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Guided Reading Groups, please help me!


Senior Member
Please help! Our new reading series (Harcourt Trophies) has some small "guided reading books" that go along with the story in the anthology. I allow 20 minutes for each group at each level. We aren't able to get through the book, let alone work on any skill in the small, guided group! What am I doing wrong? As it is, I must plan on working with the group twice, once to read the story together, and once to work on the skill. In this way, I don't get to work with all the students every week.

Please, please give me some advice! THANKS!

Private Eyes

More info?

How many students in your class? How long is your guided reading block?

I have an hour for guided reading instruction daily, and that gives me 20 minutes per group for three groups. I don't use the small books everyday, just once/twice per week, depending on if we get through the book or not.

I typically do a picture walk and some pre-reading exercise like predicting. Then the students read silently, while I take a running record on one/two students. Usually, I'll say something like: "Read from pages four to seven, and see if you can find out ________. When they get to page seven, we discuss comprehension questions. Then, I have them read on, after giving them a purpose for reading the next section.

This may very well take the whole guided reading time, but I don't worry about that, since I have each group five times during the week. The next time, we might use a shorter reading passage and practice using the text to find answers to comprehension questions. (Practice tests work well for this.) The next time we might look at non-fiction reading skills.


Junior Member
Small Guided Group

We don't necessarily read our story in small group. I may choral read or echo read with my group but we don't normally read the story. The first day we make predictions from the title and illustrations, review vocabulary, and discuss our skill for the week. I then give them a purpose for reading and they read their story silently. The next day we discuss and go over comprehension questions then they buddy read with a partner. The third day we may do fluency checks with a timer and the story, it just depends on what the group needs help with. Hope this helps!

mom of 5

parents perspective.

As a parent i like the guided reading levels. I wish they would have some place that would level all different kinds of books. My kids love to read, but get disheartened if the books are too hard. I don't know just by looking at the book what level it is on. It is nice to have levels to keep my kids where they need to be and keep them encouraged. My first grader is reading on K books and my kindergartener is reading M books. I love telling them to just look at the letter and let them pick out their own.