If you are a primary teacher, I am sure you will not argue over my belief that guided reading is fundamental for teaching children how to read. It is common practice for primary teachers to mainly focus on having their students reading during this time. It is also common practice for kindergarten and first grade teachers to use brief reading strategy lessons and short word work activities to support reading development during this time too. While most of these activities are either printed materials or with some sort of manipulative like magnetic letters, tablets, iPads, and laptops are other tools that can be used for supporting reading development too. Today, I want to discuss the benefits of using technology during guided reading.
So Why Use Technology During a Guided Reading Lesson?
First off, when I say going digital, I do not mean go digital with everything during guided reading. The primary teacher in me does not feel like going completely digital is appropriate for young learners. What I am talking about here is swapping out parts of your guided reading lesson or activities with the use of tech tools to enhance your guided reading lessons. With the integration of tech during guided reading, you can smooth out some of the transitions with those short word work activities that often can steal from that short period of time that you have with your students. Going digital during guided reading can also save preparation time, so you won’t spend your family time prepping for the next day’s guided reading lesson. Digital guided reading activities are also engaging for students, and that is always a win when it comes to learning how to read.
Additionally, you can easily streamline things like the word work activities to keep things flowing smoothly. These can also still be very much hands-on too! Look how students can slide the digital magnetic letter to blend some CVC words below. It’s very similar to having actual magnetic letters and a word work mat to work on blending words together.
Another thing you can incorporate digitally during guided reading is the teaching of reading strategies. You can pull up digital anchor charts to teach a reading strategy right before students dive into reading or show the digital reading strategy poster to your students as you use a think-aloud activity from your guided reading lesson plans to model the strategy.
Maybe you want an easier way to organize your assessment materials like your performance assessment checklists and running records. That way you have the convenience of reviewing student data from a comfy chair or couch without lugging around a pile of papers and can skip the process of filing papers away in a cabinet somewhere. It makes student data so much more accessible and easy to manage.
Or maybe you need to mix things up in your classroom more to better reach your students. Adding a digital element will help with that! Students enjoy doing digital word work.
Should students be using regular readers and flipping those pages? Absolutely. Is it ok to incorporate some digital readers here and there. Of course. When going digital in guided reading, you get to find your happy medium of using digital and non-digital guided reading materials. Also, there is room to switch things up if you feel you need to make some changes to how you do your guided reading to maximize the time you have with your students and with teaching them how to read.
Integrating tech into your guided reading will enhance your guided reading lessons, no doubt. It also makes it easy for differentiating instruction to meet all your students’ learning needs.
That is why I created a guided reading bundle that is 100% digital and 100% printable. That way, teachers can pick and choose what to use digitally and what not to use to best fit their class. This massive size bundle is packed full with more than you need to teach guided reading for levels AA-D! That way, students don’t have to repeat the same word work activities. You will not run out with this bundle. It includes everything, but the books. That means lesson plans, reading strategy posters and anchor charts, word work activities, phonemic awareness activities, assessments, trackers, and so much more! You will even know when to move your students up with this resource very clearly. You can pick what to use digitally and what to not use digitally.
This resource follows best practices for guided reading too!
Now, I know some of you stumbled on it being just for levels AA-D and are wondering about more levels. I do have plans to release a second bundle for the first grade levels sometime within the 2019-2020 frame. It is going to be a massive size bundle too. When it is released, I will be putting it on sale and will let my newsletter subscribers know. Make sure to subscribe to the free digital sampler below to receive updates when this is released. Plus, you will receive surprise freebies a week later when you sign-up too!
Going digital in guided reading will enhance your guided reading lessons, save you a ton of time in preparing for the lessons, and maximize time with transitioning between the activities.
You can test out a free digital guided reading sampler when you sign-up for my free newsletter. This sampler is packed with some goodies too! It includes a lesson plan, reading strategy poster and anchor chart, word work activities, assessment, and more! Sign-up here.
Thanks for visiting The Candy Class blog. Happy teaching!
Jolene Mathew from The Candy Class