Monday, September 5, 2011

Guided Reading Rotations Made EASY!

My third grade team has 4 guided reading groups that we meet with 4 times a week. I meet with my groups on Tuesday- Friday. Each Monday I front load with a lot of whole group activities, so we don't meet on that day. I also share the centers that students will be working in that week on Mondays so I do not take up any whole group time explaining on Tuesdays before our rotations.

I wanted a way to have my guided reading groups leveled but then let my students work with students outside of their guided reading groups during the other rotations each day. My system is pretty simple and the kids caught on right away! We practiced one day the first week of school and then they were ready to do it "for real".

My third grade team has also jumped on board and I think they are seeing great results with management during reading. They used to have each group rotate as a whole and the entire group would do one center each day. This meant that 6 students would be at one center together. Management nightmare!

I have 4 different rotations (since I have to meet with 4 Guided Reading Groups). They are Guided Reading (with me), Read to Self, Seatwork and Centers. During the seatwork rotation students are practicing skills that we have been working on during whole group or guided reading. During the Centers rotation the students visit one center per day for a total of 4 centers each week. My centers change from week to week but include: technology, word work, listening, spelling, art, science, social studies, math. It really depends on what stories/genre we are working on and skills we are practicing.

Your Reading Rotation Cards should be posted in a centers chart. I leave all of my student cards where they are and just rotate the center cards each day. Be careful to make sure that you are spreading out your students so that they are not more than 2 students at a center per rotation.

Check out my rotation cards for free at my TPT store! Click on the pic of my center chart to snag your copy. Let me know what you think!


  1. I love how confident you are and how great this looks. Our county has just started centers daily this year. Every day, we are to do centers in vocab, fluency, comprehension and at the teacher table. Also four in math. Every teacher in the school has a different "idea" of what that looks like. In my classroom, the students are divided into groups of four (and one of five). On Monday, each group attends all four centers. On Tuesday, the same, etc. which means different activities for each center for each of those days. It seems chaotic to them and to me. Other teachers say the same things while others just do what they want - it would be nice to have one person say one way to do it and it be as seamless as yours. Great examples!!

    1. hope you will try my system. It really does work and it is great only having to worry about coming up with centers once a week! The kids really catch on quickly and it helps foster that independent learning we so desperately want them to build!!

  2. Hello! Can you please explain how you only move the "center sign"? I see in the photo that there are different students with "computer" in different rotations (1st, 3rd, etc), yet they're all in the computer center....I think this will work well if I can get a grasp on it. Thank you!

    1. I have students from different Guided Reading Groups going to Centers together. For example: On Tuesday Mike and Suzy may be going to the Smart Board Center when it is their turn to go to Centers. When Tuesday is over I take all the Center cards and move them down. That means that on Wednesday Mike & Suzy will be in the computer center. I do not switch the students around- I will switch them every quarter so that they can work with other students.
      One big benefit of using this system is that the groups are not homogeneous. Only my guided reading groups are ability leveled. When the students are working at Centers, Read to Self or Seatwork they are with all different levels so that makes it easy for them to get help from one another. They know that they are not allowed to interrupt my GR group unless it is one of the 3Bs: Bleeding, not Breathing or Barfing.
      Download my printable cards- it comes with directions.


Pin It button on image hover