Friday, June 20, 2014

Thinkin Ahead.. Getting Your Guided Reading Groups Ready!

As a Reading Specialist, most of my time was spent teaching Guided Reading. I spent six years figuring out what tools were really needed, worked best and made Guided Reading lessons easy to prepare! I am going to show you a step by step plan on how to implement effective small group instruction using my Guided Reading Printables Bundle.

Guided Reading Prep

Step 1: Get Organized

I use a notebook to organize my groups. Each group has a section. I separate the sections using notebook dividers.
 This is an example of a group's section. The first documentation I keep is all of Guided Reading Plans. I keep all of the plans that I use for each group.
The second documentation I keep is all of my running records. I added an observation checklist on my running record page so I can collect additional quick data.
 I make a Guided Reading folder for each student. I put a label on the front and in each folder I keep their Sentence Writing book, rereads, Letters or Words I Know book and an alphabet chart.
I  keep all of my Guided Reading materials in tubs. In the tubs I  keep my Guided Reading notebook, reread folders and homework baggies. As a K-5 Reading Specialist I would usually only have three or five Guided Reading Groups per day. This allowed me to have a First Grade tub, Second Grade tub etc. 

Step 2: Lesson Planning

Quick and effective lesson planning was always key for me to keep myself and the groups organized. I created a quick lesson plan that required me to fill in very little information. Here is a sample plan.

Day 1 Guided Reading Lesson in Action

Step 1: Rereads or Words/Letters I Know and Running Records

I start my lessons everyday with students reading books from previous Guided Reading lessons. These are books that have already been read for a running record. I  also have my students write all of the letters/words that they know for two minutes. I would have them do this instead of rereads. I keep four to five rereads for each student in their Guided Reading folder. They whisper read as many books as they can from their folder for the allotted amount of time. I make sure they are never reading in unison and are reading different parts of different books during this time.
For the "Words or Letters I Know" time students will write all of the letters or words they know for two minutes. Then, they will read what they wrote. As they are reading I circle everything they could read and count it up. They love trying to beat their number.
While students are completing their rereads or Words/ Letters I Know I try to complete one or two running records on the book I finished teaching the day before. I make sure I complete all of my running records before the book goes home as homework.

Step 2: Sentence Writing

  I generate a writing prompt that follows a sentence pattern from the book or a tricky word/word ending from the text. Then students write the sentence in the Sentence Writing Book. They fold the page in half "like a hotdog". We sound out the words together and they write the sentence below the fold. They practice any tricky words above the fold. For this sentence we practiced writing the word "can". Every student has a copy of my alphabet chart to use while they are writing. I make sure we always write in pen or maker so students don't take the time to erase. They just cross out their mistakes.

Step 3: Book Introduction and Picture Walk

This is the time to focus on the reading strategy for the day and build on any pattern vocabulary in the text. I always cover the text while taking a picture walk so they have to start relying on the picture clues.

Step 4: First Read and Strategy Talk

During the first read students will whisper read the text. After this is completed I do a quick strategy talk. This is something I want them to focus on during the second read. I often use this long vowel anchor chart or the strategies listed on the bottom of the running record for my strategy talk.

Step 5: Second Read 

Students will whisper read the text a second time. I make sure this never becomes a unison read.

Step 6: Homework

After completing the Day 1 lesson I send home the book that I have competed all of  my running records on. They will take the book home in this baggie and complete the Reading Log with their parents. My kids LOVE getting to "rate" the book.

Day 2 Guided Reading Lesson in Action

Step 1: Rereads or Words/Letters I Know and Running Record

Follow the same procedure from Day 1.

Step 2: Reassemble the Written Sentence

I write the sentence students wrote on Day 1 on a small strip of paper. I make cuts between each word and have students reassemble the sentence. They will read it and reassemble it a total of three times. Then, they will put it in an envelope and use it for their Sentence Homework. I write the sentence on the envelope in case the student forgets it.

Step 3: Word Work

For word work time I use these sound box cards or my Guided Reading Word Work Made Easy Bundle. When using the sound boxes, I print and laminate the cards. Students will sound out the word we are focusing  on by pushing one sound in each box with their finger. Then, they will write the word on the line below.

Step 3: Third Read {Fluency} and Strategy Talk

During the third read we unison read, partner read or echo read the text. I often have fun glasses, microphones etc. for students to use while doing the third read just for fun!

Step 4: Comprehension Check

  During the comprehension check I use my Think These cards will allow students to think about the question before sharing their response with the group. They come with one prompt per card for early readers and three to four prompts per card for more advanced readers.

Step 5: Sentence Homework

Students will take home the My Sentence Homework Book and the cut up sentence they used earlier in the lesson. They will reassemble the sentence and glue it into their sentence book. Then, they can write the sentence or draw a picture to match the words. They will return this the following day.

Step 6: Parent Communication

I never liked having parents act or feel surprised when I shared their child's reading levels. This is why I developed monthly progress monitoring reports. Here is an example of one of the 12 reports included in my Guided Reading Printables Bundle.
 If you want to check out this bundle it comes in Zany Zebra or Melonheadz! Below are some additional items in my store that will help enhance your Guided Reading groups.



  1. This is very interesting. I have found lots of useful information here. When it comes to reading I personally know that kids don’t usually show much interest. But if I follow your steps this might become like a very entertaining thing for them (and I will be extremely happy for sure). Let me say thank you for your website as well. It is overloaded with ideas. I wish I had more time to read it.
    Ali with Essay Online Store Company

  2. Assignment Help solutions offered by assignment 4 help .com is among the leading assignment composing help solutions offered online. assignment help usa