Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog

Guided Reading with One-Word Readers by Greg Smedley

Today, we bring you another guest blog post from Greg Smedley. For more from Greg, be sure to check out his blog!

Hi! It’s Mr. Greg from Smedley’s Smorgasbord of Kindergarten! Today I want to share a successful tool in my guided reading toolbox.

I am a huge advocate for differentiation. I believe that my instruction should meet the needs of every child. I work with my students in whole group, small groups, and one on one. We are fortunate to have small class sizes (fifteen students), an extended day, and a very kindergarten-friendly schedule. This all combines to allow me to read with every child every day. That’s right! I am able to read one on one with every child every single day! I cannot begin to tell you how huge that is for my students!

Today was our first official day of guided reading. We’ve been working in centers while Mr. Greg pulls groups and students to work at his table. This has all been practice leading up to our guided reading kickoff! I was able to read with every child today. And I was able to provide them with books that were on their level and books that they could be successful at reading. I am also a huge believer in building the confidence of my students. I believe that every child should have a book to read when they are at guided reading. Here’s how I meet the needs of the students who are still working on learning their letters.

 I created a set of one word readers that I use with my students who need the most help during guided reading. What I love about these books is that they are simple word and picture books that are written so the students can be successful the first time they pick up the book. This allows every child to begin building a library of books on their level. No one is left out or feels different because they don’t have books in their bag!

We talk about pointing to the words when we read; we talk about the letters and sounds as we read. But most importantly we read the book. There is nothing more thrilling that watching a child read an entire book by themselves and seeing their reaction when you call them a reader!



My name is Greg Smedley-Warren and yes, I am a bit of a rockstar! I am a male kindergarten teacher! It’s true! We are a rare species, but we do exist! I have been teaching for eight years and I have taught 5th grade, 2nd grade and kindergarten. My heart is Kindergarten! I believe that every student can succeed and that it’s my job to give them the tools they need. My classroom is full of energy and fun. We are always singing, dancing, moving, and learning. If you were to appear at my classroom door you would see chaos. But it’s really organized chaos. I am famous for my love of all things glitter, all things mustaches, and silly hats! I also write a teaching blog, Smedley’s Smorgasbord of Kindergarten, which is a peek into my silly and chaotic life as a teacher!

I live in Nashville, TN (Music City USA) with my husband and our Golden Doodle, Butters!


 For an example of some readers that contain only one word per page, check out our Letter Buddies Letter Books by clicking here and flipping through the sample below.