Use these reading tools to keep your students engaged
Fun guided reading tools are an easy way to switch up your guided reading and make it more engaging. I like to pull out fun tools to keep my students engaged, but they also get excited about the new things. I believe that if students are having fun, then they are going to learn and remember. It switches things up and makes them remember things in a new way.
Target Mini Erasers
Teachers use Target mini erasers for everything. My students would literally cheer when I would pull them out as a guided reading tool. You can find similar erasers here. Here are a couple ways how I use them:
- Word Hunts: Have students go on a word hunt for a specific word in their book. For example, tell them to find the word “said”. Once students find the word, they put the eraser underneath it.
- Phonics Hunts: Phonics Hunts are the same as Word Hunts, but students are looking for a word with a specific phonics skill. The erasers are used the same way as well.
- Pop The Balloon! Warm-Up Game: I mentioned this in this post, but I will talk about it again here. Students read the word on the Pop The Balloon! card and place an eraser on it once they read it.
Target Light Up Wands
Target is full of great stuff to add just a little twist to learning. I have found these light up wands for nearly every holiday or season. These ones are for Christmas (it’s a little hard to tell in the picture). Here are a few different ways I use them during guided reading:
- Segmenting Sounds: When I ask students how many sounds are in a word, students use the wand to sound it out. They tap the wand on the table for every sound while quietly saying it aloud. For example, if I asked them how many sounds are in the word lap then students would say l (tap) a (tap) p (tap).
- Pointers: They can use the wands as pointers, but only to point. I don’t let them hit the desk hard enough for the light to come on.
Highlight Reading Strips
Another guided reading tool is highlight reading strips. These highlight reading strips are perfect for kids to track their reading. You can grab them here. The two tones helps them focus and stay on the line the are reading. My kids loved the bright colors and loved picking which one they got to use.
For students who are still using their finger to track, here is a list of different things you can use to point:
My students and I absolutely love whisper phones. They love them because it’s like talking in a phone and they can hear themselves. I love them because I can barely hear people reading when I’m teaching in a guided reading group. I was lucky to be gifted some handmade whisper phones (made from PVC pipes), but you can also find them here.
I had my guided reading table next to a filing cabinet so I used one of the drawers of the filing cabinet to house all my guided reading materials. I was not fancy at all and used washi tape to label the drawer. Inside I kept all the tools I’ve mentioned, as well as sight word cards, graphic organizers, dry erase markers, etc.
Guided Reading Tools Organization
I picked up this bucket from Hobby Lobby during the summer as an easy way to organize my guided reading tools. Inside I have everything I mentioned above, plus some chalkboard blocks from the Target Dollar Spot. I use the chalkboard blocks for word work which you can read about in this post. This bucket make it easy to grab whatever I need during guided reading.
Mini Eraser Organization
I also use this organizer from Michael’s to organize my plethora of Target mini erasers. I grabbed it when it was on sale and used my teacher discount. You can find it here.