Guided reading on a budget is tough! Some of the materials can get downright expensive! I want to share a few ways YOU can do guided reading and not break the bank!
I started out at the Dollar Store!
I knew I needed some cookie sheets for my word work. I have been using cookie sheets for years to organize my magnetic letters, but I gave mine to a teacher friend and I needed some for the upcoming week. So Dollar Store… here I come!
Guided Reading: High-Frequency Words
When I start guided reading we usually do a little teaching and review of high-frequency words (AKA: sight words). On this particular day, I was armed with my cookie sheets, but I had not had the chance to load them up with magnets… No problem…I selected a few “lucky children” to load them up for me.
I used a Sharpie to write the capital letters, then the students put the lowercase letters over the top.
Now I am ready for the lesson.
At a glance, I know exactly the activities I will do with the word. No further preparation is needed.
Here is a visual of what these guided reading lessons look like.
cookie sheets fantastic $1 guided reading resources are perfect for writing on as well. I seriously think the cheaper they are, the better they work.
When we are done with the lesson, these cookie sheets stack up BEAUTIFULLY. They are ready for the next group or if I am going to do a “Making Words” activity as part of my word work lesson.
You can find these magnetic letters on Amazon by clicking HERE. Or if you are on a budget, you can make your own! I picked up these glass vase filler rounds at the Dollar Store. I think you would need 3-4 bags to make a set for your small groups. You can grab the letters for this for FREE by clicking HERE.
Guided Reading: The Books
When I was the literacy coach for my district, I helped set up our literacy room that was filled with guided reading texts. Let. Me. Tell. YOU! Those books are expensive. A set of 6 can range from $36-$48 dollars! This can VERY quickly eat through your budget. Deanna Jump and I have written leveled texts to help fill up your guided reading resource shelf.
The books start with a level AA text.
and we have currently written texts through level E (we will continue to add books until we reach level J.)
We have fiction and nonfiction guided reading texts in each set.
Guided Reading: Word Work
Early in the school year, you will probably focus on student names for the first few weeks. Simply writing their name on a piece of card stock and cutting it into a puzzle is easy and is certainly within everyone’s budget.
This is another similarly budget-friendly name activity.
Again, I used the glass vase filler beads for our word work. This lesson is for 3 phoneme words.
Guided Reading: Sentence Work
We don’t need anything fancy for this… just plain paper will do! Students unscramble the sentence and illustrate it. Then we save this paper because we need it for Day 2 which is sentence dictation.
Guided Reading: Sentence Writing
On Day 2 of the guided reading lessons, students write a sentence that has been dictated. They use the previous sentence as a support. This is a great opportunity to do some guided writing instruction.
More on Guided Reading!
Deanna Jump and I have been actively running small groups using the guided reading approach for the last 20 years. Over the years, we have studied the work of Irene Fountas, Gay Su Pinnell, Debbie Diller, Debbie Miller, Linda Dorn, Carla Saffos, Jan Richardson, and Marie Clay. This background knowledge, coupled with our combined 40 years experience (boy… I feel old), helped lead us towards the creation of these units.
There you have it! That is how we do guided reading on a budget. You can see all of our leveled text resources:
- GUIDED READING BUNDLE SET ONE and SET TWO
- GUIDED READING BUNDLE SET ONE
- GUIDED READING BUNDLE SET TWO