/Tag:Guided Reading
5 06, 2017

Strategy Share: Teaching Strategies to use During Guided Reading & Freebies

By | June 5th, 2017|Guided Reading, Teaching Strategies|0 Comments

Hi everyone! What are some practical strategies you can use during guided reading to help streamline your lessons and keep students moving forward? Today, I want to share some practical teaching strategies with you that answer that question.  I also have included a few freebies, so you can apply these strategies right away.

Find some teaching strategies to use during guided reading in this strategy share post.

Strategy #1 Teach Memorable Strategies

I find it important to teach a strategy first, so students have a possible opportunity to apply it as they read. I’ve seen some suggestions to do this after reading, but let’s be real. Kids will forget if they do not get to apply it right away. I probably will forget too, haha! By teaching the strategy before the lesson, students are more likely to remember it and internalize it into their bank of strategies in their mind. You can teach the strategy either by modeling the behavior yourself, or sometimes you can guide students to apply the strategy as shown below. The words in parenthesis below are the actions and the other words are the scripted language. This is from my Chunky Monkey lesson B plan. (Link to free resource with his lesson plan posted below!)

Let’s take a walk through the words in the book. (Find a spot in the book that has a word that would have a familiar chunk in it like –at in the word mat.) Let’s stop at this word. (Point to the word.) Do you see any familiar chunks or parts in the word? (Students respond.) Very good! Now, what’s the sound of the first letter? (Students respond.) Blend them together. (Students blend the word.) Very good! You just used the Chunky Monkey strategy. (Show the anchor chart/poster and discuss it.) When we come to a word we do not know, we can look for chunks we know to help us read the word. (Have students practice the strategy with a few other words in the book.)

Another way to make the strategy memorable is by using a fun character theme. Many of us are familiar with Lips the Fish and Eagle Eyes, but I realized there were other skills to be teaching students that did not have a memorable character or lacked an action-oriented strategy to develop that skill all together. I got creative, and came up with some strategies with fun names. For example, students need to learn to read left-to-right, so now there is the Left-to-right Gecko…and my son helped me name that one, hehe! Love my sweet boy! Matching Moose is another one. This one is simply to teach voice-to-print, so students are matching the words on the page with what they are reading.

Strategy #2 Guide with Prompts

When it comes to teaching students to read, it is important to guide the students to apply a strategy instead of just telling them a word. Have questions handy to prompt students to apply the strategies as they read. It is important to keep what you say to the student very brief, so you don’t interrupt their connection within the text. It’s like you want to be that little voice in their head, so just a simple short question or statement is perfect. Then let them read on.

Strategy #3 Reinforce with Precise Praise

When a student is first learning a strategy and they apply it, it is important to reinforce with some precise praise. Don’t be vague and say, “Good job!” Instead, let’s say you just taught students the Eagle Eye reading strategy. Students were taught to use picture clues to help decode a word. You notice a student just used a picture clue to figure out the word zebra on the page. Instead of offering a simple compliment, be exact. Here are some examples:

“You just used your eagle eyes.”

“You used a picture clue.”

“You used a picture clue to figure out that word.”

If you notice, it does not really say anything about being awesome or doing a good job. The action the student took was what was summed up. This reinforces the student’s behavior. This will help them to acknowledge the action they took, so they can remember to use it for next time. Once a student shows proficiency with a strategy, reinforcement will not be needed. There will be other strategies the student will be newly learning. so those are the ones to focus on with reinforcement.

Strategy #4 Observe and Assess

There is no need to interrupt guided reading constantly with constant formal assessments. (Unless you are just required to do that, which is unfortunately the case way too much.) Performance assessment are your BFF when it comes to guided reading. You are able to keep the guided reading lesson flowing, and glean the information you need on each student. I absolutely have always loved using checklists during guided reading. Honestly, this helped me to focus more on the student’s too! If I just sit there, I will day dream accidentally. I am seriously ADD, so to focus, I need something in my hands. I can’t be the only ADD teacher out there, haha! But with all seriousness, you can get constant information about your students through performance assessments that will help you to group your students, match texts to them better, and know what you need to be reteaching students. Running records are another performance assessment you can use during guided reading too.

Strategy #5 Focus on Targets

Free sheet to use during guided reading to help focus on targets.

From your observations, you can make some notes on what to focus on next time. Did they apply that new strategy you just taught adequately? Maybe you need to reteach it.  Did you notice a reading behavior that is a struggle for them? Use that information to select the next strategy you teach them. Does one student in the group seem to be struggling with a strategy that the others are not struggling with at all? Make a note to focus in on prompts for that strategy as that student is reading. Now sticky notes are great for jotting down these ideas, but they can end up being a hot mess pile in no time. I have included some sticky note pages for you to jot down your focuses for your groups and students to keep them organized.

Simply opt-in for email to receive your free sticky note page. If you are already an email subscriber, just enter the information again, and you will also get access to the pages too! Check your email for them. 🙂

Now as promised, I have a freebie for you I mentioned earlier with the Chunky Monkey level B lesson plan. You can find that in my Candy Class store over on TPT here as a free download.

Guided Reading Level B Sampler

Just click here to grab it.

Thanks so much for stopping by the Candy Class! I have more Strategy Share posts geared for teaching reading and writing planned, so make sure to check your email if you signed up.

Jolene 🙂

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19 04, 2017

Strategy Share: Fun Ways for Previewing Texts & a Freebie

By | April 19th, 2017|Guided Reading, Reading Strategies, Strategy Share|0 Comments

Hi everyone! Welcome to Strategy Share! This is a series I just recently started that focuses on teaching strategies for reading and writing. You can learn more about strategies in general here. Today, I want to share some reading strategies for previewing texts. These strategies are geared for guided reading, but you could use it during a read aloud too. Below, I will also include a free resource to help you apply these strategies in your classroom.

Reading Strategies for Previewing Texts

First off, guided reading time is limited, so previewing a text should be very brief. If you find you are super crunched for time, just spend a minute or two tops on this part of the guided reading lesson. It is still a very important part of the guided reading lesson, but a big chunk of time is not needed for it to be effective. You can also find more tips on teaching a guided reading lesson here.

For these strategies, choose just one to use. You could make a rotating schedule with the strategies for previewing texts if you like.

 

Strategy #1

Book Explorer Reading Strategy

Be a Book Explorer: Since I have a trunk full of animal themed reading strategies in my guided reading units, I like to stick with this theme. With this strategy, students are jungle explorers. Students “explore” or walk through the text. This particular strategy is not narrowed down to just looking at pictures or looking at words, but rather, students freely explore the pages in the text and make their own discoveries.

 

Strategy #2

Put on your binoculars during guided reading

Put on Your Binoculars: Keeping with the jungle explorer theme, students put on their “binoculars” to explore the pictures in the book. Now, if you want to get all fancy and you got a few extra minutes, you could actually have students use binoculars. If not, let students make binoculars with their hands to explore and make discoveries with the pictures. You can extend this by having each student point out something they notice, but that is not necessary if you need to keep the time down. You can get through this in a minute by using a sand timer if needed, so students know they got just that time to breeze through the pages.

 

Strategy #3

Make Word Discoveries: Have those explorers “discover” words. You can either put a focus here on new vocabulary or familiar sight words. When focusing on familiar sight words, you can say something like, “Let’s discover words we know in the book. Jungle explorers, look for words you know.” To extend, each student can point out a word to you. If you are using books that are printed for each student, they could also highlight the words in the book if time allows. If you need to save time, just let students preview the words and each day have one or two students point out a sight word. You can also use the sand timer to give them their exploring time if needed.

If you will be focusing on new vocabulary, you can say, “Let’s explore for new words. Do you see any words you do not know?” Have students point out the new words. If it is a word that they should know, but just are not familiar with reading the word, you could have them use the picture clues to figure out the word. If it is a new word they may not be familiar with, but it has good context clues, you could lead students to figure out the meaning with the context clues if time allows. If not, you can just briefly explain what it means. If time is really short, you could lead students to the page with the new vocabulary word. Then ask, “Let’s explore for new words on this page. Do you see any words that you do not recognize?” Then give students the definition. I recommend pulling any language from the text to help explain the meaning, so it is more in a contextual way. This will help build stronger understanding.

Strategy #4

Explore Predictions: To explore predictions, you could say, “Explorers, what do you think this text is about? Let’s explore some predictions.” Then have some students make a prediction. To monitor the time, you can use a sand timer. If calling on multiple students, you may want to use a 2 or 3 minute sand timer. If you need to limit the time, you can rotate having students make a prediction and just call on one student. Another way is to say, “In seven words or less, what is your prediction?”

Strategy #5

Discover the Characters: With this strategy, students look through the pages and identify the characters that are evident through the pictures. After students look through the pictures you can either put the spotlight on them to talk about the characters or you can introduce the character.  If you want students to explain their findings, you can ask, “What did you discover about the characters through the pictures?” If you will be introducing the character, just give a brief description of the character.

Strategy #6

Discover the Setting: This strategy is similar to the discover the characters strategy, only the focus is on the setting. Instead of asking students to describe their discoveries about the character, they describe their discoveries about the setting.

Strategy #7

Explore What You Know: This strategy is geared for non-fiction texts. When introducing a non-fiction book, students discuss what they know about the text. You could say, “Let’s explore what we know about this topic. Tell me something you know about __________.”

I hope these strategies for previewing texts help you up your game with guided reading! I am including a free resource for previewing texts to help you apply the strategies here. I think you are going to find it handy! 🙂

Simply subscribe to email to claim the free resource above. If you are currently a subscriber, simply just enter your email again to get the resource.

Also, make sure to check out this free guided reading sampler of level B here. This links to the resource in my Candy Class store on TPT.

Guided Reading Level B Sampler

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit my blog! I will be sporadically posting more Strategy Share posts.

Jolene 🙂

 

 

10 04, 2017

Strategy Share: Using Strategies to Teach Reading and Writing

By | April 10th, 2017|Guided Reading, Reading Strategies, Strategy Share|0 Comments

Hi everyone! I want to start a new series that shares various strategies you can use in your classroom. It is going to be posted sporadically. It is my goal to help build confidence when it comes to teaching reading and writing and to share ideas and inspiration in those areas. 🙂 I want these posts to include practical strategies you can implement in your classroom. I will also be sharing many freebies along the way to help you apply these strategies in your classroom. 😉

Using Strategies to Teach Reading & Writing

 

Strategies have been a bit of a buzzword over the past few years, and rightfully so. It’s important for every teacher to have a tool bag of strategies to use in their instruction throughout the day. Today, I mainly want to focus on what defines strategies and how they apply to teaching. Now before you click out of this post because you already know that vocabulary word, lol, hear me out. I think we all get the definition, but lets be nerds for a bit to really “get” how strategies apply to teaching. I promise to make it short and sweet. After this post, it is my goal to share some strategies for each Strategy Share post. That way, you can fill-up your teaching tool bag. 😉 I already have some strategy tools for your tool bag written up to go with this one. You can choose “Strategy Share” in the categories on the right to find all of the current posts.

Strategies are the practical steps to developing skills. Quote

First off, strategies are a means that students can use to obtain a goal. An example of a goal would be to get your students reading on a second grade level.  The goal of reading on a second grade level is reached by developing various skills such as decoding skills, reading comprehension skills, and so on. Strategies are the practical steps to developing those skills. The skill may be a necessity for obtaining that goal, but there may be several different strategies that can be used to develop that skill and eventually reach that goal. Just like there may be several different steps you take to make sure students gain those decoding skills. Maybe you teach some strategies like Eagle Eye (use your eagles eyes to look for picture clues) or Lips the Fish (say the beginning sound), and maybe you use different strategy methods. The strategy here has a fun theme with an eagle, and the decoding skill being taught is to look for picture clues. Neither Eagle Eyes or Lips the Fish or any other specific method is the ultimate way to gaining those decoding skills. You could very well teach students to simply look for pictures to help decode the word without a fun eagle theme or come up with a completely other way to teach them to look for picture clues. Therefore, it is important when using strategies to remember the strategy is not what is most important. It is the skill being developed that is needed to reach that goal. If one strategy does not work for your students or even your teaching style, it is ok. Find a different strategy that does. I hope to be able to share many strategies that will help your students to develop those skills and reach those goals.

Now with that said, I hope you find the strategies I share practical and helpful. And maybe, some will even inspire you to bounce other ideas off of them. I love bounced ideas! I really would love to hear from you, so always feel free to comment below on my posts. I would love this to be a collaborative learning where many of us come together to learn new ideas and even grow new ones.

Make sure to join my email list, so you can get some strategies in your email box. There will be plenty of exclusive freebies along the way with this series too! 🙂

Thank you for stopping by the Candy Class!

Jolene 🙂