Distance Learning for Guided Reading and Small Groups

As we’ve all settled into our “new” school year, that could look different in many classrooms across the country. One thing I wanted to focus my attention on was my struggling readers. I wanted to be able to provide high quality reading instruction to my small group students even if that was remotely. Here are some great tips that you can use if you are teaching virtually and want to still provide guided reading support to your small groups. 

What technology should I use? 

Depending on what your district is using to meet with students, I would suggest Zoom or Google Meet. When you use the “gallery view,” you can view all of your students just as you would at your small group table. 

Utilizing Google Classroom has been so helpful for me and my students. I have found that sticking with one or two core platforms for my students to access their reading materials has been the key. Students are able to get into the flow of lessons, where to find things, how to interact/engage, and the same can be said for the parents. 

Digital Activities

You’ll also want to have a good set of leveled texts that you can display for your students. You can use this 1st Grade Guided Reading Bundle and share your screen with the students. 

Involving parents in the guided reading process

Parents may not know what to do with the book you send. You will want to include some tips as students read, directions and some sample questions they can ask their reader. Parents can ask them to talk about the title and make some predictions about the story and take a picture walk before reading. 

You can ask the parents to help you with the assessment. Parents can upload or send a video of their child reading a leveled text or reviewing sight words. You can also ask them questions like: 

  • Was the book too easy, on level, or did it seem hard?
  • Could your child answer the questions after they read the book a few times? 
  • Was there anything else you noticed as your child read the book? 


Want more resources for your guided reading lessons? My 1st Grade Guided Reading Bundle will be a great addition to your classroom this year whether you are virtual, hybrid or in person. You can save so much time planning your small group reading lessons each week! Each Guided Reading packet includes 4 differentiated nonfiction passages, and 4 differentiated fiction passages. The passages include a lesson plan example, vocabulary cards, pre-reading activity, 3 levels of reading passages with vocabulary words and comprehension questions, a comprehension graphic organizer, and a writing response page. You can grab the passages here! 

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