In the late nineties, we were introduced to leveled books and guided reading that made more sense. Since that time, I have fed my book addiction in the pursuit of finding materials that would engage my students and help them to love books and do more than just read the words on the pages. (I left several boxes of book sets at the school when I retired. I was a huge fan of the book bundles from Scholastic and garage sales.)
Of course, there are some things that can be taught to everyone at the same time, and perhaps should be, but most times, concepts aren't fully understood if the children aren't ready for them yet.
One of the things I enjoy about working with these groups, is being able to select my own materials and plan language activities for them. I don't just help the children decode the material and then do minimal work with the book, I help them to dig deeper into the meaning or use the book to teach language usage as well.
For example, I have a couple of groups of beginning readers working with speech bubbles and quotation marks. Normally, these ideas would not be introduced until much later, but the children are very excited about doing the activities and they are starting to notice the quotation marks in other books.
I would love to hear more about what you do for guided reading in your classrooms.