A long time between posts I know! My school has been going through the ERG process, and that coupled with impending reports has meant my brain has been elsewhere! Sorry! - In fact I just re-read that sentence and saw that I wrote my brian has been elsewhere... It's going to be one of those posts.
This is the third installment in our guided reading series. So far we have covered grouping and assessing your students in part 1, and planning for the guided reading session in part 2. Today we are looking at the actual guided reading mini lesson. Who does what and when. Let's get started.
Depending on the age of your students, and their exposure to group rotations, your guided reading session will last anywhere from 7 - 15 minutes. Whilst it's important that your reading group gets the time they need to complete the task, this is going to be near on impossible if the rest of the students are as high as kites! Also the more you do rotations, the better they will become at independent learning. Persist. It does get easier and you will eventually be able to extend your rotations. We like to use a signal in our classroom so that the students know not to interrupt. You may like to use one of these signals too.
When you have all of your students sitting around a table/ wherever you do your guided reading it is time to begin. Each student will need their own copy of the book. Depending on the reading strategy you are focusing on with your students, the time spent on the book introduction/ print walk will vary. If you are focusing on predicting then allow the students some time to predict what the book will be about based on information gleaned from the cover and what they know of the text type. For reading strategies such as skipping and chunking spend a few minutes with the group looking at the cover. Turn through the pages and identify any subject specific or difficult words. You may even like to model using the focus reading strategy.
Following this each student turns back to the start of the book and reads SILENTLY and INDEPENDENTLY to themselves. Guided reading is not round robin reading where each child takes a turn to read a page or section. As each student reads the teacher will move around the group tapping each student on the shoulder when it is their turn to read aloud. When tapped the student starts reading aloud from where they are up to. This allows the teacher to hear how the student is going, offer assistance and model use of the focus strategy. You will listen to each student for different lengths of time, depending on their needs and how they are reading on that particular day with that particular book. If other students finish reading you may instruct them to re-read the book or select a book from their leveled book box. You may even allow them to whisper read the book with another friend who has also finished.
Once all students have finished reading it is time for group discussion. This will gauge the students comprehension of the text. However comprehension does not = worksheet. You can gauge your students understanding with oral questioning. It is important that you pre-think these questions. Some books even have the questions listed at the end of the book. You may also like to use our star question cards. There is a specific set for post reading.
You can also use pointers and word finders to focus on the book at a text level.
We like to use pointers like these to find sight words, phonic sounds and punctuation marks that indicate we need to read in a specific way (e.g. exclamation marks, bolding etc)
I hope this post has helped shed some light on guided reading, or provided you with some new ideas. If you have any comments or questions please share with us on our Facebook page.
Remember keep calm and pretend it's on the lesson plan!
Top Teacher xx