Organizing Guided Reading


Now that are guided reading groups are in  full swing, managing all of the materials becomes a bigger challenge.  With some many kinders at different levels, differentiating their instruction {and materials} becomes even more critical.  I hope you find some of these tips useful in your classroom as much as I do.

The Guided Reading Table


Having a table big enough to comfortably fit all of your students is very important.  I love using a table this shape as it keeps me close to all of my little learners.  And YES! We use ball chairs in our classroom so "sitting" in their guided reading group is no different.

Lesson Planning Binder




Lesson plans  need to be organized as well.  Each group has a daily  lesson plan behind their tabbed divider.  The pocket in the tabbed divider allows me to put a copy of their most current book as well as notecards for letters, letter sounds, and sight words they are working on.

My wonderful teacher friend down the hall created this lesson planning template.  You can find some  similar templates in her Guided Reading Template Pack.  I am able to  highlight the standards I want to focus on and am able  to jot down quick notes for each student.  This way I can see  patterns of strengths and weaknesses for each student.

Guided Reading Materials



Each leveled group has their own basket for materials I use.  I have found the easiest way to organize is to place each set of materials in a gallon size bag even if it is small.  The little stuff tends to get buried at the bottom if I don't.  I also placed a cup inside of each basket.  This has been a huge help as I have been using more fluency strips with my  students as a warm-up.  It keeps them super easy to access in a hurry.


On my wall I have attached these organizers.  They are by 3M and use the little strips that don't harm walls.  Hooray!  They surprisingly hold a great deal of weight and materials.  Here is where I store all of their fluency mats I use on a daily basis.  The mats are bound together so students just need to take a pack and a pointer and are ready to begin groups.  These are located on the wall  right behind my table which keeps everything in arm's reach.

Guided Reading Tools


Located on a bookshelf right behind my table are more tools I use for guided reading.  Some fun pointers and listening phones on the wall keep reading interesting.  A slinky is used to stretch out and blend words.  The fuzzy sticks were a gift.  I sometimes use these around my wrist to help give a visual clue for students who like to interrupt tell me their stories.  When my group is done and we are ready to switch, I turn on our cleanup song.  Within 3 minutes we are cleaned up and ready to go!


On another shelf that's easy to reach from my table, I store my dry erase supplies.  The grey bucket is a dish pan from WalMart.  It fits our small boards perfectly.  The organizer on top holds all of the erasers (socks and washcloths), markers, and lined whiteboards.  All I need to do is place the whole basket on the table and my kinders are able to quickly get what they need.


This unit stores all of the extra supplies like paint bags, letter magnets, and wikki stix.  These are supplies that I don't necessarily use on a daily basis, but I still like to have close by.

Assessments & Data


Each student has their own assessment packet that contains our district-wide assessment for each of the Indiana State Standards.  Our standards are new this year, so our assessment had to be switched up a bit from the Common Core assessment we had been using.  You can find our Common Core Math and Literacy Assessment Packet here.  I keep track of their skills on my clipboard and plan for any intervention from that data.  It works super smoothly since I can pull from these assessments at anytime during our guided reading groups.


I hope that I was able to give you some ideas for organizing your guided reading groups and materials.  I'd love to know what works for you!




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