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Guiding Readers Questions and Answers

Last November Deedee and I had a conversation about her desire to do more with the books she was using for Read Alouds.  Her kids loved many of the books she was reading to them, and they wanted to hear them again and again.  She felt that she had a great foundation with writer's workshop (more on that later) but she wanted deeper connections and interactions with the texts that she was reading to her class.  So we created Guiding Readers.

What are Guiding Readers?
Guiding Readers started out as a "responding to literature" unit in our heads, but then we realized we needed to integrate phonics, interactive writing, reading comprehension, phonemic awareness and vocabulary in as well.

Each week we pull a few words from our text to explore them deeper.

Heaping pile of snow

vocabulary work
I used these  Guiding Readers lessons in a whole group setting.   In my kindergarten classroom, I do the reading work (decoding the words) and my students do the thinking work.  
Everyone participates.   Working with a partner engages all of the students. 
Here we are putting the story cards in order, to help us retell the story.
Interactive Writing
Students are able to focus on the mechanics of writing during our interactive writing time.
During this time, the teacher and students share the pen.

Responding to Literature

With Rubrics!

We sometimes respond with a full sheet of paper and sometimes we respond in our notebooks.  Each response activity offers both options.   When I was short on time, I opted for the notebook responses.

They had a picnic.

Phonics Work
Early in the year we work hard on learning our letters and sounds in the units.  While kindergarten is working on learning letters and sounds, first grade is working on word families.
By January, we are ready to work on more challenging spelling patterns.  

Phonemic Awareness
Suggested Phonic Awareness activities are included.
Are they effective?

This is what Deedee said: Here is what I class soared when I started these activities.  Their level of engagement went through the roof!  Their ability to discuss text grew exponentially.  When it was time to assess my students' reading comprehension it was so apparent that they were able to retell a story with great detail in a sequential order, they made connections, and were able to discuss the text at a deeper level.

Not only did I experience great student success, but Deedee and I heard from countless teachers saying how these units have changed their classroom.   {This is where I get uncomfortable... I don't want to sound like I am full of myself.}   BUT SERIOUSLY... the feedback we received made our hearts happy.   I loved hearing from teachers who were using our units when an administrators and superintendents observed them, and they were blown away.  

You can read the feedback for yourself HERE.

Are they available in a bundle?
Yes!  Although, our original intent was to wait until these units were finished to bundle them. However, we have several school districts who are wanting to purchase the bundle with school funds that must be used by July 31st.   

I already bought a few of the months, can I get the bundle at a discount?

For those of you who have purchased the units separately, we will still continue to list the remaining units on sale for the first 48 hours so that you still get the benefit of the bundled price.  

What skills and books are your going to cover?
We have created a curriculum map that should answer all of these questions.  You can find it by clicking:

We plan to have all of the units completed by September 1st.
What if I loop with my class?
We are making a 2nd edition.  This will include the same skills, but with different texts.
If you have a favorite book or books that you would like to see included in the 2nd edition set, please let us know!

If you have any comments or questions, we would love to hear from you!


  1. I LOVE everything about this post. Thanks for taking the time to write it!!! Amber ~ Kindergarten Rocks Blog

  2. I love this product! I started purchasing these as they came out back in January. My kinders' learning flourished with the comprehension and word work activities. It was common in my class to hear my kids say that they made a connection to their schema, made an inference, or had a prediction. I love how it provides my kids with opportunities to think about and respond to the text. I teach at a two way dual language immersion school in Texas. In the second edition I would love to see books chosen that are published in both English and Spanish, and if possible some of the writing prompts translated into Spanish, (it is so hard for me to find things in both languages) would also love if you could list the TEKS along with the Common Core, and include more vocabulary building activities. Thanks so much for making a great resource! I am so excited to use these next year!

  3. Thank you for your pictures and explanations! I teach 1st grade and my K teacher uses your units in her class. I applaud you for creating quality products that teachers like me get to see the awesome outcomes :)

  4. I teach in Texas as well, and we would love to have the TEKS added if possible too. Thank you for all that you do!!

  5. Anything available for 2nd grade ?

  6. Love, love, LOVE these units!!
    Thank you for taking the time to make these fabulous, engaging units. I am amazed at the growth my kinders have made in just the short time I used them this year.
    I have already purchased Aug/September and March through June.
    Are October through December available to purchase separately?
    Thank you for your reply :)

  7. Thank you Mrs Jump ;) I love your ideas and products, I purchased your guided reading material and use it heaps!
    I'm starting a new project as well, focused on transition to school. Would love a visit!
    and for a freebie (my TpT best seller ;)
    :) Jordana Allen

  8. I also looove these units! I can't wait to start the year with them! Question...Do you happen to have an alphabet chart with the same font and pictures as the Aug/Sept unit? Just a one page sheet that I can use at my guided reading table or in a writing folder?
    Thanks for all you do!

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  10. Do you know how long your sale is going? I am working on a purchase order but it still has go through our district office.
    Thank you so much,

  11. How do you organize these materials? I love how you showed your organization of the guided reading books. Do you have any suggestions, photos of how you organized the guiding readers monthly units?

  12. Do you have any information on how your organized each Guiding readers monthly unit? I loved how you showed your organization of the Guided reading books.



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