I’m excited to finally share how I do my guided reading groups. I shared earlier that I recently read GuidedReading in Action, which changed my whole approach on guided reading groups. I absolutely love Jan Richardson’s model and have really added a lot of her strategies into my lesson planning. Here is a quick look at what my typical lesson format is for the week. I complete one of these forms for each of my groups (4 total). I group my kids by color green, blue, yellow, and red. These groups are always changing based on my kids needs and reading levels. The best part about this structure is that I get a 12-15 minute session with each group EVERYDAY!
Here is a quick peek at what my guided group must-haves look like. I have four color-coded binders for each group. These hold my weekly lessons for that group, blank running record forms, tabs for each child’s progress, and their high frequency word mastery graphs. I also have color-coded baskets below where I store my folders. The baskets are great for placing the groups guided reading books, copies of comprehension pages, and group games for the week. Since each colored group is working on different skills the items in each basket will vary. I hardly ever do the same game with my greens as I would with yellows because they are all working on mastering a different skill set. I also have my amazing scrapbook organizer. I swear by this. You can fit everything from flash cards, post-its, highlighters, stickers, reading phones, etc. It is amazing and when I travel for my RTI small groups. It really comes in handy!
Another inexpensive thing I love is my over the door hanger from the Target dollar spot. This works great because I can hang all my fluency and sight word rings on the hooks along with my bucket full of Expo markers (a must)!
Alright on to the good stuff…..This is what my daily guided groups usually entail.
Everyday starts off with speedwriting of three of our sight words. We use the mini dry erase boards for these and they are perfect. I introduce the sight words/vocabulary words for the week and words they will be seeing in their guided reading book. I use our Treasures book series books for this, so it goes with our weekly words. We then introduce our guided book for the week and talk about the text features, genre, picture walk, etc.
Now the kids are ready to begin reading on their own. During this time the kids are whisper reading and I pop in and do a quick running record on two kids during this time. In order to keep our 12-15 minute time I place a stop sticker at a halfway point in the text. This allows for further predicting and also time to finish up. We always finish the story on day two.
We end our meeting time with a quick accuracy check with something I noticed from the group. This could accuracy strategies like cover your ending, find a little word inside my big word, etc. We wrap up with Teach 1 Sight Word from the Jan Richardson model. I love this and it only takes about 2-3 minutes. I will do a short video over this later in the week.
This day is very similar to Monday. We start off with our sight word speedwriting and than I start off by asking the kids to tell me what they can remember from yesterdays book. This is a good way to note the students that can recall from previous reading. They continue to finish reading from their stop mark. This is the day I focus hard on comprehension strategies. I created guided reading response sheets to go with each unit in our Treasures series and they fit perfectly for day two of my groups.
This is a great opportunity for me to reteach a skill set for the week like inferences, questioning, sequencing, etc. I also can use this as a standard quick check for a grade. It’s a win-win my friends. Here are some of my kiddos completing the pages with their books.
I finish up day two with a phonics/Pathways activity. I try to keep this short on Tuesdays because it is a little time consuming. I usually do snap cards, blank vowel town checks, a quick segment and write on two words, or read three sight word sentences to leave my table. You can grab my sight word sentence strips here.
This is one of their favorite days because it is game day! We do still do a quick read from RAZ Kids or even an on level passage. I love RAZ Kids for this day because there are printouts available to go with the readings and you can choose on level text by skills. I try to keep this reading short, so the kids can play a phonics game. This is just a few pictures from one of our games last week. This is a freebie if you want it for next year around Easter. The kids loved it. You can really find tons of phonics games that you can use based on your kids needs, but I have a ton of free ones available for download in my shop along with others for sale like my Pathways Power Pack that has lots of phonics games used for small groups.
This day really is exactly the same as Tuesday except we use a comprehension page from RAZ Kids or I have my own guided reading comprehension questions that I have made to go with the reading. Sometimes I even have the kids do a circle map with facts from the story if it’s non-fiction. This can be very flexible. We will finish up with the Teach 1 Sight Word, which I will post more on later in the week.
As an educator I really enjoy Friday for a few different reasons. We still do our sight word speedwriting, but we really focus on applying those words into our writing. We do QR Code Word Work Sentences. Each student receives a sentence that has sight words spelled wrong, missing punctuation, and capitalization errors. The kids have to read the sentence and then write it correctly on a laminated sentence strip. They then scan the code to self-check if they were right. I love this activity and have seen a lot of growth in their independent writing. On Fridays I have a little more time to focus on Old Word/New Word or Segment and Write. I usually allow 5 minutes to do around 3-5 words depending on time.
Well that might have been one of my longer posts, but I am glad I get to finally share some of my excitement and new learning’s. I would love to hear some of your go-to strategies for guided reading. Check back in a few days for a video over my Teach 1 Sight Word.
Happy teaching and don't forget to check out these books I love so dearly!