focus so if I decide that I'm

gonna focus on how ill and change from

the beginning to the end of the story

this is what I'll do again I don't have

my reading glasses on excuse me I'm

gonna say how can you describe Dillon in

this story can you tip what words can

you think of that can describe Dillon in

the beginning of the story and then how

Dillon changed at the end of the story

think about that for a second and then

what I want you to do is turn to talk to

your partner and I want you to take

turns telling your partner how Dillon

changed or how Dillon was in the

beginning of the story a word to

describe him in the beginning of the

story and then a word to describe him at

the end of the story and listen in this

is your opportunity to listen in to the

students okay and then you might pick

one or two students to share their ideas

and what they shared with your partner

maybe you want to Pat everyone share

it's up to you and it's also based on

your time this is a discussion prompt

that's it it's in order to use our

communication skills our listening

skills are following directions skills

and our comprehension skills to see if


comprehended the story that we just read

that's the next part of our lesson which

is discussion prompts the next part of

the lesson is your strategy instruction

strategy instruction is about three to

four minutes of instruction now that's

when I am demonstrating and modeling a

strategy that I want my students to use

so again this really scaffolds from

easier strategies to more difficult

strategies so depending on where you are

during the year depending on how many

guided reading groups you've done you

know this is beginning of the year you

know you're definitely working on your

lips the fish your eagle eye your struck

eat snake these are more towards the

beginning of your guided reading

instructions to get them used to using

those types of strategies but again when

you're introducing a strategy you model

you practice you model I'm sorry you

teach you model you practice that's what

you're doing teach model practice so

maybe I I picked out flippy dolphin for

today and I'm gonna say poison because

let's look at flippy dolphin on our

strategy fan they open up the flippies

off and on their fan okay I notice that

mine is larger than theirs okay because

I don't want them taking up the entire

desk but mine is a is a is a

demonstration fan okay so they open up

to flippy dolphin who can be what flippy

dolphin teaches us flippy dolphin

teaches us to flip the vowel sound if

the word doesn't make sense when we

sound it out ask yourself does it look

right so we have to ask ourselves

questions so this is the part where I

will now take my white board and I will

demonstrate I will teach I will teach I

will model and then we'll practice so

this is where I'm gonna say okay boys

and girls flippy dolphin wants us to

flip the vowel sound if we're looking at

a word that doesn't make sense so let's

say the word was um it's not going to be

word from the book I'm just gonna pick

anywhere let's say the word was train

let's say this is the word that was in

the story train so I'd say okay boys and

girls if we

looking at this word and I'm sounding it

out and I'm also probably gonna use

stretchy state to help me and I'm gonna

get my lips ready because lips the fish

helps me and I'm gonna start with my

first part right here turn Tran true and

Tran does it look right kind of it has

an A in it but now I have to think about

that think about does it make sense does

that word make sense what's a Tran can I

use Tran in a sentence hmm let's try

flippy dolphin and let's flip that vowel

sound so instead of using the AH vowel

sound that a makes what's the other

sound that a makes it says its name a

let's try that again

turn hmm train I'm Trey and that makes

sense so I teach it so I'm I'm teaching

it we go over the strategy i model it

now we practice so now the students have

their light boards and I take out

another store another word from the book

that I feel like they can use um flippy

dolphin way so maybe I pick the word

teams so I'm going to say boys and girls

let's look at this word let's sound out

that word maybe they go mmm

tens tens hmm maybe I also might open up

my book and show them where that word is

and have them use the context of the

sentence to help them which is another

different strategy but now since I'm

working on flippy dolphin I'll say well

let's try the other sound that he makes

what's the other sound he makes its name

hmm teams again this is the practice

time now I might choose another word

I'll have them write that word down and

we'll do the flippy dolphin with the

sounds news Thames or Eaton's teams

practicing flipping the vowel sound

that's the strategy so maybe that's the

strategy I choose for this particular

lesson again it kind of depends on what

I hear when they're reading and the

anecdotal notes that I write down so you

decide what strategy to teach and you

teach it three to four minutes

simple easy move on teach with urgency

go to the next part so that's the next

part of a gun this is day one's lesson

for your early readers okay the last

part of your guided reading instruction

for this particular day one early

reading instructional period is we're

going to do some word work now we do a

variety of different activities during

word work there's so many different word

work activities that I have my students

work on with me so the first thing we're

going to do is I want to decide what am

I gonna do today

am I going to do a making words activity

with them mmm I'll do making words with

that now I have three different types of

activities that we can do we could do

make its which is our making words

activities we could do boxes where we're

focusing on sound boxes I'll do that as

well and sometimes we'll do mat chips

and this these are analogy charts this

is a bit of a higher level skill forward

work so I don't usually use this with my

D through G readers I'll start this with

my H readers my analogy charts but from

my D through G readers I'll work on

nakeds and box it's again making words

and sound maxes that's what I'll focus

on so on the bottom of mine on my lesson

plan I already have the words that I'm

gonna work on so what I'll do is just so

you know sometimes I'll have them cut

out the letters usually I'll have these

letters already cut out and put in

little baggies and then I have those the

ideas that go with this lesson that's in

my guided reading binder so everything

gets put in my little front pockets so I

pull it out do my instructions super

easy and quick so what I'll do is I'll

give everybody everyone all of my

students a little baggie with the

letters and I start my instruction so

when I look at my make it's

instructional try

hold it called me the process and

procedure number one say the first word

to your students tell your students to

repeat the word slowly while stretching

it out using stretchy snake tell the

students that think about structure

snakes so I'll say to them okay boys and

girls I want you to use your letters and

make the word dish a dish

see how I tap my fingers that's another

strategy I do ditch they start making

their words and I'll say okay boys and

girls let's put our fingers under the

letters and and say the sound of the

letters the dish we run our finger under

the letters they're doing that together

great boys and girls let's write the

dish down next let's write the word dish

down next to number one and they write

the word dish down then I'll say okay

boys and girls I'd like you to change

dish to - duh ah Shh - now I want to see

do they know what vowel sound that is do

they know that they're changing the

vowel sound are they're gonna just take

move all those letters around and just

start over again these are all

strategies and I'm looking for I want to

see what the students are doing are they

just removing that I and moving in the a

or do they take apart the whole word and

start again these are things I'm looking

for okay and then we do it duh a dish we

write the word the next word I want you

to change I'm sorry the word was - sorry

I want you to change - to lash change

the word - to lash poison there I'm

going back to say boys and girls this

instructional strategy here incorporates

so many different skills and strategies

we have

decoding we have phoneme segmentation we

have encoding because the students are

writing the words this is filled with

skills and strategies students need to

focus on when

working on word work this part of the

lesson is four to five minutes again it

will go quicker as you repeat these and

as your instruction becomes consistent

during your lessons the more consistent

with you will that you are with your

groups and your lessons the quicker it

goes I can get through each of these

steps in a 15 to 20 minute period like

that we teach with urgency we get it

done and as they practice it and it

becomes a consistent routine and

structure it becomes much more quick as

you're doing it okay so that's basically

in a nutshell is day ones instruction

for an early guided reading group so now

that you know how to progress with day

ones guided reading instruction for your

early readers I have created an editable

lesson plan for you to use when you're

planning your lesson for your early

readers the link is in the description

below and I'd love you to click on that

download it and use it when you're

planning your next lesson also if you

want to join a community of teachers

just like you I have a private Facebook

community where I share teaching ideas

and tips and strategies and I share

freebies in my group as well I'd love

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questions about guided reading and it

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one of my videos that I upload each and

every week thank you so much for

watching and don't forget this is only

video number one there are two more

videos in this particular series that

goes over a day two and day three of

your early guided reading instruction

that you can do with your early readers

so I hope you'll join me in the rest of

the videos thank you so much again for

watching I will see you in my next video