Yes, I know, you’ve probably never heard the words Guided Reading and Green Beans in the same sentence, but stick with me for a moment and I will explain.

Planning for Guided Reading is like the green beans you leave in the microwave. Yep — you know, after you eat your entire meal and you are so full that you can’t even move… Suddenly you realize — “I forgot the green beans! They are still in the microwave!”

But then you think about it and realize… “Did I really want those green beans anyway???” “Maybe I wouldn’t have had room for that great cherry pie if had I eaten the green beans…”

Making plans for Guided Reading is like those poor green beans in the microwave. We forget about them. We have so many other lessons to make that Guided Reading is often put in the microwave and forgotten about.

But not anymore! Let’s open up that microwave and let the green beans join the party!

Make Guided Reading The Main Course

After planning for everything else in our day, it’s easy to forget the green beans a.k.a. Guided Reading. Even though we know it is one of the most important parts of our day — it happens. So, let’s talk about how to EASILY plan for our Guided Reading and be so excited about it that it will become the main course and NOT those poor green beans!

I used to sit and STARE blankly at my Guided Reading Lesson Plans thinking to myself, “Where do I even start?” But now, I quickly plan each group in just a couple of minutes so I can make the most out of my Guided Reading block.


Guided Reading can be EASY and ENJOYABLE

Here are three steps to help you stay organized, easily plan, and LOVE your time reading with your students! 

Let’s face it — we all know being organized helps us stay more productive BUT that’s easier said than done. Here is my Guided Reading area set up at the beginning of the year. It doesn’t stay this way, because ya know, life happens. But, if you can at least start this way it will be helpful.


  1. Get Organized: First, make an area to keep all of your Guided Reading Supplies. You don’t want to be getting up to get supplies; that will take away from your teaching time. I have a bookshelf next to my Guided Reading table that holds my supplies (Group Boxes, my Guided Reading Binder, dry erase boards, dry erase markers, erasers, ABC magnets, phonics phones, highlighter tape, light, and my Ultimate Guided Reading Toolkit) I also keep my Guided Reading Binder nearby. This is a free item in my store to help start your year off right! 



  1. Find a Book: Find a book that is at your students’ Instructional Reading Level (90-94% accuracy). Find a book that you think would be high interest for your students. Vary book titles and make sure you are using both fiction and non-fiction books. Think about the skills that your students are working on and find a book that lends itself to those skills.

Where is the book money tree ,you ask?? I really wish I had one of those — you’re going to have to get creative! Many schools have book rooms where you can go get a collection of books to use with your students. If your collection is like ours, it’s pretty sub par. The stories aren’t that great so I wrote a grant to get books into my classroom. I’ve also used Reading A-Z and printed off books for the students.



  1. Just Add Activities: There is nothing more time-consuming than finding the activities that you want to do with your students for your Guided Reading Lesson. So, I have created The Ultimate Guided Toolkit. This toolkit includes Word Work Activities, Reading Strategy Activities, and Comprehension Activities. Simply decide what activity you want to do, check it off, and add it to your Group Box. Then when it’s time for your group, everything is ready. These activities are engaging and fun and will have your students begging for more!

So now, it’s your job to NOT let your Guided Reading be the green beans. The Ultimate Guided Reading Toolkit has three options:

The Ultimate Guided Reading Bundle: Levels A-ZThe Ultimate Guided Reading Toolkit: Levels A-NThe Ultimate Guided Reading Toolkit








JD's Rockin' Readers

My name is Jennie and I am currently teaching 1st grade. I was formerly a Reading Recovery/Title I teacher for 11 years. I love the great personalities of my seven-year-olds! I fully believe in teaching kids to be independent and responsible by introducing centers into my language arts and math blocks. I also love everything about Writing Workshop! You can find me on Facebook, InstagramPinterest or stop by my blog or TpT store.