Guided Reading Part 1 ~ Getting started...
We have heard from a lot of you that you are hungry for more information about guided reading. What is it? How do I plan for it? How do I fit it into my already jam packed day? What do I need to do to get started? While we are by no means the guru's of guided reading we have had training by the "guru". We have also helped to establish a whole of school approach to guided reading in two schools.
Let's start at the very beginning (a very good place to begin - Sound of Music anyone?) Before you can establish guided reading in your class you need to know what your students know! What is their instructional reading level (90 - 95% accuracy)? What strategies do they use / not use when reading? How well do they comprehend what they read? A running record will provide you with all of this information, and more.
We love to use the PM Benchmark kit for our running records. The kits are sooooo easy to use. According to their website... 'The PM Benchmark Reading Assessment Resources have been designed to explicitly assess students’ instructional and independent reading levels using unseen, meaningful texts. The PM Benchmark Reading Assessment Resources provide accurately levelled fiction and non-fiction texts ranging progressively from emergent levels to reading age 12.'
Of course there are other options out there. These kits aren't cheap so if your school has already purchased a different program - use it! If not we strongly recommend this one.
Now let's be clear. Running records are time consuming - particularly when you are getting started. Please persist. Bang them out. It is really the only way to get accurate information on your students reading. The information you gather from the running records can then be collated on a whole class running record profile sheet, and/or onto an individual running record data sheet.
Once you have worked out each students instructional level you will be able to group them based on their reading level and reading needs (strategies to use. text types to focus on etc).
In our next guided reading post we will share how we group our students and plan for the literacy block (including guided reading). If you embarking on running records, good luck! Please share with us on our Facebook page how you are going with implementing guided reading in your class.
And for those of you who are ready to get started we have added our literacy block planner to the website. Enjoy!
'Remember keep calm and bang out those running records!'
Top Teacher xx