Guided Reading Assessments

I've found it really helpful to do guided reading "snapshots" throughout the year. My students are assessed using running records, tests from our reading programs, and other informal assessments. However, sometimes I just want a quick assessment that's performance-based and easy to use. Sometimes I feel like I don't get enough real information from reading program assessments.  I LOVE running records, but they take a while and they are not parent-friendly. So, I came up with the following "snapshot" assessment/ skill check to use throughout the year.

These snapshot assessments are used in two ways:
  1. For me: to keep track of student progress, strengths, and goals. 
  2. For parents: to communicate clearly how their child is doing during guided reading, what their strengths are while reading, and what goals I have for their child.
Here's a way to communicate how students are doing during guided reading. I chose 5 areas to rate: phonics skills, comprehension, fluency, behavior, and self-monitoring. This is a way for parents to quickly see how their child is doing in class. It's a more general assessment than the ones below. 

clipart: Thistlegirl design

You can download this for free at my Teacher's Notebook store or my TPT store.

You can keep track of the snapshot records using this spreadsheet if you want...

Here is another way to communicate to parents. This sheet is more specific about reading skills that a child may or may not have. I chose the most common things I look for in a first grade reader and put these skills in both boxes (one for strengths and one for goals). 

frame by scrappincop
clipart: Scrappindoodles

To use this: Circle the child's strengths that you have observed during guided reading and then choose one or two skills that you would like to focus on as a goal. This gives your parents an idea of how they can follow up at home. I have so many incredible parents every year who are always asking how they can help at home, what they should focus on, etc. They want to know what I'm doing in the classroom so they can followup at home. Confession time: I've been known to spend way too much time writing emails to parents who want this information on  a regular basis. (Remember I am in a private school with paying parents.) I've created these materials to save me some time in the long run! :) It takes a couple minutes to fill out so it's super convenient. I wouldn't do a whole class at once though. I'd spread it out so that each student gets one every few weeks. 

I tried to use parent-friendly language that is self explanatory, but there may be a couple that need explaining. Usually "cross checking" is the one I'd write a quick note about. (Cross Checking is from the CAFE books and basically means a student reads words that make sense and match the letters on the page.) 

I left some extra lines at the bottom of each box so you could add in a skill. I would also write in a specific phonics skill we were working on and add it to the goals or strengths. For example, if a student isn't grasping the silent e,  you could add that to the goals box. You could also add some more advanced skills (from the CAFE menu) as your students advance with reading.

This one is the same as the one above, just different frames and clip art:

Frames by Miss Tina
Clipart by scrappindoodles

You can click on any of the pictures to get these snapshot sheets. As always, I'd love to hear from you! Could you use this in your classroom? What do you do for your assessments? How do you communicate to parents? How do you organize your information? 

You can download these for free at my Teacher's Notebook shop or my TPT store.
Please consider "liking" or "following" one of my shops if you take the freebie. Thanks:)


  1. Thanks for sharing! Very user friendly too!

  2. Wonderful and helpful! These are great tools for a quick snapshot!

  3. These are cute and look very useful. My second graders need to write goals for reading each quarter. I am wondering if your snapshot sheets might make that easier on all of us! :) Thank you!

  4. Wow Sarah! These are wonderful. I do RTI with the proficient first graders from all of the first grade classrooms. These forms will help me communicate with the children's teachers. I usually type up comments individually for each child. Thanks for saving me hours of time. I will share these forms with my team mates too!

  5. I really love these. Thank you so much. What a great way to communicate with parents, and to get that snapshot.

    First Impressions

  6. This looks wonderful! I am looking forward to trying it out.
    Thank you for sharing.

  7. These are so great! Thanks for sharing!

    Fun in Room 4B

  8. Thanks sooooo much for sharing!!! These are fabulous! This is a lot of work for you to share so freely and it is VERY appreciated!!!;)
    Little Warriors

  9. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I'll be printing these and using them next year.

  10. I am so happy I found your blog. I've snagged the Reading snapshot. I'm your newest follower. Visit my blog at Calling Plays in 2nd Grade.


  11. This is really helpful! I will definitely be using this resource. I work in a private school (with paying parents) as well. This will be a great thing to offer to them as a way they can help!

    Sweet Seconds

  12. This is great I can't wait to use this in my class!!!

  13. These are awesome! Thank you so much for sharing!

    :) Kaitlyn
    Smiles and Sunshine

  14. Thank you so much for sharing. They brought a smile to my face so I know my students are going to love them.

  15. What a fabulous idea!

    Liz at

  16. This is wonderful! Do you have other forms such as this for other areas? Writing? Math? Just curious!

  17. Those are fantastic! I could even use with my kinders. I'm a new follower. Looking forward to sharing more ideas with you! :)

  18. These are GREAT!!! Thanks so much. I liked your store pages, and added them to my Pinterest boards too! Wondering how to get the spread sheet...:)

  19. Thanks for sharing this! I use it each time I have a conference or do a running record with a student. I tell them their strengths and goals and then I send it home with them so their parents know too. Great idea! In fact, it has inspired me to create one for writing. I usually use a two stars and a wish format when I conference with them about their books. I have been hand writing their strengths and goals. Now I've created a Two Stars and a Wish sheet and I circle what they are doing well at and what they need to work on to make their writing even better. Thanks for the inspiration to make things just a little easier! I plan on posting about my writing conference sheet soon and offering it as a free Google Doc. I hope you don't mind.

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