Teacher's Corner

Monday, October 1, 2012

Guided Reading

Wowzers!  Was it hot today or what?!! Reached over 100 degrees here in L.A. and we're in for another hot one tomorrow.  Better keep hydrated.  :)

Today, Ashley over at Primary Teacherhood, became my 58th follower!  Thanks Ashley!  You gotta head over to her blog whenever you get a chance.  She has some great literacy ideas :)

And speaking of literacy ideas, it's time for....drumroll please....a linky!!! I haven't joined in a while so I'm super excited to see a Guided Reading Linky!!! Thanks Teacher's Cauldron for starting this great convo!
Link UP!

I started teaching GR about 4 years ago.  At first, I was very overwhelmed and did not know what to do.  With time, I've developed my own systems and now L-O-V-E it!  It's actually one of my favorite times of the day!

The first thing I had to do was to get organized.  I needed lesson plans for the books I was using and needed a place to put them.  I also needed a place to put all the resources for those lessons.  Sometimes it was worksheets and other times the vocabulary words.  So, I created a binder.... my "Guided Reading Binder".  In it, I find everything I need.  I have tabs for each reading level, making it easy for me to find the lessons and resources I need.

The next thing I had to do was figure out what groups I would pull and when.  This took a while and was stressful at first.  I started off by having a grid labeled Monday through Thursday, but that didn't work for me because sometimes a book would take longer than one day or something would come up.  SO, about two years ago I created a new grid that allowed me to get familiar with the books and also my GR classroom structure.
{Click Here}

By the end of last year, I didn't need such a detailed lesson plan for GR, so I modified it meet my needs.  Basically, I just needed a document that would tell me what kids were in what group, what book they would read, and what would be the focus.  That works for me now only because I've been doing it for a while.  There's no way I would have been able to use the grid I use now two years ago.
{Click Here}

This year I'm revamping my lessons using the information I received at Teacher's College this summer. I attended the Reader's Workshop for Beginners and learned so much.  One of my biggest take aways was that you can have a strategy lesson with a group of kids (kids do not need to be in the same reading level....they are in different levels and need a mini lesson on a specific strategy) OR you can have a guided reading group where the kids are leveled an the teacher provides a book for the group. These are my notes on strategy lessons vs. guided reading from Teacher's College:

Strategy Lesson
Guided Reading
·                 Based on need not level
·                 Bring your own book (BYOB)
·                 Teaching point is at the beginning
·      Leveled group
·      Teacher provides book

*Main difference between GR and strategy lesson is that the GR teaching point goes AFTER the GR practice.  (Strategy lesson, teaching point is determined prior to pulling them out. GR, based on the groups needs)

At TC I also got this cool GR planning sheet. According to the facilitators,  a GR lesson should take somewhere between 15 to 20 minutes.  I'm still working on that.  My lessons go way over that time, especially because we begin to dig deeper into the texts.  I'm using this format though to guide lessons I haven't created.  

{Click Here}
So what do I want to know about GR?

Link UP!

How long should level L-O lessons take and most importantly, what do you focus on since these will most likely be chapter books?

That's all for now friends.... spread the life, love, and laughter in your classrooms!

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  1. I've been doing Guided Reading for years...LOVE IT! Actually, love anything small group :) As for the L-O levels (you're right...chapter books), I focus on comprehension and building vocabulary. No, they do not need the phonics or phonemic awareness as much, but you can focus on higher level spelling (we do word study, so that would be syllable juncture). I usually make book plans so that they have a "strip" to put in their reading journal with a response question. I also pull out vocab from each chapter I think they'll either not know the meaning or would be an unfamiliar word. We keep these on small cards in our "BOOM bags" and play "BOOM" (sight word game) every once in a while. I've also done literature circles with 2nd graders who are this high as well.
    Ah, the memories. I don't teach above a first grade reading level this year....let me know if you'd like to know more or want me to send you a sample plan that I've done! ;)

    1. Hi Chrissy! I would love to see your strips and if possible as sample of you BOOM bags. This year I started doing what you do as well, (word study syllable juncture) so I'm excited about that.

      Thanks so much!

  2. Thanks for letting everyone know about me :). I'm just beginning to work on guided reading and strategy groups (it's only my first year!) I find it hard getting time to get books/read through them.. pick out vocab and figure out skills.. I love your ideas Chrissy! I am also interested in your BOOM bag, if you'd like to share :).

    I'm also interested in trying literature circles to get kids to be more in charge of their reading!

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