The Ultimate Guided Reading Toolkit- everything you need to plan your groups!

Updated Post May 2016:  The Ultimate Guided Reading Toolkit is a product that I have been working on for a few years.  I started out making Levels A-N.  I had such great feedback and requests for Levels O-Z that I also made that product!  The final result is a FULL toolkit with Levels A-Z!

Planning for Guided Reading has never saved me so much TIME!  Time is precious, and now that I have this kit prepared and ready to go it takes me only about 10-15 minutes to plan and prepare for 5 different guided reading groups.  

Here is a picture of the toolkit all set-up and ready to go!  This is the Level A-N kit!

Here are Levels O-Z!

Please note:  This kit WILL take you some time, ink, paper, and lamination to put together.  It can be done all at once or little by little over time as you use the activities.  In the end, it will SAVE you countless of hours trying to find activities to help teach the skills that you kiddos need.

I made this kit so that everything is readily at your fingertips!  There are over 180 activities directly related to Word Work, Reading Strategies, and Comprehension in the entire A-Z kit.  Each of these three skills are color coded for easy access.  The activity cards for the Word Work are red, Reading Strategies are blue, and Comprehension are yellow.  On each activity card, the suggested appropriate activity levels are at the top.  Each activity also provides a learning goal, materials needed for the activity, teacher directions, and student directions.

Here is a sample.

When I do my planning, I use my Guided Reading Binder.  This is a freebie and I have had great feedback.  Each group has their own section in the binder.  I use velcro on the group page so that I can easily move kids around throughout the school year as their guided reading levels change.

Click on the picture to get this FREEBIE!

Behind my groups is where I keep my Guided Reading Lesson Plans Levels A-Z.  These plans help me know what skills I need to teach at each level.  These plans correlate directly to The Ultimate Guided Reading Toolkit and can be found at a BUNDLED price.

Here is how I plan my groups:

I choose a book for my group that is at their Instructional Reading Level (90-94% accuracy for levels A-Z).  In this sample, my group is reading the book Skateboarding.  This is a Level G book.

Here is a picture of the lesson plan that I used for this book.  The planning sheet lays out the skills that should be worked on at specific levels.  Each planning page has Word Work Skills, Before Reading, During Reading (Strategies), and Comprehension.

**Please note:  These samples are in the old format.  I have updated the format as seen in the picture above.

At the top, there is a place for the name of the book, students names, and date.  Notice this is for Guided Reading Level G.

I did a running record on Mariah from the day new book the last time we met.  I wrote her scores on the top of the planning sheet.  This helps me keep track and make sure that each kid is in an appropriate group.  

The top of the plans give Word Work ideas for each level.  When I plan, I look and see what skills each groups needs to work on.  Many times, I quickly plan immediately after I meet with a group because it is fresh in my head what they need to work on.

For this group, we did a quick reading of our sight words that we were working on this week.  Next we did an activity with blends.  In the toolkit, I found the activities for blends and had it ready for the lesson.  Here the students had to say the name of the picture and put the clothespin on the correct blend.

The activities in this pack are meant to be quick and only take 3-5 minutes.  I really try to limit each group to a 20 minute lesson.

We talked about blends and I ended up giving each student 4 different cards to figure out.  They were BEGGING for more- but we had to move on.

Next, we took a picture walk together using the book.  I made a point of saying the names of the children in the book a few times (Roberto and Luis).  These names are always tricky for a couple of students.  

After the picture walk and brief discussion, the students were off to read ON THEIR OWN.  The single most important part of effective guided reading (in my opinion), is that each student is reading the entire book.  We don't do round robin reading in guided reading.  I teach students right from the beginning how to read with a whisper voice.  I listen in on each student as they are reading.  I also really encourage them to ask for help if they are absolutely stuck.  

After reading the book, I had the Fiction Spin the Wheel ready to go!

I let each student spin one time and we answer the questions on the wheel.  Again, begging for more!

After we have read and discussed the new book, I collect them until the next time we get together.  I do try (if I can), to plan for the next group immediately after meeting with them.  With this toolkit, it literally takes me a couple of minutes.  I grab the items that I want to teach, mark them on the lesson planning sheet and put them into my basket where I keep all of the materials that I will need for each lesson.

Five groups and all of the activity cards and activities that I need- all in one spot.  When we finish the activity I file it back into the Guided Reading Toolkit.

If you LOVE what you see- here are your options to making your Guided Reading time as productive as it could possible be!

Pin for Later!!  

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. This is fantastic. What guided reading series to you use for your groups?

    1. We have a reading series that is about 12 years old in my building. I don't really use it much at all. I use several different Guided Reading Books. I wrote a grant a few years ago and was able to buy $3000 worth of books for my classroom. I couple of my favorites are Pioneer Valley Educational Press and I use the "homework" books from Fountas and Pinnell's Leveled Literacy Intervention. They are black and white but the text is WONDERFUL in them. They also only end up costing about 25 cents each.

    2. Great product! Have you made one for levels J-N yet?

  2. I loved reading your post! Quick question: Do you recommend your Guided Reading Tool Kit for 4th graders?? Thanks for a very informational post. =)

    1. The toolkit is currently for Levels A-I (K-1) so it would not be appropriate for grade 4. The ideas of planning can be used at any level. Thanks!

  3. Can you share some of the ways you store and organize your tools. I am bought and love your product, but I need some help keeping it all organized. :) Thank you! Your product rocks.

    1. I love your product! I love that you have your lesson plan with the specific skills at each level so you can quickly plan. I teach 2nd and was wondering when you think you will be done making levels J-N?

  4. Looks awesome!! How did you determine the levels? Are they based on Fountas and Pinnell or what? Also, alignment to common core?

    1. Hi Kim,
      It is based on Fountas and Pinnell reading levels. It is not directly related to common core, however, the skills that are in the toolkit are typically common core skills.