• Welcome! Log in or Register Now for a free ProTeacher account!

Guided Reading Scheduling Help...please!


Senior Member
I really need some helpful ideas about scheduling my group of 22 readers into Guided Reading Groups.

I do groups 3 days a week. I have 2 20 minute sessions each day. I have 6 centers (including me!) for the kids to get through each week. It works if I have 6 groups of 3 or 4, but with this kind of rotation, they only get to each center once. I'd like to meet with my lowest readers more than this. How do I do it???

I know I've seen others' guided reading schedules posted, but I can't seem to find anything. Please tell me how you schedule your guided reading groups.....who sees you, for how long, and for how many times a week. How do you determine how many times you see each group?

I appreciate any and all replies! Thanks so much!


Guided Reading Schedule

I do guided reading and centers every day. I have 27 students, and have five groups and have five centers. I only have about 30 minutes, so I only get to one group a day. If I try to see more than one group a day, I am rushed and it's not worth it. I also have time to meet with another group quickly and discuss the book they read and also monitor centers. Hope this helps!



centers...? for Christine...

For a 30 minute time frame, what kinds of centers do you have the other students do? I'd love it if you could share some of your ideas with me!

I have six different centers, and I'm really having trouble coming up with that many things per week. It seems 20 minutes is about all they can do at one before there's management issues. Any advice about that???

Thanks, so much, for your time and trouble. I really appreciate the help!


Senior Member
First of all, if you are having a difficult time keeping up with the work in 6 centers, why don't you cut the centers to 3-4? Can you extend the guided reading time to more than a half hour? My guided reading time is one hour.

I have 5 guided reading groups. A couple groups only have a few students, because they are low. I meet with my struggling readers every day. Typically I meet with each group for about 15 minutes. My on or above grade level guided reading groups do not meet everyday. There's no way I could meet with 5 groups everyday and feel something was accomplished. My on grade level and above groups typically have a longer reading assignment, so they need extra time to complete the assignments.

I don't really understand how a teacher can only meet with one group a day, which means each group mets once a week. I know GR is demanding and very time consuming, but that's not enough instruction time for students especially struggling readers.

Also, I'm doing literature circles with my on grade level and above groups. Sometimes they meet for discussions without me. They are within ear shot though, so they do well at staying on task. I've found that they seem to discuss more when I'm not sitting with them! They meet twice a week. One of the times I sit with them for almost the entire time. The other time I help get them settled, make sure assignments are complete, and they begin. Each person has a job/responsibility that they contribute to the group, so this helps keep them focused and going. I recently started doing the jobs, and it's going great. They have a part to contribute to the reading assignment (although all must read the assigned pages) and they are prepared to help the others in their group with their part. My students change jobs every week (they decide their jobs), and they decide the amount of reading that needs to be done by the next meeting. They think it's great to have more responsibility.

Hope this helps!


Full Member


What centre's do you have running while you are working with your Guided Reading Groups?

The thought of doing that much Guided Reading in Division 2 everyday stresses me out :) How do you find the time to get through all of your curriculum? With daily Phys Ed, mandatory second language, 5 science topics, 3 social topcs, 6 math strands--I want to know your secret! :)

Thanks for sharing your ideas.


Junior Member
GR Scheduling & Management

I have slightly under 2 hours of reading/language arts instructional time (not including read aloud, morning work, and integrated literacy activities in science/social studies/math). My schedule provides a 10:30-11:20 block, and a 12:20-12:50 block Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. On every other Monday, we have library from 12:20-12:50 and on Thursdays, we just have the morning block because of an extended writer's workshop in the afternoon.

I have 4 guided reading groups in my class of 22 students. I meet with 2 groups during the morning block, and one group in the afternoon block. I meet with my average-low groups 3x/week and my high group 2x/week. I have more blocks available to catch up, meet with the whole class for a strategy lesson, or conference with students.

During the times when groups are not meeting with me, students follow a "workboard" (adapted from the white Guided Reading book). I think of it like centers, without the center. The workboard schedule changes daily, and dictates small group, partner, and independent reading and language arts activities "the rest of the class" is doing. My workboard includes: reader's notebook (students write one letter to me each week), making words (differentiated based on student developmental spelling levels), word sorts (ditto), independent or partner reading, responding to open ended questions, SRI and Reading Counts (scholastic reading software--school wide), and a host of other activities that coordinate with science and social studies topics. Each Monday, I introduce the workboard tasks for the week by going through each reading group's folder (containing instructions for each task and any necessary materials). Most of the expectations are routine (reader's notebook, making words, independent reading, etc), but sometimes I need to explain something new.

The management piece scared me most (this is my third year teaching, but first year in a new district with guided reading, woohoo!). However, I worked hard to establish a routine and introduced the workboard explicity with my students, setting the bar high from the beginning. They have been wonderful. I am confident that with this approach, my students are engaged in meaningful literacy activities for their unique instructional levels each day.

I hope this is helpful. It is a lot of frontloading, but once you find something that works for you, it changes your outlook on reading groups! Best of luck--and enjoy Thanksgiving!

Alicia (AD)


It's not easy! Here's my schedule:
9:10-9:30 Shared Reading
9:30-10:30 Guided Reading~I meet with 3 groups everyday (struggling readers for about 15 min. each group). The other 2 groups rotate. I meet with each of those 2 groups twice a week. One time I'm with them for the entire time. The other time I get them started, and then they meet together without me (more of a lit. circle group~see other post).
10:30-10:45 Snack and Read aloud
10:45-12:00 Math
12:00-12:30 Lunch
12:30-1:00 Recess
1:05-1:20 Calendar Math
1:20-2:15 Specials~Phy. Ed, Music, Art, etc
2:15-2:45 Science, health, or social studies
2:45-3:25 Writing
3:35 Dismissal

I'm not sure what you meant by division 2 or strands, but I'm thinking maybe you teach in Canada??

Reading block/balanced literacy are a huge focus in my school district. We are required to meet with struggling readers everyday, even if they receive instruction from Special Ed. or Title One. I'm usually moving fast to get through my groups.

For centers, they have reading journal, independent reading, something with DOL (Daily Oral Language), handwriting, computer, and DOG (Daily Oral Geography). They turn in their reading journal once a week (each student has an assigned day) and their reading log. They turn in DOL everyday, handwriting every other day, and DOG on Fridays. Also any guided reading assignments. I don't usually have students moving around a lot during guided reading time. Most of it is done at their seats. I take a long time at the beginning of the year organizing this time before I start guided reading groups, because I have to focus on GR groups during that time. I also follow "Guiding Readers and Writers Grades 4-6" by Fountas and Phinnell. This is the reading workshop bible:) Definitely a great book to have. I learn new things every year!


Full Member
Try a different approach

I personally used centers last year and the beginning of this year- this class cannot work together in groups or teams. I found the Reading Workshop approach worked much better instead of using centers.


guided reading time

I don't use centers and our district frowns upon it. I made up a 5 day block schedule and then put in the 4 reading groups I have. For the struggling readers, I meet with them every day but one(they, too, need time to work independently on their reading and application of reading strategies) my middles reading groups I meet with every other day, alternating the days(one group on Mon. and Wed., and the other on Tues. and Thurs.) and my high achievers I usually meet with once a week but they meet without me one or 2 other times(like a lit circle). I am fortunate to have a reading aide who can take one of my groups every day, giving me more flexibility. I also have built into my block schedule a time for the members of each group to meet with me one on one to conference and get some assessment notes on them. During the time the student is not with me in any of these days, they are reading in their guided reading book and responding in their reading journals, or doing content reading online such as in Scholastic News.con or Time for Kids.com. We are doing mysteries right now and there is a great mystery story site for kids that I have my groups rotating on every week. Each child also does an online reading assessment every day at brainchild.com. They print out their reading assessment and hand it in for me to mark in my grade book.


Full Member
Daily Reading Groups

I have four reading groups. Each group has 6 or 7 students. My reading block is from 8:30-10:00. I meet with every group for 20 minutes. Therefore, I've got 4 groups going at once. One group is meeting with me at my horseshoe table, one group is at another table participating in the literature unit...right now it is Lion, Witch, Wardrobe...they are listening to it on c.d. with headphones and following along with a copy of the book. Another group is working at their seats on workbook pages, vocabulary, spelling, etc. The last group is sitting in my library area completing either a creative writing assignment or an activity related to Lion, Witch, Wardrobe. Every 20 minutes we switch groups. If students at their seats finish their work before time is up, they may read or complete one of EvanMoor's Take-It-To-Your-Seat centers.

In the mornings I try to have something like this written on my board for students to know what is going on. I also "introduce" reading groups before we begin, explaining what is going on for the morning.

1. LWW - Listen to Chapter 8, Track 3 (this lets them know what to push on the cd player, ha)
2. Seats - Complete Reading workbook p.56 (tear out, turn in)
- Complete Spelling wb p. 59 (tear out, turn in)
3. Library - Write a creative story about anything of your choice in your journals. Once you have finished, swap stories with a group member to edit each other's writing.
4. My group - Bring your Reading book and a pencil to my table.

My groups just changed after Thanksgiving...I previously ability-grouped my students at the beginning of the year, but now I have made some changes and mixed them up a little bit. I still have a group that is predominately "low" that I am considering spending a little bit more time with each day, and sending my "higher" group back a little early. I'm glad someone mentioned that they do this sort of thing...now I'm going to try it! It just makes sense! Thanks!


Guided Reading / Reading Workshop

I teach 3rd grade and during my Reading Workshop block I am able to do guided reading. My block is about 45 min - 1 hour in length (on a good day). During this time, I start off my block with a book talk. I introduce 2 books that are in our classroom library for about 1-2 minutes. Then I move into my mini-lesson. My mini-lesson is about 7 minutes in length, where I am teaching my students something about reading. For example, we have been discussing the themes in a book and how they affect the character. I use examples of books we read aloud together. The students then move into independent reading. While they are independent reading, they have to apply the mini lesson that was taught for the day. They also write letters to me about their reading on a weekly basis in their Reader's Notebook at this time as well. The independent reading time is about 30-35 minutes in length. During this time I pull my guided reading groups. I have 5 different groups as well. I try to meet with my lower groups at least 2-3 times a week. I will often meet with my higher groups and lowest group in the same day. After guided reading, the students are called back to the carpet to share whatever the mini-lesson was for the day. So for example, the students would come back to the carpet and share the theme in their book and how it affected the characters. They can share about a book they are reading independently, a book they read in the past or a book we read aloud together.

I know in the primary grades the teachers do centers while doing guided reading, but I think that in the intermediate grades they can handle reading independently for a long period of time. You might want to check out the Fountas and Pinnell books...they are great.

Hopefully this helps!


New Member
Instead of doing centers you should do a readers' workshop during this time. To me, it is much easier to manage than centers. Richard Allington's research shows that kids are not reading enough during reading time and that when they do they make quicker and further gains in reading. I teach first grade and was amazed when I saw the growth kids made in a year as opposed to when I did centers. The Daily Five is a great way to run the workshop. The book will teach you how to build their stamina so they can read for long periods of time independently so you can conference and run some guided reading groups.


Introduction of library books

I love the idea of introducing books from the library. These books are often over looked. Thanks for sharing!!!