Thursday, April 13, 2017

Writing a Guided Reading Book 101 by Tina Cho



Have you ever thought about writing a guided reading book? Educational publishers need writers to write these little 8-10 paged books for beginning readers.
Teachers use these in reading groups in schools. Some are based on phonics. Some are based on sight words. And all are based on some kind of leveled reading system. Take a look at Caring for Your Dog by clicking here and then return to this post. This book was based on a Lexile reading level and controlled vocabulary. There are fiction and nonfiction guided readers. 
Each publisher has their own way of writing them. They will tell you how many words per book, words per page, even words per sentence! They might give you a controlled vocabulary list, and you can only write using the words on that list. They might have a template for you to use. You have to be creative!

As with writing picture books, you have to read them in order to write them. If you want to write guided reading books, you need to read them, especially since they are written on so many levels. How?

  • listen to your children/grandchildren read them for homework
  • volunteer at an elementary school for reading time and listen to kids read them
  • ask a teacher if you could look at her collection, tell her you're interested in writing them
  • peruse educational publishing websites and look at their guided reading books, there may be samples you can click on

When you're ready, try writing a manuscript for a guided reader. I even self-published one in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. I wrote the text, and my daughter illustrated it. This is a sight word reader. Can you guess the sight words?
My Hamster
My hamster lives in a cage.
My hamster can eat a seed.
My hamster can drink water.
My hamster can run.
My hamster can slide.
My hamster can dress up.
I love my hamster.



Guided reading books are fun to write. But just like picture books, every word counts, since they are sparse. 
www.edu-clips.com
If you want to know more, check out these posts I wrote:
Writing Beginning Readers or Guided Reading Books (at my OLD blog)

How to Write for the Educational Market Part 1

How to Write for the Educational Market Part 2 (explains Lexile levels)

Guided Reading Levels and the Writer (explains Fountas and Pinnell leveling system)

If you have any questions, ask in the comments, email/message me, or find me at my blog!

21 comments:

  1. Tina, lots of good resources here to begin writing a guided read. I am impressed by balancing the must-haves of a publisher with the creative side of the writer! Good job.

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  2. Thanks, Kathy. Yes, these are a lot of work actually.

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  3. Great information and advice Tina. Thanks!

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  4. Thanks for sharing with us other writing genres. Sounds like it takes talent and creativity. Such an addition for students everywhere.

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    1. Thank you, Sherri. It takes practice like all good writing.

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  5. Thanks Tina. This is good advice.
    I'd love to know more about how you set up your Teachers Pay Teachers store.

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    1. Claire, See my blog posts about TpT: http://www.tinamcho.com/blog/teachers-pay-teachers-part-1-or-making-educational-products

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  6. Thanks Tina. This is good advice.
    I'd love to know more about how you set up your Teachers Pay Teachers store.

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  7. This is an excellent. Thanks for sharing your insights, Tina.

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    1. Thank you, Hannah. I could see you writing one.

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  8. Thanks so much for this post. I was not familiar with guided reading books. Great information.

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    1. Thank you, David. Another way to get published.

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  9. You have been a master (or is it mistress?) of this form of writing for sometime. Very disciplined.

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  10. Yep, this kind of writing takes true discipline and it's so much harder than those simple words on a page look! Good for you, mastering guided reading, Tina!

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    1. Oh, I wouldn't say I've mastered it...Still learning as I go! Thanks, Cathy.

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  11. Great post, Tina! And congrats on all your leveled readers, both published and in the pipeline!

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  12. Nice to have this, Tina! I know absolutely nothing about writing guided reading books. Thanks!

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  13. This is excellent insight for writing guided reading books. As a trained Reading Recovery Teacher, I am familiar with these leveled books. My students and I have created our own readers using sight words that needed mastery. Perhaps I should be more serious about this form of writing.

    Thank you, Tina.
    ~Suzy

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