Guided Reading Tips For Struggling Readers

Hey! Today we are chatting all about Guided Reading. Guided Reading for struggling readers is one of the most difficult parts about being a classroom teacher. 
guided reading tips for struggling readers

Guided Reading Tip for Struggling Readers #1

Each and EVERY Child learns differently. So we have to teach each child the way they learn. The best  way I have found to do this is ability grouping. When we look at the way our students are grouped using data, we can see if there’s anything we need to change to help our struggling readers. Our students are grouped by reading levels. Therefore, we have five groups and follow a Daily 5 routine. Thankfully, we are very fortunate to have two teachers and one aide in our room during this time. Somehow, I know this is not the case for most of you! For instance, this is my first time EVER having this much support! Here is our schedule:
guided reading tip for struggling readers
Now, the General Education teacher does the guided reading program. She individually picks each book for each group each week. We do not follow a basal program. Each book is picked by level and skills that we are teaching. Then, we plan out our before, during and after reading plans and questions.
The Special Education Teacher (Me) does a hands on and engaging activity practicing the skill that we are working on each week. This is working out SO Well. Finally, we are able to supplement each other so we have carefully prepared our students and taught them our routine. We practiced each station each and every day. For our Work Work, our students use their “Word Study” words. We use a specifically  designed plan for word study, it’s district wide. It is similar to some spelling routines. Basically, we have choice board set up in the classroom. Now,  this choice board contains nine different choices the students can use to work with their words.

Guided Reading Tip For Struggling Readers #2

Use Hands on Manipulative’s to Teach Guided Reading

Students need to be engaged in the reading process. In order to increase student engagement during guided reading, make it fun for them! Next, add scrabble tiles to your work work center! Let them “build” their words! Finally, add sight words to your board games and on Fridays (Or any day in my classroom) let them play them!
Furthermore, My students love playing sight word Jenga! Learning and having fun at the SAME Time! That is a WIN! That should be your goal! Teach with CENTERS, let students have a choice about what to do. Students can then take charge of their learning with these guided reading tips for struggling readers! 
guided reading tips for struggling readers
The picture above shows our students working with digraphs.
For instance, here’s another look at our word work  centers!
I use both theme and skill based centers in my classroom. These two pictures show centers that are themed based with skills embedded.

Discover Their Interests!

Another way to spark engagement,  is to find out what students are interested in. Furthermore, most students do not want to read about the price of tea in China..I know I do not! Reluctant readers will do so much better with topics that interest them! Use Reading A-Z to find books that are topics that your students will like. These guided reading tips for struggling readers will help your students become stronger and more independent readers. 


I have found that struggling readers often enjoy reading nonfiction books and mystery books. The “

This series has been a huge hit for my son! He is certainly a  reluctant reader but this series has changed the way he looks at reading! He’s interested in it so he looks forward to reading them!

Use your scholastic book points to find topics for  your hard to reach boys!
Topics, Series and Titles for Boys:
Lego Ninjago
Lego Chima
Star Wars
Super Heros
Trucks and Cars
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Magic Tree House


Topics, Series and Titles for Girls:
Fancy Nancy
Babysitters Club
Amelia Bedelia
Judy Blume
Junie B. Jones
Ivy and Bean
Mallory on the Move
Lemonade War
Because of Winn Dixie


Go Back To the Basics & Differentiate your Instruction

Sometimes you just need to go back to the basics. Discover where your students are, and go back to the skill that will help them the most. Even if that means you are a 4th grade teacher, with a student on a 1st grade reading level!  Typically, we instruct our students one their highest instructional reading level. However, if you have a student who is really struggling, do not be afraid to drop their level down. This will help the student develop more confidence in their ability! If a student has confidence issues, be sure to build them up using positive reinforcement ANY chance you get!!!
If all else fails, begin to implement an intervention program
Till Next Time 🙂
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5 thoughts on “Guided Reading Tips For Struggling Readers”

  1. I loved this post and I love the system you have for your reading block- I'm always looking for new ideas to make sure we are meeting every students' needs during the reading block and will definitely be using this post for ideas!
    Thank you!!
    Aylin 🙂
    Learning to the Core

  2. Thank you for these resources! I shared some of your resources and linked back to you from my blog: curriculummom.com. Thank you again! Hope you'll check my new blog out as well!

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