Guided Reading has been mentioned by top educators for over 50 years.  Fountas and Pinnell made it a force in education trends in the 1990’s.  Although the concept of guided reading is not new, it is still something teachers struggle with, but why?

Guided readings takes great class management, effective planning, the ability to analyze and use data from running records, and a strong knowledge of reading instruction. With all of the other demands on a teacher’s time, this can seem daunting.

But now, it is easy with my latest series, Mastering Guided Reading.  This will be a 6 volume set of low prep, but high impact guided reading at your fingertips. At this time, I only have Volume One available. You can see when each of the other Volumes will be available here.

what is included in Mastering Guided Reading Vol 1

What is included in Volume One?
• 5 fiction titles with four levels of each title
• 5 nonfiction titles with four levels of each title
• Lesson plans for each title
• All materials and activities for the texts
• Word study materials for each FICTION title
• 11 I can cards that match the teaching focus of each lesson
• 11 posters in color or black and white that match the teaching focus of each lesson

How is different from all the other guided reading packs available?
Instead of several different titles on one level, this pack was written so that teachers could use the SAME title and work on the SAME skill or strategy with students. There are 4 discreetly written levels of each text, so student may not even be aware that the texts are different. The lesson plan is the same for every level to make planning simple for the teacher.

Here you can see exactly what is included in the lesson plans.

A closer look at the Mastering Guided Reading lesson plans

I wrote the text in pairs, or text sets. For example, after students read a fiction book called Red Bird, which is about a red bird living in a tree, the teacher can follow up with a nonfiction book called Animal Homes and discuss how animals can live in trees, in water, or under the ground.

But, how much time will this take me to prepare?
I created this program with the busy teacher in mind.  All the lesson plans are ready to go.  There are some supplemental materials needed for some of the books, but they are reusable year to year OR can be recreated on a dry erase board for simplicity!

The books themselves are simple to prepare.  When I wrote the texts, I tried to be very aware of the burden of copy counts and printer copies. Each text is only one page, front and back. Then, fold the book in half and it is ready to go! There is another purpose for the simplicity of the printable books. It allows students to actually write in the text, make notes, and do any coding right in the book. When the students are done reading the text, the book can easily be sent home for fluency practice. No more worrying about copy counts and if guided reading books will come back to school! The texts were designed to be consumable!

But, this does this program ACTUALLY work?

It is PROVEN to be effective! I conducted an eight week case study with 17 teachers across the United States. Teachers used the program and collected data from March 2017 to May 2017. The average student gained 89 Lexiles over the eight week study. All scores were correlated to this chart, available free online. According to the chart there are about 4 guided reading levels, or 200 Lexiles in 2nd grade. Want to read the study for yourself? Click here! I will be continuing the study for the 2017-2018 school year and will publish the results at the end of the year.

But, what are the OTHER kids doing while I am running guided reading groups?

To be honest, this program does not provide every material possibly needed for the guided reading block.  That would be near impossible because different schools and districts have different requirements (4 Blocks, Reading Workshop, Daily 5, the list goes on and on). However, I wanted to support teachers as much as possible. For every book, I have also included extension ideas.  These are perfect for students to complete independently, after reading the text. Many of the extension ideas for the fiction books include a blind word search for the word study that matches the text, a writing activity to extend the text, and then a graphic organizer that students can use with their own independent reading books to apply the teaching point.

extension activities for Mastering Guided Reading Vol 1 texts

I also have created an additional set of word work centers.  These are available for seperate purchase, or you can purchase as part of the Mastering Guided Reading bundles.

easy word study centers for Mastering Guided Reading Vol 1

The word work centers include the same activities for every word study pattern in the fiction texts.

sort and match word study centers

Sort and Match- Students read the word and match the correct picture. Then, students can sort the cards by sound.

Look and Write word study center

Look and Write- Students write the word, using the picture clue.

Just Dot It Word Study Center

Just Dot It- Students use bingo daubers to color code words by pattern.

Just Punch It Word Study Center

Just Punch It- Students use a hole puncher to sort words by pattern.

Sort word study center

Sort page- Students can use these same words and mat all week and do blind sorts, partner sorts, and speed sorts. It can also be used as the assessment at the end of the week and students can glue down the words.

I tried to keep the cost of the additional centers very reasonable.  If you buy the bundle, then you get all the centers above for each of the fiction books in Volume One.  There are 5 fiction books, so there are 5 word study patterns.  I charged $1 per pattern for the centers.

You can also buy the Mastering Guided Reading Volume One WITHOUT the word work centers, if these are not needed in your classroom.

GAH! This is great, but it is sooo much!  How do I organize it all?!

There is no way around it: this IS a lot. I have two suggested ways of organizing the materials.

poly envelope storage for Mastering Guided Reading Vol 1

If you would like to prep everything in advance, then you might want to consider a file create and these poly envelopes.  I purchased my poly envelopes from Amazon.  You can snag them here:


JUSLIN 24 pcs Waterproof Transparent Poly Envelope with Snap Button Closure,Project Envelope Folder, A4 Letter Size,6 assorted Colors,blue, transparent, green, purple, pink, yellow (Office Product)


Features: Package contains 24 pieces premium 18c waterproof transparent folder, A4 size, 6 colors: blue, transparent, green, purple, pink, yellow, 4 pieces per color, 24 pieces in total, Made of high quality pp material, non-toxic, acid-free, very professional and modern, Each folder can store approx. 200 sheets of A4 paper, Professional folder, ideal choice for long-term file storage
List Price: $19.99 USD
New From: $14.99 USD In Stock
Used from: $13.49 USD In Stock

I printed all the lesson plans, teaching materials, and several copies of the books and stored them inside the poly envelopes.  I labeled each of the poly envelopes with the title of the text and if it is fiction or nonfiction, the levels of the text, the teaching point/ focus, and the word study pattern. The envelopes are then stored in hanging file folders and ready at any time!

Like this system?  Grab the labels for Volume One here FREE! I used the fonts KG Black Space Solid and KG Neatly Printed, both of which are free for personal use. The labels are shipping labels and are 2” x 4” (Avery label 48363).

Spiral bound copy of Mastering Guided Reading

If you would rather prepare guided reading a week at a time, you can also print this program as a spiral bound BOOK.  This way, you can take the entire spiral bound book to the copier, print the books and materials.  Tab the lesson plan page with a sticky note and you are ready!

Within download of Volume One, there is a special file specially made for printing the Volume and spiral binding it.  This copy is formatted so that the lessons will be spread across two pages and will be easier to read.  I also removed any pages that were unnecessary, like the hyperlinked table of contents (which is useless when printed!). Print all the pages two sided.  The front covers for the spiral bound book is also included. I printed mine in color at home and used my personal laminator to laminate the pages. I just laminated a sheet of yellow copier paper for the back cover.  I then took my book to Staples and had it spiral bound for about $5.

I also had a request for binder labels, if you would rather store materials in a binder.  These are spine labels that fit a 1 inch binder.  Please note that Volume One will take MORE than one 1” binder!  The person just preferred this binder size, so I was happy to make it!

I love it! I want it!  I need it!

Want to test if for yourself? This EXCLUSIVE sample is JUST for you guys!  It includes one entire book (Red Bird) AND the matching word work centers! It is a BIIIGGGG file (yay!), so you may get a pop up that says a preview is not available.  You can still download it and it is fine!  Just super big for Google Drive! LOL

exclusive trial of mastering guided reading
If you have any questions about the program, make sure to check out THIS video (sorry for some of the weird freezing)!  I went over the entire program!

Mastering Guided Reading

Mastering Guided ReadingGuided reading can be overwhelming to plan and meet all your student’s needs. Check out this low prep, but high impact program!Enter for a chance to win a FREE copy of Volume One! Just comment below. ONE winner will be randomly picked at 7:30 pm EST tomorrow (7/10/10) on my Facebook Live video!Want to try a FREE sample, which includes one title (Red Bird) with 4 levels, lessons, and all the materials? Check out the PREVIEW file on TpT!Pick up the Mastering Guided Reading Program for 15% off for tonight only!Without Word Study Centers http://bit.ly/2uz8iDHWith Word Study Centers http://bit.ly/2sVjoRcLink to the Lexile chart used in the study: http://bit.ly/2sUNJEdWant to join our Facebook to discuss all things literacy? Click here! https://www.facebook.com/groups/631587327033713/

Posted by Mandy's Tips for Teachers on Sunday, July 9, 2017

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Mandy Gregory is a 2007 and 2012 Teacher of the Year. She has taught 4th, 3rd, and 2nd grade in both the general education and inclusion setting. She is the owner and creator of the Teaching Tips website (www.mandygregory.com) and has over 10 years of experience. She is married with two beautiful children.