Back to School Basics: Guided Reading Rotations Schedule

During Guided Reading, I normally have two adults in the room: myself and a parent volunteer or an impact teacher hired by the district. If my guided reading time is during a part in the day where I cannot have a parent volunteer or an impact teacher  then ... I change my schedule! Having two adults in the room is imperative to the continued success of my class. This is because every day my students need to be seen by an adult. They deserve this. I would consider it a shame if they went the entire school day without some small group and one-on-one time with a teacher. Therefore, my guided reading rotations go something like this. To download click here:


Keep the following in mind when reading through my chart.

Shape groups are Homogenous - Kids are with adults when they are in their shape groups. Instruction is more rigorous because it is meant to be guided (an activity they couldn't easily do on their own). 

Color groups are Heterogenous - Kids are independent when they are in their color groups. They can work with a partner to complete puzzles, games, read together, play computer games, go to the listening center.

Each child is assigned to BOTH a color group and a shape group. (More detail)



guided reading in kindergarten

Before I start guided reading I have usually already taught a sorting unit in Math so I sit the class on the carpet and say these exact words: "Now I'm going to sort you all by shape or by color. Remember when you're sorting by color; shape doesn't matter. When you're sorting by shape; color doesn't matter. So listen for your color OR listen for your shape." (For a few weeks I have the kids wear necklaces that have their color group and shape group written for them so they can reference it).

Here is how the classroom rug seating plays into the rotation schedule I have provided above.

Monday - Rotation One

When I send the triangle team to the teacher's table for guided reading and the rectangle team to the independent table the only teams left on the carpet are they yellow team and the green team. Remember these teams are heterogeneous ability groups. They get assigned to the listening center and the computer  games.

Here is what the second rotation looks like:

Monday - Second Rotation

When I send the circle team to the teacher's table and the square team to the independent table, the only teams left on the carpet are the red team and the orange team. This allows me to send them to the listening center and the computer games now. 

Every two days every team has rotated through each center and I'm ready to prep for another set of activities and assignments. This thoughtful and well-balanced system was passed down to me by a mentor teacher my first year of teaching. I've kept it every year since ... because it works!