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Guiding Readers Units: Planning Made EASY!

We are so excited about the feedback that we are getting about these units.  We designed them around the same type of format as our Math Units and Writing Units and  many teachers have told us that we've cut their planning time WAY down, that their kids are really mastering the standards and developing a love for reading and writing and we are beyond thrilled!
That's what it's all about.  We developed our Guiding Readers Units,  Math Units and Writing Units with these goals in  mind: We want to save you (and us) planning time so that you can spend that time with your family doing the things that you love to do.  
We want kids to LOVE learning through tasks that aren't simply JUST paper and pencil tasks.  
Our units involve lots of hands on activities and  opportunities for students to discuss what they're learning.   Best of  all.... The planning has been done for you! 

Here are some examples of the planning pages.
Pictures 1 & 2 cover the lessons for the whole month.
Picture 3 is the list of questions and discussion topics that coordinate with the book.
Picture 4 is one of the Daily Lesson Plans.

Pamela who blogs over at Teaching4Real sent me these pictures of her students working on some of the activities from The Snowy Day story which is in our January unit.  We included the pocket chart pieces in color but she printed them in gray scale to save ink.

Picture 1 Shows the Retelling pieces from our unit.  Her class helped her sort the events in the order that they occurred so that they could use them to retell the story.
Picture 2 Shows the independent retelling from one of her students.
Picture 3 This little sweetie is checking her independent work to see if it is correct.  How cute is she?

Here are a few more pics from various stories and units.

This little guy is sorting picture cards from  The Snowmen at Night  story to determine which ones show Details in the text and Details not in the text.
Once he sorts them he can go back into the text and check his answers.

Tammy from Live, Love, Laugh  sent me these samples of her student's work.

Picture one shows a lesson from The Snowy Day Day 1.
We did a lesson on visualizing to help us better understand the story.
After discussing what it means to visualize the students are given the opportunity to draw and write.  
As you can see from pictures 3 and 4 everyone's writing is different because after the lesson and the discussion the students are given the opportunity to record their own thinking and learning.
In this picture the student drew his image of Peter making a snow angel and he wrote,
Peter looked out the window and he saw snow.
After breakfast he went outside.

Picture two shows a lesson from The Snowy Day Day 3.
We did a lesson on making text to self connections to help us better understand the story.
The writing says,  Peter liked to make a snowman.  I like to play a snowball fight.

Picture 3 (visualizing lesson) below says, Peter liked to play in the snow.  Peter liked to build a snowman.
Picture 4 (making connections lesson) says, Peter likes to play in the snow and he likes to hit a tree.  
I like to build a snowman.

Each unit also includes at least one informational text study.
This is from the story, Ice Bear by Nicola Davies

Below is an example from our February unit.
The story is Hooway for Wodney Wat

Picture 1 is from Day 1
The example shows a lesson on visualizing.
The writing says,  Camilla was trying to wake up the leaf.

Picture 2 Day 5
The example is from our lesson on writing an opinion and stating why.
The question was, Do you think it was okay for the other students to make fun of Wodney? Why or Why not?
The students wrote,  No, it is not okay when they bullied him because they hurt his feelings.

These units cover all of the standards for Reading Literature and Informational Text 
and they also cover the Reading Foundational Skills.
In the January units we covered long o spelling patterns and did some long o and short o spelling sorts.  Because the lessons are scaffolded the students are  able to read and write words with these spelling patterns.

Here's an example of the phonics charts for January.

Pictures below....
sorting words, making words, reading words.

You can view our units and read the feedback by clicking on the pictures below.

Happy Reading!!!



  1. I love that you showed various writing. . .most of the time we just see "perfect" papers (which are not in the majority, at least in my class). And thanks for the visuals, it really helps me to see it better! My class is doing really well with the January one! I can't wait to get Februarys.

    1. You are so welcome! We're so glad that your class is enjoying the January unit.

  2. Replies
    1. HI Kelley, Yes! These are Common Core Aligned but they would work whether you teach CC or not. :)

  3. I am so thankful for you and Deedee -- you make a wonderful team! :) Thank you for creating something with such quality that is rigorous and motivating. You guys are amazing!

    1. Hi Taryn, Thank you so much! We're so glad you like the units. Deedee is my better half when it comes to creating these units for sure!!

  4. What an amazing unit! My EIP students absolutely loved every part of this reading unit. Their favorite part was the writing component which they were always eager to share. Another favorite part was when they got to take home the making words activity. Thank you so much for creating such great products!

    1. Pamela, We are SO glad you like the units and we are grateful to you for sharing so many wonderful pictures with us. Thank you so much!!

  5. First off these units are amazing! Especially for a teacher at a brand new charter school in Kindergarten for the first time. I was wondering if you could make an extension in the February pack to include a black history book? Or maybe make it a part of the March packet? Thanks again for amazing quality work!

    1. HI Jen, We have already chosen the books for March but Deedee and I talked about doing mini extension packs next year. We will definitely add that to our list. Please let me know if you have an idea for the book you would like to see used. Thanks so much!

  6. I LOVE how Pamela organized her Snowy Day retelling. My students struggled a little because there were so many pictures, but her chunks are much easier to see. Definitely going to be doing that next year.

  7. Im in LOVE with these units. They fit nicely into my Readers Workshop with a mini lesson (read aloud) write about reading (response in journal), word work, and independent reading. Thank you for helping "ease my load"

  8. As a first-year teacher these units rock! They really do help planning go much smoother and faster. When will you release the titles for March? (I need as much of a head-start as possible to purchase books :) )

    1. Hi Jessica, We listed the titles last week on Facebook. They are:
      Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato by Tomie dePaola, Koala Lou by Mem Fox, The Three Billy Goats Fluff by Rachael Mortimer, and The Easter Bunny's Assistant by Jan Thomas. :)

  9. I love the care you take in the planning of this unit! Thank you! Do you think this would work better in a Kinder or 1st classroom? I know you've included both CC standards, but am looking for something to use the whole year with my Firsties. Thanks!!!

    1. Tonya, I think I can answer that. Really the difference in the K reading standards and the 1st grade reading standards is the "support." With K they are expected to do accomplish tasks with more support, where 1st grade kiddos are more independent. I have heard from 1st grade teachers and they are thrilled with the rigor! I hope that helps!

    2. Tonya,
      My firsties love it! They have truly been involved in these wonderful units.

    3. Thanks, ladies!! I think our district is waaaaaay behind in their expectations. I'm getting students in first that don't even know their letters and sounds, let alone try and combine them to read and write. You have kiddos reading long vowels in Kinder? That's awesome!! These units seem like they hit on the major phonics & writing standards, and let students build up their skills sets with deeper understanding. Yes? :)

  10. Thank you for these sets. I'm so excited by everything you have included - planning is so easy! I love the writing component in each lesson. Writing about what he likes to do in the snow (from The Snowy Day) was a turning point for one of my little writers. It was a struggle for him to get a word or two on paper, but he has really blossomed with the writing pages you created!

    1. Yay!! We are so glad to hear it! We hope that this is the first of many success stories for your little guy!!

  11. Hello! I absolutely LOVE your Guiding Kinders math units. They are amazing. I will be looking up your reading units too! I am wondering if you are going to do either in Spanish? I teach at a dual language school and my partner loves your stuff too but she teaches in Spanish. PLEASE, Please think about having your work translated! I know LOTS of teachers who would be interested in our district. Thank you!

  12. I am in the process of trying to find someone to have them translated. If you know of someone my email is Thanks so much!

  13. Deanna and DeeDee,
    I was very hesitant to start using this in the middle of the year so I bought your units and started small with my double dose kids they loved it the guided way this is made makes it very easy to follow for my littles who struggle. I have never seen the kids in my class become so happy about reading the same book and using it to create our learning. I am looking forward to the rest of the units I can use with my kindergartens next year.

    1. Yay!! That is music to our ears! Our goal is to help kids fall in love with reading and learning! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

  14. One more you have spelling lists for each week? Not sure why, but our parents love homework and spelling lists. ha ha!

    1. Hi Tonya, I actually have a year long spelling program for first grade that I've been working on off and on for over a year. I'm going to take a look at it and see how I can make it fit this program. Thanks so much!

    2. Deanna,

      I know this post is old but did you ever for your year long spelling into the units or publish it separately

  15. That would be great! We use the Treasures lists right now, but I don't like the way the spelling patterns flow.



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