My Guided Reading Must Haves

I love working with small groups in my classroom.  If I could figure out a way to work with small groups all day long, it would be amazing.  I feel like this portion of my day is so important.  I really get to know my students strengths and weaknesses, and I’m able to really focus on their exact needs.  So, what are my Guided Reading must haves?

Guided Reading Must Haves from Fun in First

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1. Dry Erase Boards, Markers, and Erasers

Guided Reading Must Haves from Fun in First

These are an absolute must have!  I use dry erase boards for so much during small groups.  We stretch through words, manipulate sounds, practice sight words, and so much more.  This year I used vinyl circles on my small group table that we use as dry erase areas as well.  I always stock up on tons of dry erase markers and erasers every year, because we use them for so many things.

Guided Reading Must Haves from Fun in First2. Highlighters

Guided Reading Must Haves from Fun in First

Highlighters make everything more fun.  We use these to go back into our text and highlight our answers.  (You can use highlighter tape in your books.)  The students highlight vocabulary words, phonics skill words, and answers to comprehension questions.

Guided Reading Must Haves from Fun in FirstThe passage above is from my Guided Reading packets.  These differentiated passages are perfect for teaching students to go back into the text.

slide14These Five Step Fluency passages above are great for going back and highlighting with word work activities.

3. Pointers

Guided Reading Must Haves from Fun in First

Guided Reading Must Haves from Fun in FirstAny time you can find something to add a little fun element into reading practice, take advantage of it.  My students love using these finger light pointers while they read.

Guided Reading Must Haves from Fun in FirstWitch fingers are also a big hit, and they are really easy to find this time of year.

4. Fun Dice


I am in love with these comprehension dice that I bought off of Amazon.  They are so easy to pull out and use with any books that we are reading.

Guided Reading Must Haves from Fun in FirstI also love using these phonics cubes for practicing phonics skills.  After the students get really good with these during small groups, they get placed into a morning tub or a work station.

Guided Reading Must Haves from Fun in FirstNumber dice can be used for reading activities as well.

  1. Give the students a word and have them show you on the dice how many sounds they hear in the word.
  2. Have the students roll the dice and come up with a word that has that many sounds or syllables.
  3. Give the students a word.  Have them roll the dice.  They have to come up with that many rhyming words.

5. Vocabulary Cards

Guided Reading Must Haves from Fun in FirstI purchased these Word Teaser Cards a couple years ago and have found them to be so useful when you have a couple extra minutes at the end of a lesson.  It’s a great way to add some more vocabulary instruction into your day.

6. Manipulatives

Guided Reading Must Haves from Fun in First

Some of my go to manipulatives for teaching phonemic awareness are magnetic wands, clappers, and Slinkys.  The students LOVE using them.

7. Binders

Guided Reading Must Haves from Fun in First

I organize everything into binders.  I keep my recording sheets in my small group binder.  I’m able to write notes about each lesson and how each student is doing.  The notes are very quick and messy, but I can write things that went well, as well as goals for each child.  I make sure to do this right away.  If I wait, I will forget what I observed.

Guided Reading Must Haves from Fun in FirstI also keep all of my lesson ideas in binders.  This helps me to stay organized and ready for my small groups.

If you’d like to check out the lessons I use for small group, click on the links below.

Monthly Guided Reading Packets

Phonemic Awareness at Your Fingertips

5 Step Fluency

Comprehension Notebooks

What are your guided reading/small group must haves?

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  1. You have such wonderful language arts resources that I use often to supplement our reading curriculum. Do you have a reading program that your school uses or do you just use your own resources?

    1. Our district requires us to still use the basal reading program from McGraw-Hill. I use that and then supplement with my own things.

    1. We use them to stretch through words when working on phonemic awareness. With the magnetic wands, we spread out the chips. Then, I give the students a word, and they pick up a chip for each sound they hear. “Cat”…they pick up a chip and say each sound “c-a-t.” Same thing for the hand clappers. They clap for each sound they hear. Hope that helps 🙂

  2. Hi Jodi
    Where can I find your classroom toys and games for indoor recess that you get on Amazon? Where were those ideas posted? Thanks

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