A Guided Reading Observation Template

Hello! How was your Thanksgiving Break?! Mine was pretty good overall. I was sick for a few days, but still managed to make time for some holiday decorating AND our long awaited home office project. Luke busted out his woodshop skills and built us the coolest desk ever! It’s L-shaped, so now we both have a super organized and inspired space to work in.


Productive blogging, product creating, and efficient planning here I come!

I know our super cool L-shaped desk isn’t the intended topic of this post, but I’m just so dang excited about it, I had to share.

Alright, moving on!

Yesterday afternoon, during my coaching convo with Olivia, I was giving myself a big pat on the back for the handy observation template I had created and was referring to. As we were chatting, I realized just how helpful it has been!


Olivia is brand new to guided reading, so I knew I needed to really “break it down”…or translate a guided reading lesson into small, concrete steps or parts.

In a small group PD session right before the start of our coaching cycle, I was able to walk herĀ and a few other of our new teachers through the basic structure of what a guided reading lesson looks like. I created an anchor chart that looks like this:

Planning for Guided Reading

I then used this same structure to create an observation form.


Download Here

I shared this with Olivia at the start of our coaching cycle, so she and I were on the same page for where we were headed and what I would be looking for. She was on board!

Then I made a few copies and popped them into my Coaching Kit.

This observation tool has been really helpful in my classroom visits, because I have a handy reference for exactly what I’m looking for. I’m also able to refer to this together with Olivia in our debriefs, as we discuss what worked well and what we might want to tweak the next time around.

Maybe you can use the tool directly, or just adjust it a bit to better meet your needs. Either way, hope it helps you with your work!

Thanks so much for being a part of the MsHouser community, and I’ll see you next week!


PS – If you have a quick sec, I’d really appreciate if you used the buttons below to share this post! Thanks a million.

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9 Responses to “A Guided Reading Observation Template”

  1. Kristin December 4, 2015 at 9:17 am #

    Oh my gosh this is TOTALLY what I needed for next semester! Thanks you SO much! Just this week my principal and I were trying to get a handle on what everyone in the building was REALLY doing with guided reading (both of us are new)…so to collect some baseline data to inform my PD better I was doing some “guided reading walk-throughs”, and I just created a quick check-off chart on my tablet in Evernote of the different parts of the lesson. Your sheet will be a perfect next step when we dig more into it!! Thank you!!

    • Kristin Houser December 7, 2015 at 10:20 am #

      Awesome Kristin! So glad it will be helpful. Good luck with getting guided reading going in your building!

  2. Mary Gay Michaels December 9, 2015 at 6:05 pm #

    I am in the process of becoming our school’s reading coach in the primary grades. Your site was shared by another teacher/coach in our district. THANK YOU for sharing your knowledge and experience.

    • Kristin Houser December 13, 2015 at 2:10 pm #

      Hi Mary! Thanks so much for your kind note, and for being a part of the MsHouser community. And congrats on your move into coaching! Let me know how I can help :)

  3. Bonnie February 21, 2017 at 5:36 am #

    Trying out this form today to see how it goes…Thanks for sharing it!

  4. Jacqueline Greene April 11, 2018 at 1:44 pm #

    I am a student of the university of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus in the beautiful island of Barbados. I have used your template for nursery rhymes purposes for my thesis. I have acknowledge you so i would not plagiarize the information that i have used. I was looking for an observation schedule and your template worked perfectly. thanks

  5. Elizabeth Wolfson March 10, 2019 at 11:30 am #

    This is so helpful, thank you! I just began coaching some teachers on guided reading, and this tool will be so useful!

  6. Dori August 5, 2019 at 9:35 am #

    Do you have a debriefing template?

  7. Roberta Ripley March 8, 2021 at 2:00 pm #

    Thank you for sharing. Our team is looking for a concise template for Reading Class observations. This does the trick, nicely! THANK YOU for sharing!

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