It’s the busiest time of the year! Once you have all the back-to-school activities behind you, it’s time to start launching readers workshop! Then, you know what that means… Time for guided reading! I’m going to break down how to start guided reading in 5 simple steps!
What is guided reading and why is it important?
“Guided reading is a small-group instructional context in which a teacher supports each reader’s development of systems of strategic actions for processing new texts at increasingly challenging levels of difficulty” (Fountas and Pinnell). It’s important because students work in a small group, which is always more beneficial than a whole group setting. This handful of students gets to work directly with the teacher for a short amount of time, diving into a book that is just above their reading level. They get to practice making words, building comprehension, and of course… reading with new strategies and skills!
Step #1: Plan your groups
Obviously, there’s a lot that goes into doing this. You’ll want to assess your student’s reading with whatever assessment your district uses. Once you know their reading levels, you’ll be able to group them together based on those groups.
Step #2: Make a binder
Getting organized for guided reading might be one of my favorite things to do. The next thing you’ll want to do is take a guided reading binder. In this binder, you will want:
- Conferring sheets
- Guided reading lesson plans
- Guided reading schedule
- Group lists
- Running record sheets
You may also want to keep sub plans, printables, etc. in there.
Step #3: Make a schedule
The next step is an important one. You’ll want to write down the times you are planning to have your guided reading groups. Decide how many groups you’re able to meet with and set 15-20 minutes for each group. You’ll want to meet with your two lowest reading groups 3 times per week (if possible!). Then, you’ll want to see every other group twice a week, if you can. Plug the groups into your schedule.
Step #4: Print your lesson plan templates
Next up is to print your lesson plan templates! Easy enough, right? However, it’s an important step and I don’t want you to forget!
Step #5: Create a guided reading bin or drawer
I like to keep all my supplies inside a filing cabinet drawer right by my guided reading table. It makes it easy to organize and keep everything just in arm’s reach.
Some different things I keep in there are:
- Drink stirrers
- Game cubes
- Reading highlights
- Witch fingers
- Dry erase markers and boards
- Comprehension checks
- Comprehension spinners
Step #6: Plan
Now, let’s plan! Make sure you have all your materials ready. Pick the books you’re going to use for the week with each group. Then, plug your plans in.
Getting guided reading started at the beginning of the school year can be a daunting task. However, it’s important to learn how to start guided reading and you can do it!
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