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September 25, 2013 Guided Reading Organization Made Easy By Genia Connell
Grades 1–2

    Guided reading groups are an integral component of my reader’s workshop. With 28 students I often find myself working with five to six different groups a week. Even the most organized teacher (something I admittedly am not!) can find juggling all the lesson plans, resources, and even books an overwhelming task. If you have read a few of my posts, you know I am all about keeping things simple and easy to manage — something that is especially important for me when it comes to guided reading. Over the years, I’ve created a system to help me gather and manage all the materials I'll need for the entire week before my first group arrives at the reading table Monday morning. This week I'm happy to share a few of the things that make my guided reading time a bit easier for me and my students.  

    Watch this short video to see all of my tips for stress-free guided reading management and read below for editable resources you may even want to use in your own classroom. Mobile users, please go to:


    Keep Your Materials Within Reach

    Keeping everything at my fingertips is key for my organizational plan. A few of the items that make meeting with groups easier to manage include:

    Reading Table

    I use the traditional kidney-shaped table but cut roll paper to fit the tabletop every one to two weeks. Students do much of their written work on the paper, including word work. When one group leaves, their sheet is rolled away for the next group. 

    Guided reading table with paper cut outs for work


    Reading Resources

    My teaching guides are sorted in a large binder by level and skill. Easy to use tabs help me quickly find exactly what I am looking for.                    

    Guided reading binder

    Click on the image above to download an editable binder cover.


    Guided reading books are sorted in crates by level, comprehension skills and theme focus. 

    Tall placeholders help me know where each lesson goes when the time comes to put it back. These same place holders are used in my book boxes to help me return books to their proper spot. 

    tall place holders

    Click on the image above to download your own editable place holders. Print, cut and laminate!

    Best. Organizer. Ever.

    A dish rack makes the perfect, inexpensive holder to sort all of my lessons for the week and any other materials my reading groups may need.

    Dish rack for guided reading organization


    Leveled Folders

    Instead of creating folders for each group, I have made one folder for each level normally found in the third grade. Students move between the folders as they progress through the levels. 

    guided reading folder

    Text Level Indicator Sheets

    Inside each leveled folder I glue sheets that list all the skills that a reader at that level should be working toward.These sheets help me plan lesson objectives and assess my students' reading. 

    Text level indicators

    Download an entire set of text level exectations for guided reading levels A to Z 


    Universal Lesson Plan Template

    I have created a blank template group lesson plans that I'll be using in my guided reading. I make multiple copies and keep them in my binder for easy access. 

    guided reading universal lesson plan template

    Click on the image above to download my universal lesson plan. 


    Once everything is organized, the teaching can begin! What are your best tips for organizing your guided reading materials? Please share in the comment section below. ~Genia




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