When you plan out and write a perfect guided reading lesson, it is a little disheartening when you can’t fit it all in! Guided reading is an important time of day for our young learners, but it also can be really stressful! It is important for us to realize that we simply cannot always fit everything in.
Say it with me. I can’t fit in everything and that is really okay.
It truly is okay if you don’t fit every aspect of guided reading into one lesson. Once I realized that, I felt so much stress lifted off my shoulders when it came to guided reading.
Why do we stress about fitting it all in?
We stress because we care.
What to do instead
- Try to split your guided reading plan into two days. To do so, do your warm-up and review the book you read the previous day. Find a good time to stop your lesson to pick up on the next time and let your students know where you will pick up.
- Make part of your lesson a share time at the end of your reading block. If it is something all your students in your class could benefit from, then simply make it a whole group activity at the end. For example, if you were going to practice writing a sentence from the book (I saw a ___) and your students had to write it by filling in the blank, then have all your students do it! Or change it up. Instead of them writing it, maybe they do a quick share with their neighbor of what they would fill in the blank with.
- Think about what your kids really need at that moment. It is okay to go off the lesson plan so think about what your students in that particular group would benefit from. Do they need explicit phonics instruction? Should they look for certain words or phonics sounds in their books?
- You don’t even have to read the whole book in one lesson! Pick a stopping point so that you can ask some comprehension questions. If your students really enjoyed the book, then finish it the next time. If they didn’t seem to (and that’s okay!), then gasp don’t finish it. See our comprehension spinners here.
Want more guided reading tips?
Check out our guided reading workbook with lots of tips and tricks to running a smooth guided reading block.
Teaching guided reading doesn’t have to look perfect. It rarely will! Come up with a plan you are comfortable with to make it part of your day every day!
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