Guided Reading & Center Rotation Resources

Many of you have asked . . . and here it is (finally)!!! A free step by step guide that explains and gives suggestions for how you could group your students into four leveled guided reading groups just like we do and how to set up and rotate your students through daily center rotations. 

click {here} to download

image click {here} to download a set of generic and jungle themed center signs
image click {here} to download a class set of center nametags
click {here} to download the center posters that will be displayed at the front of your classroom. They were all created on legal size paper (8 1/2 x 14).

Now, to tell you a little bit about WHAT we use during guided reading.

Our district uses the Houghton Mifflin Reading Series. We absolutely LOVE this curriculum because everything correlates. For example: our weekly sight words are integrated into all of the stories we read, there are leveled readers that incorporate the sight words and words that follow our target phonics skills for the week. There are numerous paper readers that we can use to have students highlight specific words or spelling patterns, the spelling words each week match the phonics skills, etc . . . you get the point!!! Long story short, it’s an all inclusive program.
We are both BIG believers in having our students read as much as possible. This means sending books home. In the beginning this was a VERY frightening process. For one, we worried that all of our little leveled readers wouldn’t be returned. But, we laid our fears aside and trained our students and parents to read the materials in their daily reading folder and return them the following day. Once in a while a book doesn’t get returned, but for the most part they all come back each day (or the day after in some cases).
We have a plastic three pronged folder for each student. This is their reading folder. Each folder has a note on the front that explains what to do with the materials inside. It also reminds parents to help their child remember to return their folder the following day along with all of the materials. Students take home their reading folders Monday-Thursday. Inside there is a large Ziplock baggie that has been three hole punched for the students to keep their books in. This helps protect the books that go home against spills or leaks in that may occur in their backpack.
Students take home a set of Lightning Words each week in their folder. These consist of our weekly sight words plus some decodable words. Each night parents are supposed to time their child reading the words and record it at the bottom of the page. The goal is to get faster and faster each night. It seems like a game to the kids so they tend to be highly motivated to practice their words. They are equally excited to show off their times at school the following day and earn a sticker for their sticker book.
If you are a Houghton Mifflin user you might want to check out our Resource Pack which is available on TpT. It includes a copy of the Lightning Words to go with each week as well as other items that supplement the series.
In addition to the leveled readers that are available from Houghton Mifflin we also use a lot of books that we have purchased in sets from Scholastic (thanks to our bonus points) and books from Reading A-Z. In order to send a book home each night we had to look to outside sources.
Reading - Your Reading Resource Center
If you are not familiar with Reading A- Z you definitely need to head over and check it out. It is a website that has everything you could possible need to teach reading. Several years ago our school so graciously bought us all a yearly membership to the site and we have used it SO much. To tell you the truth, we actually went a little crazy in the beginning. It all began when we started sorting through the leveled readers and looking for books to supplement our thematic units. We thought this would be a fun way to integrate our thematic units into our guided reading instruction. To date we probably have over 100 sets of books assembled and ready to use throughout the year with all of our themes. The great thing about all of these books is that they all come with lesson plans and printable worksheets.
As you can see there are books that range in level from AA to Z.image
Then we discovered all of the books in the Phonics section of the website.image
We quickly got hooked on the Decodable Books and the Read-Aloud Books. What we love about these books is they go right along with the phonics skills that we are teaching. The Decodable Books are all designed to use with our on level to slightly below lever readers and the Read-Aloud Books work great with our above level readers. So . . . we went crazy AGAIN and made ourselves class sets of nearly every title in these sections. Now we have books to use every week that reinforce our target phonics skills.
We also made our own set of worksheets to go with these books. We wanted to have a place where students could record words they found in the stories that matched our target phonics skills and some open response comprehension questions. These worksheets are all available to purchase in our Reading A-Z Resource Packs which are available on TpT.

Now you may be thinking that we have totally lost our minds. This is a LOT of books. But, by creating class sets we can reuse them each year. We printed the covers in color on cardstock and just copied the pages of the book on regular paper. Then we assembled 8 copies of each book and marked them with a label so parents would know to return them. We keep them organized in large envelopes near our guided reading tables so we have quick and easy access to them.
For you visual learners here are a few pictures . . .
Reading A-Z is a website that requires you to have a yearly membership. We can tell you it is definitely worth the money. If you are looking for additional items to use with your kiddos during guided reading then you should look here first. The good news is you can check it out free of charge. They offer a 7 day free trial membership.

If you still have any questions about HOW we have our guided reading and center rotations organized or WHAT resources we use during this time feel free to email us.  We would love to hear from you.