Can Guided Reading and Guided Writing Go Together?

 In my early teaching years, I thought guided writing was just helping a student write. Whether that be helping them stretch out a word, generate an idea for their story, or help with the organization of their story, I thought I was doing guided writing. In reality, I wasn’t. I typically coached them through what […]

How to Plan for a Successful First Day of Guided Reading

You’ve set up your classroom and small group area. You’ve found a solid set of decodable and leveled readers. You’ve assessed your students and formed guided reading groups. But do you know what the first day of guided reading looks like? When you call students’ names to your table, do you know what you’re going […]

4 Ways to Complete Reading Assessments for Kindergarten and First Grade

As teachers, we all want to get to know our students at the beginning of the year. We want to know their likes and dislikes, what they love to do, and their strengths and weaknesses. One area we all need insight into is students’ reading abilities. When it comes to reading assessments for kindergarten and […]

4 Ways to Easily Integrate Phonics and Guided Reading

When I first started teaching, one area of my reading instruction that was weaker than others was my phonics instruction. Between all of the reader’s and writer’s workshop requirements, I just couldn’t figure out how to fit in phonics. So it often got put to the side and picked up whenever I had a chance. […]

5 Reasons Why Name Recognition Activities Benefit Kindergarten Students

When you think of the typical kindergarten classroom decor, what comes to mind? You may think of bright colors, fun books, and expectation charts. You probably also think of cute name charts, often with students’ pictures next to their names. That’s because young children’s literacy foundations include name recognition activities. Recognizing our names is one […]

Effective and Engaging Kindergarten Literacy Centers Made Easy

What do poetry, reading, writing, listening, community building, word work, and high-frequency words have in common? These are things that students can practice, review, and strengthen through kindergarten literacy centers! Once literacy centers (aka literacy stations) have been introduced and established, your students will love getting to work alongside their peers and strengthen their literacy […]

4 Things You Can Do to Teach and Improve Reading Comprehension

All three of my kids enjoy reading. This summer we have gone to the library several times and came home with a haul of books. Each time we come home, they immediately pick their favorite reading spot and are glued to their books. Sometimes I’m reading them aloud and other times the big kids are […]

What is an Interactive Read Aloud?

When you hear the words “interactive read aloud”, what comes to mind? Many teachers think it’s just a great read aloud that students enjoy and have conversations about. While this is correct, there is so much more to an interactive read aloud! This powerful time of day allows us to not only connect with students […]

How to Know When Kids are Ready to Read

One common misconception about guided reading is that you can’t start until kids know all of their letters, sounds, and sight words and are ready to read. But, how do you know when kids are ready to read? Is it when they know all of their letters? Or are they ready when they can name […]

Rethinking How We Fill Book Boxes for Independent Reading Time

As early childhood teachers, we know the importance of reading. We know how important all the aspects are from phonics instruction to phonemic awareness instruction to reading comprehension to small group instruction to independent reading time. As we want our readers to blossom into strong readers, we know that providing them with the right tools […]

Rethinking How We Prompt Early Readers

You are sitting at the guided reading table and a child gets to a word and is staring blankly at you. You aren’t quite sure why they don’t know that word. You know the child can monitor for meaning as they are reading. You know the child has seen the word before. But you see […]

Sight Words vs. High-Frequency Words: What’s the Difference?

The difference between sight words and high-frequency words and why it matters. Recently many teachers have found themselves knee-deep in “the reading wars”. As I pause to think about this phrase, I think any experienced teacher with several years under their belt would say, “There is nothing new about this. We see big shifts in […]

7 Ways to Engage Reluctant Readers

At one time or another, we’ve all as teachers had that one student that dreaded coming to the guided reading table. The student who didn’t want to read to you or with you or out loud for anyone. Maybe even this student visibly hangs their head when it comes to reading. Reluctant readers are often […]

4 Things You Don’t Always Have to Do In Guided Reading Groups

Guided reading groups look different in each teacher’s classroom, but they usually have the same components. We all have a book introduction, read the text, and then teach a skill or strategy that our students need in order to grow as readers.  We all also can feel overwhelmed trying to squeeze everything into such a […]

What To Do When Guided Reading Isn’t Working: Tips for Guided Reading

Tips for Guided Reading When It Feels Like It’s Not Working Have you ever felt like your students aren’t making a lot of growth in guided reading? Does it seem like they have been working on the same level for a while? Have you found yourself wondering if you should continue doing guided reading? I […]

6 Tips for Managing Literacy Centers at End of the Year

Literacy centers have such a special place in the classroom. Students love stations that are meaningful, engaging, and purposeful. When a teacher is managing literacy centers well, guided reading can happen without with minimal distractions. Literacy centers can be powerful! Students get to read and write while participating in meaningful literacy experiences. Students get to […]

How to Improve Reading Fluency with Literacy Stations & Activities

When teachers ask me about how to help students move forward in guided reading instruction, I ask about what they are doing to also help improve reading fluency. These two things go hand in hand: fluency is just one of the five pillars of reading instruction. But, what if you don’t have time to do […]