Hi friends! Happy Sunday! A few weeks ago, I posted on Instagram asking for questions about Guided Reading! I truly believe it is one of the most powerful tools primary teachers have, and it is, in my opinion, the most effective way to grow our young readers! I’m so excited to be working on a new Guided Reading product for you, and I hope to have it posted in the next few weeks! Until then, I wanted to take some time and answer your questions! I could write a post every day for an entire year and there would still be more to share! But I tried to pick out the questions that a lot of you had and I combined a few of them! 🙂
Sooo…one question I get a lot is about groups. Grouping kiddos is an entirely different blog post, and it’s super flexible. My groups change as their reading levels change. BUT I wanted to share with you what I have at this time of the year. 🙂 I had over half my kiddos reading below grade level at the beginning of the year, and I only have 4 that are 1 level below right now. 🙂 I’m ECSTATIC and believe it’s 100% because of Guided Reading and Tier 2 Interventions (we use LLI).
Currently, I have 6 groups. I could have 5 by combining my 2 lowest groups, but I like to have my struggling groups smaller so I can support the readers even more. I never have more than 6 groups…there’s no way (that I have found) to meet with them.
Here is the schedule I follow. The last group is the one I drop if things come up. I would LOVE to be able to meet with them more, but they get so much more out of independent, buddy reading, and even whole group reading because they are on or above level. I meet with them at LEAST once a week but I try to meet with them more. It’s definitely not ideal, but I do the best I can! 🙂
Another question people always ask is what are my other kiddos doing? I feel like this is the one that looks different in every classroom. There’s really no right or wrong way! Tons of teachers use workstations, centers, Daily 5, or so many other things! I used to do an hour of stations and I LOVED it. But it was a LOT for me to change out the stations, and my current district asks that we have them read independently, respond to reading, and buddy read.
After whole group reading, they almost always have a response activity. It might be “go use this strategy with the books in your book box” or an actual paper they turn in. Then they move immediately into silent reading. We finally got back up to 25 minutes of independent stamina…hallelujah! I can usually fit 2 groups during this time. Then they buddy read for about 20 minutes and I get another 1-2 groups in! The final group I pull whenever I can!
As a brand new teacher, Guided Reading was THE most overwhelming thing to me. These resources changed my life. My district has copies available, but I own my own copies now because they are truly THAT valuable. If you add anything to your teacher toolbox, I would add these books!
Of course, Guided Reading is all about supporting you readers. It’s prompting them through a text on their instructional level and helping them build strategies they can use with ANY book. Before and after our book though, it’s so important to pull out a few important sight words or spelling pattern to highlight for them. I use the Continuum to decide what’s appropriate for each level, and also use what they will find authentically in the text.
I think my lower readers need it daily…they also need comprehension! But my higher readers typically have much stronger word-attack skills and the focus becomes more on comprehension. If there is something tricky in the book (like compound words, dipthongs, suffixes, etc) it’s the perfect time to do a quick word work lesson. ALL of my kiddos get basic comprehension questions during and after reading. But we rotate on writing about the text, completing a graphic organizer, etc. 🙂
Here are some examples of word work in my room! This group needed a little practice with contractions!
This group was working on the sight word “they.”
These kiddos needed some pre-teaching of vocabulary and tricky words like fangs, sticky, and bubble.
These are my high readers reading nonfiction texts and making connections! 🙂 This was more of a conferring setting because they had their own texts from their book boxes. They were on their independent level, but I still pulled them over to make sure they were really grasping the concept. 🙂 I wanted to show it because it could easily be a guided reading lesson if they all had the same text! 🙂
I hope this answered SOME of your questions! I’ll definitely be back with more information about Guided Reading! Have a great weekend!!