Guided Reading with a Purpose Building Strategies One Week at a Time

Guided Reading with Purpose makes a HUGE difference in the growth of students. In this post, I explain my Guided Reading with Purpose routine.
Have you struggled with guided reading in your classroom? Do you teach whole group, small group, or a combination of both?  I have been teaching for 20 years and I finally feel comfortable with all forms of guided reading.  Believe me, I have been around the block with too many programs to name them all. For 2 years I have been working on building the perfect whole group guided reading curriculum for first grade. The success I felt this past year with my students was undeniable and I’m so excited to share it with you.  Here is what Guided Reading with a Purpose looks like.
Guided Reading with a Purpose Building Strategies One Week at a Time
This is picture of SOME of the books included.
Guided Reading with a Purpose is REAL LITERATURE.  Each day a new book is shared with your class. My students love picture books and they love hearing a new story everyday.  The books that are shared are based on the weekly theme. After sharing the story with your class, you work on the focus.  If the focus is main idea and details, then all week you will work on that skill. Your students will have loads of practice and a full understanding of it all while enjoying a new shared reading each day.  When picking the books for the units, I made sure they were still in print and readily available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble or  Scholastic.
Guided Reading with a Purpose is STANDARDS BASED INSTRUCTION. Each week the focus is based on a standard.  It is all mapped out with the focus standard stated on the chart. Keep in mind many more standards are integrated in daily lessons but I thought it was important to state the KEY focus for the entire unit.  
Guided Reading with a Purpose provides a weekly LESSON PLAN GUIDE for instruction.  We as teachers all know what is best for our students so a framework is provided for you on how I teach each unit with suggestions for extensions throughout the week.
Guided Reading with a Purpose is filled with anchor charts and posters. This is by far one of the most beneficial pieces to use each day. I’m not going to lie, the prep work of copying and laminating can be time consuming but it is well worth it.  Everyday after school, I would set up my posters and charts to prepare for the next day’s lesson. It really helped guide my discussion after the shared story. I also used it to review after they completed their independent work and as a reference for many writing activities. It was almost like a teacher’s helper throughout the lesson.
Guided Reading with a Purpose provides lots of PRACTICE. I always tell my students that if they want to be better readers, they need to read. This is true for writing and anything in life.. Practice makes progress. For each shared story there are different opportunities to practice the focus skill.  I tried to give differentiated version so there was choice. Ultimately, you will know what is best for each student or class.
In this picture, my students are comparing polar bears to penguins. When they finished, they shared their posters with their classmates and we hung them up in the classroom.
Guided Reading with a Purpose has GROUP WORK. My students LOVE to work together.  Throughout the year we did more and more group work.  Nobody wants to sit at their seat and do paper work all day long. There are ample opportunities to work together and learn from one another. 
During the week that we were learning about text to text connections, students were encouraged to bring in two books and share the text connection. 
Guided Reading with a Purpose has SHARING & PRESENTING.  Some students love to share and some are very reluctant. I will be honest, I’m not a huge fan of homework or big projects. I tried to make things that came from home simple or something my students could do independently. I think sharing and presenting is an amazing skill to develop and work on (plus it is also a standard). My kiddos loved the opportunity to share and were always so proud. (So was their teacher)
Guided Reading with a Purpose is WRITING. Do you struggle with teaching writing?  I’m here to tell you that children’s literature is a great way to generate ideas for writing. Each story, I provide a connection to use in writing with either informative, opinion, or narrative writing. My first graders are super writers by the end of the year.
Guided Reading with a Purpose includes RESEARCHING.  Another one of our standards is research.  The last few units are filled with research based learning. It is such a fun way to spend the last month of school. They are more independent, they get to collaborate and they share all that they have learned throughout the year.
Guided Reading with a Purpose included CRAFTS. Tons and tons of crafts for the entire year. I personally like to change things up a bit from year to year. This allows me the opportunity to pick and choose what I want to do with my kiddos and work on their fine motor skills at the same time.
I had an INCREDIBLE year last year using my Guided Reading with a Purpose. My kids grew so much and really LEARNED the different reading strategies. There were numerous times I laughed inside when they would say “Mrs. Mitchell, I can make a text to self connection”. or “Mrs. Mitchell I know this is non-fiction because it has a table of contents and real photos”.  I can’t wait to teach all of these units again this year and see the same growth.  
Here is what people have said about this unit…
WOWZA … This is one of my favorite TPT purchases. It has it all. Thanks for all your hard work.”
What an amazing and comprehensive bundle! This has helped me organize my guided reading time and meet the needs of all of my students. Thank you for an amazing resource!”
Wow! I have never spent this much on a TPT resource at once but after watching your FB videos about this product, I was HOOKED! I am so excited to use this in my classroom and appreciate all of the hard work and time you put into making this! Thank you!”
Love the craftivities and how you organize your product! Your booklist is also practically the same as the ones I had in mind for this year!”



  • So, is this the only thing you use in Guided Reading groups? On your YouTube channel, you have posted a couple videos using another resource. Do you combine the two or only use one? Sorry…..I'm just trying to figure it out. If you only use this resource, what do you typically use for the students to practice their vocabulary words and phonics skills in reading each week?


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I’m Megan, a first grade teacher and a mother to 7 amazing children. I love to create and collaborate with teachers. When I’m not teaching, I love spending time with my family, baking and playing tennis.

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