Thursday, September 29, 2016

Guided Reading: The Beginning

We started guided reading recently and it's going pretty well!  This year, I have a very small class size of just 16 {don't throw stones!}.  I usually have around 22-24.  During guided reading time in the past, I always had to have my kids working on other things while I met with groups.  You can read about how I managed that HERE.  This year, however, just about everyone is in a group during guided reading time.  And it's amazingly silent in the room.  I love it.  *We have a Title I teacher who takes a few kids for a group as well as an intervention support teacher who takes a few.  It leaves me with two groups of kids in my classroom....two groups of 4 {and my 2 non-readers, who work on an alphabet or letter sound activity together}.  One group meets with me for 20 minutes while the other does something on the computer/Ipads {Starfall, RAZ Kids, Headsprout, or Moby Max}.  Then we flip-flop groups after 20 minutes.  It's really nice.

Prior to starting my groups, I put together my Guided Reading Binder.  This contains lesson plans, anecdotal notes, checklists by level, and anything else I need for documenting my kids' progress in groups. Having this helps me do my report cards more efficiently as well as plan for conferences.

I keep all of my guided reading materials organized in binders by level.  I pull from the binders as I plan each week.  The materials for the week go into labeled baskets.  When it's time for group, I have a student grab the basket and bring it to the table.  This makes our time efficient because I have everything at my fingertips.

The two groups that I have are level C and level D groups.  We've been working mostly on tracking print {in level C group}, decoding/reading strategies for said decoding, and retelling {oral for my C group and written for my D group}.  My C readers were having a very hard time tracking, so I had to bust out the big guns!  The little finger light pointers and novelty eyeball pointers seemed to do the trick to motivate them to point to each word as they read.


To help make a home-school connection, I sent home little bags for the parents.  Inside was info. about their child's guided reading level and ways to help, a strategy card, a 5-finger retell card, and a word pointer.  Guided reading can be confusing for parents and one of my goals this year was to better communicate with them.  The book we read in class also goes home nightly.  The kids practice and return it for group the next day.  We do two books per week.

After we've finished with our book in group, I add it to a "Book Baggie."  This is separate from the kids read to self baggies.   This is just for group.  When they finish reading their group book on our first day with it, they can choose an old book from the bag to re-read while everyone else in the group finishes decoding their new book.  The prevents the kids from just sitting around, wasting time, as I listen to others read.


Hope you found some helpful tips!  Be sure to follow my blog for updates on new posts!  


*This post contains affiliate links to a few products I love!  The words and thoughts on these products are all my own.


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