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Guided Reading Gets Organized

Susan Sturm

Guided Reading Gets OrganizedWith an entire class of students’ reading levels to keep track of, it’s easy for your guided reading program to become disorganized. Sometimes it seems you spend more time cleaning than you do teaching! There are some things you can do to help. Follow these simple classroom management steps to organize guided reading and make the most of your teaching time.

1. Dedicate a Space
Whether it is a table in the back of the room or a desk next to yours, keep a single space that you and the students know is for guided reading.
 
2. Keep Your Books Nearby
Nothing halts the momentum of reading like having to stop and look for a book. Keep your leveled readers nearby and avoid stopping.

 3. Plan Ahead

Spend time thinking about each activity before you bring your kids to the table. Jot down some quick classroom management notes to organize your lesson in your head and be familiar with the text.

4. Color Code

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Give each group a different color and use that color for your book bins, folders and notebooks for that group.

 5. Take Notes

Have a notebook for each child and take notes in it while they read. It will give you a quick reference for parent conferences and report cards.

6. Use Checklists

To keep track of levels and who is ready to move up or down, keep skill level checklists that you can quickly refer to if you are not sure about a student’s level.

7. Bind Your Resources

Keep a three-ring binder of generic graphic organizers that you can easily call on if needed. Make sure the kids know how to use each worksheet before offering it.

8. Keep Useful Tools Handy

In your designated guided reading spot, be sure to keep handy the things that can help you teach. A dry erase board, markers, lined paper and pencils, and magnet letters are all great things to include.

 9. Inform Parents

Keep a pre-made form available so that after meeting individually with a child, you can inform their parents of how they did, what skills they worked on and what they can do at home to help. A simple half-sheet is enough.

10. Establish a Routine

Perhaps the best way to organize your guided reading is to establish a good routine with your students that they know and follow regularly. You will spend less time enforcing rules and more time helping readers.

With these easy-to-follow steps, you can have the guided reading program you’ve always wanted. You will feel more organized and effective and your students will benefit from a well-established routine.

How do you organize your guided reading? Share in the comments section!