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The Secret to an Easy Reading Station

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As a teacher, you are OVERLOADED with planning. You have to plan for phonics, reading, writing, math, social studies and science. Five days a week. 

But it's more than that. When it comes to reading, you are planning for mini lessons and mentor texts for whole group, guided reading groups and guided reading stations. 

None of this is new to you, I know. 

The point of this post is to tell you one way to make ONE of those areas easier to plan.

Today we are talking all about your reading station during guided reading. 

BUT, this strategy can also be used for making your whole group lesson planning easier as well. 

Enough of the small talk, ready for the big secret? 

CONSISTENCY!! 

Let me explain. 

Reading Response Pages

As teachers we aim for consistency in all things. 

But the one thing that has made the biggest impact in saving time planning and also my students mastering skills is faster is using consistent reading response pages. 

When planning my literacy unit, I choose one reading response page that I can use for the entire unit. 

I start using it week one in my whole group lessons. I use this opportunity to model how I want the students to complete the worksheet. 

Starting week two, this reading response sheet moves to my reading station during guided reading. As you can see in the picture, I leave plenty of copies of the reading response sheet in my reading basket. The only thing I have to do to keep that station up to date is to switch out the books that I want the students to respond to. 

The Benefits

Let's quickly review the benefits of using the same reading response sheet: 

  • save time planning by using the same recording sheet for a week of whole group then one to two weeks of stations
  • students can focus on their own response rather than learning the format of a new recording sheet
  • since students can focus on their response, they can master literacy skills faster

I want to stress that your reading response sheet does not need to be anything fancy. In fact, simpler is often better. 

You can even teach students to respond on blank paper or a reader's notebook. 

Your Next EASY Planning Step

If you loved my planning tip for an easy reading station, then this next step is for you. 

You can download these Phonemic Awareness Flash Drills for free. 

You need these flash drills if: 

  • you aren't really sure where to start when it comes to phonemic awareness
  • you want an easy way to practice 8-10 phonemic awareness skills in less than 5 minutes a day
  • you want to be able to use those same drills for your guided reading groups
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Kristen Sullins

Kristen Sullins

I am a current first grade teacher, mother of two, follower of Christ and Texas native. In my own classroom, I love to focus on and plan new ideas for my guided reading and guided math stations, warm ups and interventions and all things organization.

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