Monday, October 27, 2014

guided reading rules!

I've been using Jan Richardson's The Next Steps in Guided Reading this school year to make my guided reading lessons even better! It's been about 4 or 5 weeks that I've been teaching a group of second graders. Their Instructional Reading level is G-H, so we're using the Early Lesson Plan. The following is what is involved.

First, students in the class I teach each have their own book bin, which includes their Reader's Notebook and the following:

Each day when I walk in, they grab their book bins and meet me at our table. The lesson plan is for two days, so I usually do an Instructional level text on Monday and Tuesday, then a grade level text on Wednesday and Thursday, and then I assess on Friday with running records. I follow the same plan on Mon-Tues and Wed-Thurs, but just with two different books. Here's what we do on Day 1!

Sight Word Writing (1-2 minutes)
This is just meant as a quick assessment. Sometimes it's a pre-assessment, other times I check their knowledge of sight words I had previously taught. Students come to group and take out their whiteboards, erasers, and markers, and then use their book bins to keep their writing private. I take anecdotal notes on a chart and use it to inform what words to teach next.

Book Introduction (4-5 minutes)
The book introduction involves three parts, so don't waste time with it! First, give a gist statement about the book. In one or two sentences, you will tell students what they are going to read about and learn about.

Next, students take 1 minute to picture walk to build their knowledge of the story. They just whisper read the pictures to themselves.

Finally, I explicitly teach vocabulary to students. I only pick one or two words, and I only pick words that cannot be determined with pictures or context clues. Ideally, I want Tier 2 words that will be useful in other contexts.
  • When teaching vocabulary, I will tell the the word and then ask them to say it. I will have them stretch out the sounds and then figure out the first letter, blend, or digraph. Then I'll tell them what page it is on and ask them to turn to that page and find it. Once we find the word, the kids run their fingers under the word to read it.

Student Reading with Teacher Prompting (8-10 minutes)
This part is the heart of the guided reading lesson. For the bulk of the time, students are whisper (or silent) reading their books. The teacher then, listens in to each student, prompting them to improve their reading.

Prompting isn't all that easy. It's like you want to give the kids scaffolds to improve their reading without telling them the words or phrases they are trying to solve. Here are sample prompts for three different areas:

  • Do you see a part of that word that you know?
  • Does the picture match what you just read?
  • Look at that word again - there's no 'n' in that word...can you try it again?
  • Make that line sound like the character would say it.
  • Listen to me read this phrase/sentence/paragraph. <read to student> Did you hear my my voice inflected/went up/went down/changed for dialog? You try and make it sound like that.
  • What do you think might happen next?
  • <after reading> Tell me what that was mostly about.

In addition to students reading and teacher prompting, the teacher is also taking anecdotal notes. Here, I write down things I notice, strategies the kids are using, strategies they are not, noting when they finally begin using a strategy that I had taught them previously. These notes are awesome when conferences come around - after doing them for three or four weeks, you can definitely see trends!

Sight Word Direct Instruction (2-3 minutes): 4 Parts

  • What's missing? Show the kids the new word on a whiteboard. Have them spell it with you. Then, turn the word to you and erase two or three of the letters. Ask the first student, "What's missing?" Add the letters back and erase different letters. Ask the next student the same thing. Continue this way so each child has a turn. This forces kids to read the word left to write, building knowledge of the letters and the order of them.
  • Mix and Fix: Give kids the sight word in magnetic letters. Instruct them to 'mix' the letters and then fix them, while spelling the word aloud. Have kids do this three times.

  • Table writing: Kids use their finger to write the word on the table.
  • Writing on a whiteboard: Show the kids how to write the word. This is a great time to model how to correctly write letters and show them how big or small they should be. After you show them, tell them to write the word, spelling and saying it, until you say stop. Give feedback to kids on their writing if needed.

Word Study (3-4 Minutes)
There are four different activities you can do here. I'm going to talk about the Analogy Chart:

For the analogy chart, students spell new words by analogy. I have them write two anchor words (these should always be words they can spell easily). Then, I dictate a new word. Kids have to say it aloud twice and tap it out on their arms to help them decide which anchor word it sounds like. Then, they write it in the correct column.

Do you use the same lesson plan template? Anything similiar about these activites and your guided reading? Please leave a comment and share!

I'm super tired...must sleep!



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