Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Getting Guided Reading Going

Jenn over at Teacher's Cauldron, had a great idea to have a linky all about guided reading.  I am getting ready to do a training at my school about this very topic, so I know that I will be hitting up these blogs soon! I am a little late the linky party, but wanted to join in anyway.

I have always done DRA's on my students to get their reading level, but now that we are a Dibels school, I use that data to make my groups. I try to have between 4-5 groups with 5-6 students in each one.  A few years ago my school went through NC Reads training which focuses on the 5 domains of reading.  This totally changed how I wrote my guided reading lessons.  I realized after this training that some of my struggling students still needed support with phonics and phonemic awareness.  By adding these to my lessons, students were able to grow even more than I expected.

After establishing groups, I begin to create my guided reading lessons. I use the form below to plan out my lessons.  Click here to get your free copy!

 My lowest readers start with phonemic awareness by sounding out phonemes within various words I have chosen for them.  These are usually from the Dolch sight word list. Next each reader is given a board.  I have these SWEET boards from Kagan.  My kids write on the front side with a magnetic pen and then can wipe it clean by dragging the pen across the back.  We only use these at guided reading so the kids think they are pretty special!  

For phonics I usually try to teach or review a skill that each group needs.  One example might be CVC/CVCe words.  I have my students write the different categories across the top and I show them word cards that include words from those categories and they write them where they think they belong.  We then read these words to help build up fluency.

For comprehension during guided reading, I try to use the same skill that is being taught in shared reading.  I have found that this method ensures that my students have many opportunities to interact and master that specific skill.  I love to use a variety of foldables during shared reading.  By using the same skill in guided reading, my students can use their foldables and I don't have to recreate organizers :)

Another thing I use to build up retell during guided reading is the Fiction/Nonfiction Walk.  This takes kids through each part of the story.  I also give my students book mark versions of each of these walks to use during independent reading.

These are some of the reading tools that I give my students to use during independent reading and guided reading.  

Each student has a reading tool kit to keep all their tools in!

To keep each group's guided reading passages, plans, and materials organized I found that having a plastic 3 drawer tower was ideal.  I can put each group in a different drawer and I have a basket on top for the 4th group.

I try to meet with each group twice a week and also conference with each student weekly during independent reading.  I love guided reading and hope this post helps those who might be looking for a new way to do guided reading!


  1. I love those tool kits! I'd like to read more about what is inside of them and how you use them. Thanks for sharing!
    Teaching With Style

    1. Thanks Nicole! I will do a post on what is in the toolkit and how I use the different components :)


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