A Fundamental Tool in Teaching Reading

When we think about teaching reading, we often get caught up in the "teaching words" part of reading. Yes, being certain the students can read words is extremely important in reading using skills in reading is equally as important. Skills such as questioning, author's purpose, point of view, using text features, and the list goes on.

Guided Reading is a fundamental tool in teaching students to comprehend what they read and become successful readers in every area. I have a special way that I teach guided reading that is unlike many other teachers. I integrate the "how to read" portion into a skills based lesson format. I focus on the skills, and while they are learning those, I am teaching other important things such as phrasing, inflection, and word knowledge.

I start my guided reading with a skill in mind and my groups (of course!) Common Core and TEKS versions are shown below (I use TEKS though because I teach in Texas.)

I do 4-5 groups (total) but only two a day. Each group lasts 15 minutes and every day I meet with my low students. My high students only see me twice a week during guided reading and I am okay with that. I am always asked, "But what are your other students doing?" Well, working of course! My other students are doing Literacy Centers during this time! It takes a few weeks to get this routine going, but it runs like a well oiled machine after that!

Once, I have the skill in mind that I want to work on with my group, it is time to get busy picking a book and choosing vocabulary words! Many people have asked how I choose my books to go with my lessons. I use Reading A to Z to find my books! 

Reading A-Z

You can use books you have or books in your school's Guided Reading Library, but I love Reading A-Z! You can locate the levels and skills so easily! Then print the book and the students are able to highlight, write, etc! So perfect for Guided Reading! A subscription is $109 for an entire year, but it is so worth it! You can always ask your school if they are willing to help you purchase your subscription too! Again, this is NOT A MUST with my lesson plans but I do love this subscription. They have a free trial too! Feel free to check it out!

Once I have my books chosen, I begin choosing 3-5 vocabulary words! The students have a short vocabulary activity to do with me at the table each day for guided reading, so these 3-5 words are important!

Once I have my area prepared, we are ready to begin our lesson! My lesson plan is already typed out for me and includes everything I need! (Common Core and TEKS versions shown below.)

During these lessons I use questions stems to ask questions while the students are reading and I always have my students turn their chairs around so they are facing outward. This cuts down on the distraction while I am listening to them read. I go from student to student and their voice is projecting outward. The other students at the table are not able to hear the other child reading. 

We do a before, during and after activity each day! The before reading is when I teach my mini-lesson on the skill for the day. Then the students read and I assess the students during and after their reading. 

I always have the students share their "findings" (or assessments) at the end and we discuss what they have learned and any other questions they may still have! If the students seem ready to move on to another skill (they have mastered the current skills), we will move on the next time I meet with them.
If they have not yet mastered the skill, we spend another session on that particular skill. 

Finally, I record my findings on my anecdotal record sheet! These have served me so well in the past for documentation. I use them in parent conferences, with administration, and just for my own needs in understanding the progress of my students. The "glow" is what they are doing well and the "grow" is what they still need to work on. I only choose once thing per child (per column.)

Guided Reading doesn't have to be painful or scary. The kids should love it and want to come back for more! 

If you are interested in seeing more of the curriculum I use, check out this video I did on my Guided Reading Curriculum. 

Also, if you are in need of Guided Reading Curriculum, you can find your grade level here!

Guided Reading Custom Category

I do have literacy centers bundled with some grade levels, so check those out as well (if you need literacy centers.)

Most importantly, just dive into guided reading! It is crucial in building strong readers!

Happy Teaching!

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