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Guided Reading

Compiled By: shazam

Here are some ideas for implementing guided reading in your classroom.

Guided Reading
Posted by: Diane

Guided reading is taking small groups of students(5-6) for reading instruction at a time. You group students by levels and reading problems. During guided reading you reteach and practice what that particular group of students need to work on to become better readers. For example one group may be very low in sounding out words so during 1 or more guided reading times you may practice the sh sound. Before you have brought the students together you have preselected a text that is a little above their reading level and incorporates words using the sh sound in it. Once you have brought the group together you quickly go over how to sound words out (prviously taught during reader's workshop) introduce the book and give each student a copy. Then each student reads to themselves at the same time and you go around and listen to each one helping them where they are struggling. Most guided reading group last from 20 - 30 minutes each.I hope this will help you. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

guided reading
Posted by: I teach 4th grade!

Well, I've been teaching 4th graders for 10 years now. I am a big advocate of guided reading, especially for the average and low ability readers. They benefit so much from small groups where the teacher really knows their strength and weaknesses. I have 22 in my reading class...and it's just me. Here's how I do it:

The first 10 minutes or so is a minilesson at the carpet. I do short lessons at this time, right now it's about how to choose a book that's just right for them. We then begin Silent Reading time (I feel this is SO IMPORTANT to do EVERYDAY!). I try to give them 15 - 20 minutes a day. The rest of our class is our guided reading time. I have split the class into 3 flexible groups (meaning the groups change often depending on the skill we are working on and the students' needs). One group meets with me for 15-20 minutes while the other two groups are working on their independent packets. I have a list of choices that they can do while they are working independently, not just worksheets. So far, this has worked real well.

Some of our days will be spent working in a whole group. I really believe in a balanced approach to teaching reading....I try to include it all! (Whole group work, literature circles, partner work, small group work with a novel)

I would reccommend buying the Fountas and Pinnell book called "Guiding Readers and Writers". I use it everyday, and try to implement more and more from it each year.

Sure hope this has helped you some. I, too, will look forward to other teachers ideas!

Guided Reading and Centers
Posted by: linda2671

I struggled with this for years, but 5 years ago I came up with a plan that really works well for me. This is how I would do a class with 24 students and four different reading levels. Divide your class into four groups. One group does guided reading with you, one group goes to centers, one group does seatwork, and one group sits together to read their guided reading books to each other. When the first reading group is finished with you, they go to their seats for seatwork. The ones who were reading together come to you. Those at centers go read together, those at seatwork go to centers. No one is doing anything for more than 20 minutes or so, so you have to plan accordingly. I find that when I manage my centers this way, the kids are quiet and cooperative. They don't do any one activity long enough to get bored and cause problems. They know that they have very little time to get finished. This process takes about 80 minutes of your reading time. You still have time for a shared reading activity. You can do it before or after your guided reading. Don't forget to count the time that you have to explain seatwork. My seatwork is always review of something we've been working on. I don't have them do writing for seatwork, because I like to circulate and conference while they do writing. I use Language Arts cut and paste activities usually.

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Guided Reading Center
Posted by: J

I love guided reading and found the following centers enabled me to work with guided reading groups:

1. Computers-I had computers with software, like Reader Rabbit or Living Books, loaded on them for students to listen to. The computers had individual headsets so the students could work quietly without disturbing others. Only two of my computers had the capability to run some programs so when this happened, I got a headset splitter from my local electronics story so two people could be on one computer. The pairs worked well together! (Teaching Target: Phonics skills, fluency, comprehension)

2. Reader's Theatre-students were assigned parts of simple plays. This works better if you have a parent or aide, but can work well as long as you model your expectations and help them choose parts. (At first my students would bicker about which parts they wanted. I solved this, by writing a character on a bookmark and placing it in each book. They randomly selected books and whichever character name was on the bookmark was the one they had to be.) (Teaching Target: fluency, expression)

3. Reading Games-I have two games at this center so pairs can play together. I used to have just one game for each group of 4, but found management was better when I split the 4 into pairs. There was less downtime for those waiting and all were involved in some action (either reading the question for the other or listening to answer). (Teaching Target: Phonics skills at beginning of year; finding the main idea,

4. Listening station-children listen to books on tape. I invested in 5 individual headsets so each student listened to their own book. It wasn't expensive and lessened management issues. (Teaching target: fluency)

5. Listening Reports- students chose and filled out a book report form on the story they listened to at the listening station. This way I knew they were listening to the story. (t.t: comprehension, writing)

6. Partner Reading-this center is always after the guided reading meeting. students work together on guided reading strategies or word work assignment (from our guided reaidng lesson) then they partner read familiar material such as shared reading poetry; former guided reading books; big books. (t.t: guided reading strategy, fluency, expression)

7. Writing station-children respond to stories as assigned or write their own stories or reports. (t.t: sequencing, report writing)

I have two centers a day for guided reading so I can meet with each group twice a week. I have 6 centers a week and if possible, only 4 students in each group for optimal management. I make sure the students do at least one quiet center a day.

Hope this is helpful.

Guided Reading
Posted by: Arlene Fasbender

We are using Guided Reading also it is absolutely the most wonderful way to teach children to read! We have presented "A Look into the Guided Reading Classroom" presentation at a Kansas Educators Conference and it was well received by many teachers.

Problem: We have a website in which my teaching partners and I have put lesson plans in for the books we are reading at each level. As you know, this takes hours and hours and hours of work to read books and write complete 2nd (I teach 2nd grade)-3rd -4th grade lesson plans for each level. (Some levels are reading 3rd and 4th already at the beginning of 2nd grade for us). We are looking for schools to join in the website to "dump" your lesson plans into so that we are all not "reinventing the wheel" and to save us all time. I have seen that some books now come with a lesson plan guides, but we read so many books that most of them do not have a Teacher's Guide with it. If we were to pool our lesson plans we all have made, the work for each of us would be less. I have 5 schools trying to help this year, but they need to get Guided Reading going first. (They all are people who wanted help after hearing us at the conference).

Do you have a lot of lesson plans to your books that you have made? Tell me how you obtain lesson plans for your books.

If you are interested, I will send you the website address and you can look it over to see if it is something you might want to do.

I am looking forward to hearing from you.
Arlene Fasbender
2nd Grade

guided reading
Posted by: Joanne

At our school, we use the PM Benchmarks. We do a running record on each child, find out which level they are at, then I group them. I take more running records as the year progresses i.e each reporting period or when I feel a child has improved i.e. is finding our guided reading session too easy. This year I have 7 groups.
In my sessions, rather than having them read aloud, once we have done a book talk and picture walk, I have them whisper read. I get around to each person to hear them read (usually 3 in a group). They often have a highlighter with them to highlight words they don't know (if they are using a Reading A-Z book of their own.) We talk about comprehension, but also about how they figured out the tough words: sound it out, look at the pictures, skipped the word then re-read, etc. I then do a mini lesson that is the same focus as all of my other groups. The lesson might be: cloze activity, answering questions in full sentences, responding with own ideas, rhyming words, vocab. study. This way the children are all doing the same skill, but at their instructional level of reading. After I work with this group on this mini lesson, the group goes to the next centre which is a followup using the mini lesson and the story at their level. My guided reading is part of my literacy centre activities. The other centres are: journal writing, computer, reading logs, followup to story, spelling, writing on a specific topic ( story writing or picture prompts) I'm still working on expectations during these centres so that I am not interrupted during a guided reading lesson and to keep everyone on task. I do have the luxury of a student teacher who roams and answers questions at this time, but she won't be there for the entire year!. At any rate the kids seem to really enjoy it. I'm not totally convinced that they are at an optimal point of learning yet... though I'm giving it time to work out the wrinkles. I hope this is clear enough and that it helps!

guided reading
Posted by: silvercat323

From what I understand, guided reading is basically directing students through the text and teaching them what good readers do so that when it comes to read independently, they know what to do. I see it as giving them tools to unlock comprehension so they can see what successful reading feels like.

For the skills to focus on, I build on whatever skills I taught whole group, and I find out what specifically students need to work on. The materials need to be on their instructional level--not too easy, not too hard, so that will vary based on each group, but sometimes I use the same text with all groups and provide more scaffolding for students who need it. The actual teaching of the skill is really short though, just a few minutes while I introduce the book. I think the best thing for improving reading skills is time spent reading appropriate texts.

You can do guided reading with a variety of texts. I use the small books that come with my basal series, trade books, content textbooks, and articles from Time for Kids. I don't know if I do it right or not, but I feel like it was successful with my third graders this year. What I do is:

1) introduce the text--picture walk, look at text features, make predictions with the kids, give a short idea about the story, build background knowledge, teach new vocabulary words (not all of these for each text, it just depends on what the text requires and what the students need to understand) *also, it is important to set a purpose here...if it is a short book, maybe ask a question or have them think about why a character is like another character or something like that based on the skills you are teaching, or if it is a chapter or part of a textbook, have them read to find out what causes erosion or something like that.

2) have students whisper read--I think this really benefits the students because when they are whisper reading in the group, we know that they are not fake reading, and studies show that the more actual reading students do the better readers they become. At first, they try to make it a race, but I have them continue reading over and over when they finish for fluency. I continually remind them that sometimes good readers read texts over and over to help understand it better.

3) while they whisper read, I go to each student and have them read a little louder to me. This is the most important part (in my opinion) because I can see what strategies students are using, and I can immediately correct, give cues, and help them apply strategies that we are learning in class. During this time, I get ideas on skills to teach directly to groups or the class based on what students struggle with.

4) after everyone has had a chance to read to me and read the text at least once, I have some kind of discussion about the text where they have to use the text to answer questions or make comments.

As for what the other students are doing, we are required to do literacy centers, so I make sure they are centers with tasks that require the students to actually read such as poetry, leap pads, reader's theater, computer programs.

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Guided reading encouragement
Posted by: michelle

Stephanie...just jump in. This is my second year using guided reading (the Fountas and Pinnell method) and it is working very well. Last year only two out of six of the first grade teachers used it and now it is all but one. I love being able to work with students at their instructional level and it has helped me to identify their individual needs. Read the book Guided Reading by Fountas and Pinnell. We actually used this book in a book study group. We also are continuing with a guided reading support group. This helps the teachers that are using gr to share ideas and just keep each other going. Our district purchased a new anthology series this year but I can't bring myself to open it! I use the work board approach to centers just like in the F/P book. Just start out slow and really teach the centers and the expected behavior. this will help things to run smooth and therefore you will be more productive. Also, try to attend a workshop about guided reading. I just attended one put on by BER and it was pretty good. I was lucky enough to go to a conference with Fountas and Pinnell last year. they are great and their method really works. You will see many other programs labelled as guided reading but they all differ. Stick with F/P and then add your own twists. What I am currently doing has changed several times to meet the needs of the students, to help me out and just because the changes were easy and made sense. I have parents come in and assist children with their center work while I am working with one of my six groups. Report card time is much easier because I use running reading records to assess and I record each child's level on a chart (in F/P book). One glance at that chart and I can tell if the child has made progress, if he/she is moving slow, fast, etc. Good luck and please e-mail if you have questions.

guided reading
Posted by: Cheryl

Long Island Diva,
I'm just getting my feet wet too. I'm starting my fourth set of guided reading books tomorrow. For the first two I read every book and took notes about how I was thinking. Every group had a job to do (assessment) that I could look at. And for the first set of groups I had each group also accountable for a story map with story elements. Last week I had four groups, each with a non-fiction group. Each group had to create a jeopardy game. Tomorrow I start another round and I'm using a "Literature Circle" format that has been packaged so that every student is accountable for the nine days it will take them to read the book (discussion director, artful artist, etc.) This round I chose books that I read long ago and forgot so I have no notes to help me recall the story. I asked my reading teacher to find me the organized teacher notes for those books (Shiloh and Winn Dixie). My top two "literature circle" groups will be pretty independent through this cycle while I work with the lower two groups.

To answer a part of your original question, I don't do literary centers. We all start and end our reading obligations at the same time. I give them each a goal and the beginning of the period, review their previous day's work as I move around the room, and have a quick "that's all folks" at the end of the day.

Although I'm not kicking and screaming as I do guided reading groups, I'm not convinced this really helps the low kids. All of these kids tend to be slow readers and even with short books these are the kids who stay out of school the most. I'm no expert in guided reading, just a gal starting just like you. Good luck!

Guided Reading
Posted by: Taita

As with anything, they key to success is balance. No, when I started teaching 4 years ago I knew nothing of guided reading. Does it work, YES! You just can't meet the individual needs of students with whole group reading. At the beginning of the week, I meet whole group and cover a story from the basal series. Tuesday through Friday I meet with my guided reading groups and assign the other groups work related to the basal story. I don't believe one could properly analyze a student's challenges in the whole group setting, especially if the student isn't functioning on the same level as the text you're using for whole group. What about ESE, ESOL, and kids with specific needs. Guided reading provides an outlet to reach all readers needs. You also have to be flexible, I also work on reading skills needed in the content areas (SS and Science) during Guided Reading groups. to me, it just makes sense. I work in state with heavy testing mandates (Reading, Writing, math, and Science for my grade level) . Guided reading is not an easy task, but I've seen so much (more) growth within my students over the past 2 years than with any of the other methods around. Hope this helps ;0)

a little bit...
Posted by: QW

1. I spend about 20 minutes, sometimes 15 per day.
3. Fountas & Pinnell (sp) have two books on guided reading with huge lists of leveled books in them.
4. We have master files at our school--each student gets a file in Kindergarten and it travels with them. It is for DRA tests and CAP tests only. I put this file in a hanging file and add my own personal stuff (benchmark tests, etc) to the back of the file for conferences. Really, there isn't a lot of paperwork. :-)
5. My students do any assignment I may have given them in group first, then they read independently and keep a reading log.
6. We don't have basals, so the guided reading book is their book and these books change very frequently.
Good luck! I think you'll love it once you get used to it.

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guided reading
Posted by: audriana

1. How long do you spend with each group? 20 minutes per group
2. What are some good books I can use for 3rd grade? do you have a lit person at your school or a section in your library with leveled books?
3. Is there a master list floating around out there somewhere that I could use that has the books & levels? I use Fountas and Pinells book, too.
4. How do you organize your paperwork for your groups? I have a clip board with index cards taped on top. (They are on top of one another where just the bottom part of the card is showing so I can flip to the student's card easily while I'm working. Does that make sense?) I make anecdotal notes on their cards. I have folders for their running records.)
5. What are your other children doing while you are doing guided reading? Lit work stations -- 2 in a group. (These are things like word study, poetry station, listening station, writing station, etc.)
6. Is the guided reading book the students' only book or do you have a book that all students read & a separate one for guided reading? My students are also reading another book for their independent reading time -- that is the book they write their responses on weekly. We use another book for shared reading.

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Guided Reading
Posted by: DebS.

Hi Jen,
I've also read this book. I've been doing the Guided Reading and Literacy Stations in my room for about 3 years now. The students enjoy the independence and I like the "small group"teaching.
Depending on my class size, I vary with the amount of time I spend with the guided reading group. Last year I had a large class and was only able to meet with each group 2 times a week for about 20 min. While I meet with my group, the rest of the class is busy with literacy stations. The stations usually consists of computer time, partner reading, listening station(books on tape), spelling activity,and independent reading ( students select leveled books for their reading bag at this time)
The students rotate during the week so that they are able to complete each station before the week is through. Throughout the year I change a station to address particular skills, holiday projects, etc.
For writing I have a workshop that I do with the entire class. I model, we try something together and then I assign a writing project. We go through all the steps, so we usually take at least a week to complete something. Each student has a writing folder that holds whatever graphic organizer we used and rough draft. At the end of the week students are invited to the authors' chair to share their writing. Then the published work is displayed.
This is just an overview of what is done. I know it's overwhelming, but it really does work well once everyone understands what they need to do. I spend a good month at the beginning of the year just teaching the kids about the stations and what is expected. Good Luck!

Guided Reading Lessons
Posted by: Beckie

Our school has a book room with books "leveled" from A-M. When school starts we check their folders to see what level they were reading at in June, and go back 2 levels to be safe. We have a lot of books from Rigby and Scholastic.

I don't like more than 5 kids in a group.

1) Introduce story, and up to level G I give them the whole story, problem, solution, and we take a quick picture walk as many of the words they will encounter are in the illustrations. Around level H I start to leave out the ending and discuss it at the end instead.

2) Children read the story out loud, ALL AT THE SAME TIME. This is VERY hard to get used to, but as opposed to round robin reading, they are all reading, no one is just sitting waiting for their turn, nor embarrassed to be reading alone. AS children get stuck, you have your little individualized teaching moments.

3) If any children finish before the others, hand them an "old favorite", a book they've already read several times. This builds fluency as they have to spend little effort on decoding and can work on the flow of it.

4) When all the kids are done with the book, you do your mini-lesson based on the book. When just starting out and getting familiar with each story, your lessons are kind of impromtu. If the book rhymes, you would focus on the rhyming words. If there are a lot of compound words, you can do a quickie on them.

Each group meets 10-15 minutes and it's good to have only 4 groups unless you have a remedial person pushing in. Centers keep the other children busy, but an hour is tops.

If you are using a basal, you can still do guided reading groups, but having a library of leveled books keeps it more individualized.

As the kids reach levels J,K, L I will sometimes give them questions to write answers to to get them ready for third grade but not until March or after.

Hope this is helpful!

Guided Reading
Posted by: Cathy

My district uses guided reading so I hope this helps. Guided reading is NOT whole class instruction. It is small group instruction for students who read the same text. The group is homogeneous: the students read at the same level, demonstrate similar reading behaviors and share similar instructional needs. These small groups are temporary; they change as you assess students' growth and needs. In the small groups, you introduce a text that you've selected, and the students read it silently and independently. Students usually read silently, though you might ask individual students to read orally at regular intervals and talk with them individually about the book. You select teaching points based on the reader's needs and may assign oral and/or written responses and extensions. I don't know if this is different in the younger grades (I teach 4th) My class is divided into three groups: High, Middle, Low. I meet with the low group 5x a week for about 15 minutes, middle 3x a week and high 2x a week during our Literacy Block. There is a really good book if you are interested in knowing more about Guided Reading. Guided Readers and Writers: Grades 3-6 Teaching Comprehension, Genre, and Content Literacy by Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell.

Guided Reading ideas
Posted by: Suzie

I teach Year One and I do levelled reading groups Mon-Thurs. It sounds like you are trying to have every child read in small groups at the SAME time. This cannot work- certainly not in early childhood. YOU need to teach reading STRATEGIES. I have 27 kids and 4 groups. Only one group does guided reading- with me- each day.

Now it's 4 weeks from the end of Year One 2002, the kids are good readers (phew!) so I can split my guided reading group and run 2 books while I watch and participate. This way, I keep my very highest group at only 3 children.

Other groups do: word attack, language games, computer and another that I call a 'book box'. My 3 trusty parents run these other groups. My classroom is never big enough- brand new that it is- there is 1 corner!! (the others have either a door, a computer power point or a cupboard).

Why don't you to do a proteacher search with the key words 'guided reading'? I've done it and there's so many ideas there. Hope I've helped you.

Guided Reading Levels
Posted by: Anne


I also have a wide spread of reading levels each year. The way I handle it is to use the reading series the parish provides, teaching the vocabulary and skills whole class...following curriculum guide lines and then test based on this. Our reading series is set up to teach one story a week with lots of related activities to that story.(Whole Language approach)I don't like it! I feel children need to be exposed to lots and lots of reading practice, phonics, and repetition of the basic sight words so....... I run a balanced literacy program in my classroom. The children rotate from independent work, to centers, to guided reading with me in smalll groups. (Tuesday - Thursday) It is the 30 minutes they spend at the guided reading table with me that I use supplement readers and trade books on their group level.( I try to divide into no more than four groups)These are the books I send home with them to be read aloud as homework. I feel I do meet their needs and learning style differences with this approach. It does take alot of organization, time, and effort but to see even the weakest readers reading and excited about their acheivement is very rewarding! Good Luck in whatever teaching style you choose!