Friday, January 1, 2016

Guided Reading

Hi, friends!  I hope everyone is having {or had} a wonderful winter break.  We had a great time traveling to California to see my husband's family!  California weather sure trumps Ohio weather! It's hard to believe that break is almost over and it will be time to head back to work!  I could get used to sleeping in and eating Christmas cookies all day!

Today my blog post is all about one of my favorite topics:  Guided Reading!  If you follow me on Facebook, you probably saw that I posted a question asking you for questions you want to know about guided reading.  This post is dedicated to answering those questions.  So, without further adieu, here we go!

QUESTION 1:  "How is your daily literacy block scheduled?"

Here is my daily schedule {literacy section}.  I have included hyper-links to other posts to help you understand how I run my classroom:

QUESTION 2:  "How/When do you prep for guided reading groups?"

I plan for my groups throughout the week {ideally} but sometimes due to meetings and other outside commitments, I plan them on Friday.  Planning does not take me long; I use my "Guided Reading Skills by Level" guide.  It tells me exactly what skills each reader {Levels pre-reader-Levels J/K} should be working on.  Once I pick a skill or two for the week, I simply go to my guided reading binders and pull out materials/games/printables, etc.  I also select texts for the week.  We have a guided reading leveled book room and I get my books from there.  

QUESTION 3:  "What resources do you use?"

I use my own resources that I have created.  I use everything from my Guided Reading Bundle.  It contains activities for levels AA-J/K.  {I also have a kindergarten version, which contains levels AA-D}.  It took me awhile to get everything printed/laminated/copied but I am so happy that I have it all at my fingertips!  I also use many other activities that I have created myself and are in my TpT store.  In addition to those resources that I have made, I also use leveled texts/books from our school's book room.  My favorite books are by Rigby Readers and Fountas and Pinnell.  

QUESTION 4:  "Do you use a basal?"

No, I do not use a basal.  I haven't in about 11 years.  My lowest students visit guided reading groups and then I do whole-group reading instruction for 30 minutes.  During whole-group is when I use picture books/read alouds and graphic organizers, games, help teach specific standards.

QUESTION 5:  "What is the most important thing to teach during guided reading time in first grade?"

It various by level.  There are TONS of skills that first graders need to learn and master.  It can be very overwhelming.  I use my "Skills by Level" book as a guide for planning each group out.  My level B group might be working on rhyming, while my level J book might be working on figurative language. 

QUESTION 6:  "How do I effectively manage the groups of students I am NOT meeting with?"

Setting up a very specific classroom management plan will help eliminate many problems that may arise with other children whom you are not meeting with.  Establishing routine, rules, and procedures will ensure that they stay on task and do not interrupt your groups.  My students visit literacy centers and also read to self for a total of 60 minutes a day.  They are all fully aware that they may not interrupt me during these times unless it's an emergency or they are hurt.

QUESTION 7:  "How do you know what to teach?"

See question 2.

QUESTION 8:  "How do I meet with every child every day?"

I do not meet with every child every day.  I meet with two groups for about 9 weeks.  Each group has 4-5 kids in it.  I re-assess each child quarterly and re-group and meet with different kids.  I have one intervention support teacher that pulls 3 of my students for guided reading.  I also have a support staff member that pulls 3-4 other students.  Between those 6-7 children the 10 or so children that I am meeting with, it only leaves a few that don't get met with each quarter.  I do try and pull them back randomly to work together on skills as I see needed.  

QUESTION 9:  "How often should we be reading a book?"

I personally spend 2 days per book.  To see how I spend my guided reading time, click below for a FREEBIE!  *I also send the book home that we read in group each night.  I work in a Title I school, and many of my students don't have books at home.  I want them to have something to read at night.

QUESTION 10:  "How do you make sure you've hit all the CCSS and keep track of it all?"

As mentioned above, I do teach a whole-class reading block where I focus on all 9 million of those CCSS.  For tracking them, I use my CCSS checklists.  I try to incorporate those skills that we've covered in class back into my guided reading group if they are appropriate for the levels I am working with.  

QUESTION 11:  "How do you have time to fit everything in that you want during guided reading?"

For me, it's about organization and planning.  Planning my groups out ahead of time and keeping my materials organized and at my fingertips allows me to make the most out of my guided reading time.  I keep my materials in binders, like the ones shown below.  I pull all materials that I will be using when I am getting things ready for the day.  I don't allow for interruptions.  I also don't allow for side conversations during group.  

QUESTION 12:  "How do you encourage the kids to read at home?  How do you ensure they bring the book back?"

I just let them know that it's SUPER important to practice at home. I also show my disappointment when they don't read.  Some of my students don't have anyone that will work with them at home.  I reinforce the fact that they can read to themselves, to a stuffed animal, to a sibling, or to someone at daycare.  I honestly don't care as long as they are reading to SOMEONE. 

QUESTION 13:  "Do you use Daily 5?"

No.  I have read the book twice and it just doesn't seem appropriate for my 1st grade students.  I know it works for many, and that's great! I personally am not a fan of it.  To me, Daily 5 doesn't have enough variety.  In addition, I also have such a short day and spending 15 minutes "making choices" could be spent on a guided reading group!  I do literacy centers with skills that I've already introduced/taught in class.  I like to spiral review the concepts that I have taught.  Each day, students visit 1 station. Having them go to 5 centers a day is pure chaos.  I tried it years ago {long before Daily 5!} and it failed miserably.  You can see more about my literacy centers by clicking HERE.  



First Grade Centers and more said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks for sharing what you do during Guided Reading!

nicole sanchez said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Thanks for linking up with us this month! So many great tips and ideas for guided reading time! I can't wait to implement some of them with my students this new year! :)

1stgradefireworks said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

YOU ARE AMAZING! Happy New Year! wendy 1stgradefireworks

Cicely said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I really enjoy reading your guided reading posts. I am curious if you take any type of reading grades? That's one of the main reasons my system still has us using a basal. I find it extremely stressful to do both.

arman malik said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

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