/Tag: Guided Reading
2 09, 2019

Why Go Digital with Guided Reading?

By |2019-09-03T13:55:30-05:00September 2nd, 2019|Reading|0 Comments

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!

Click the picture or here for the Kindergarten Guided Reading Bundle.

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.

Click here or the picture above to go to the landing page where you can sign-up for this digital freebie.

Thanks for visiting The Candy Class blog. Happy teaching!

Candy Class for Teaching Resources and Ideas

Jolene Mathew from The Candy Class

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8 03, 2019

How to Teach Guided Reading: Prereading to Word Work Extensions

By |2019-09-03T14:45:22-05:00March 8th, 2019|Guided Reading, Reading, Reading Strategies|0 Comments

Planning how to teach guided reading can be an intimidating task in the beginning. My first year of teaching, I was extremely nervous that I was going to fail. I had never taught a child how to read. Would I be able to do it? While I was far from perfect and had lots to learn, I ended up finding joy watching students take flight while reading.

Without a doubt, guided reading is my favorite thing to teach, so I am going to share today how to teach guided reading.  I will also include some tips and ideas that can be helpful to those looking for ways to improve their guided reading teaching skills too.

How to Teach Guided Reading

 

Before I jump in, I want to mention that I am a firm believer that students should read for the majority of guided reading. Other activities are to support their reading growth, and those should be short and sweet.

To show you how to teach guided reading, I am going to show you the framework by going over each component of a guided reading lesson, with tips and resources for each.

Prereading Activities

Before you begin to plan, keep in mind that prereading activities should be kept to a minimum of 5-7 minutes. The goals of prereading activities are to get students engaged with the text, teach new words, and review or introduce sight words that will help support them during reading.

introducing new sight words

Whenever there is new sight words to introduce from a book, this is the time to do that.

mix and fix it word work activity

If you are retargeting sight words from a previous guided reading lesson, you can review those sight words during this time as well. That will allow students to notice the words you just reviewed as they read. One way to review sight words is to have students mix up the letters of a word in a soup bowl and put them back together.

Missing Letters Sight Word Activities

Another activity is to have them look for the missing letters. It is also helpful to have the students write the sight word.

Additionally, it is a good idea to introduce new vocabulary during this time too, but remember to get to the reading. Don’t plan to do all these activities in one lesson. Completing one prereading activity will do, so keep the words you review to a minimum to stay on track with the time.

You also want students to get acquainted with the book. Asking students about the topic, taking a picture walk, or having students make a prediction about the book based on the cover are some ways to introduce the book.

If students will be reading the book again later, ask reading comprehension questions, such as questions about the characters, to pique the student’s interest in the story.

Teach a Reading Strategy

While I have heard some teachers say to teach the reading strategy after students read, I believe it makes sense to teach it before they read. This gives students the opportunity to apply it while it is still fresh in their mind. Would you remember to apply a newly taught skill the next day? Probably not. Teaching the reading strategy first means they will have a chance to apply it meaningfully. Being able to apply a concept immediately always encourages successful retention.

Reading strategy explanations should only take about three minutes. You want to introduce the strategy, model it, then have the students practice it quickly.

An example of how to teach a reading strategy:

We are going to hop through part of the book. I am going to read the sentence. (Read a sentence from the book but make a mistake on purpose that makes the sentence wrong.) Now that does not make sense. I am going to hop back and reread because I might have made a mistake. (Reread the sentence correctly.) Now that makes sense. I used the Hop Back Rabbit reading strategy. (Show the anchor chart or poster and discuss it.) When something does not make sense while we are reading or we realize we made a mistake, we can always hop back to reread. (Have students practice the strategy by choral reading a sentence from the book. Then pause and say, “Let’s hop back rabbit.” Have students read the sentence again.)

As you can see, teaching the reading strategy does not need to consume the lesson. The key is to hop back and review that reading strategy every now and then to reinforce it. Pun intended.

The best way to provide a visual to support the reading strategy is to use a poster or anchor chart. Posters can display the reading strategy as you teach it. These are also good for reference while reviewing strategies.

 

Guided Reading Strategy Posters

An anchor chart can ask a question to get students thinking, and their responses can be recorded too if desired.

This activity with the anchor chart is great for introducing reading strategies for the first time.

Guided Reading Anchor Chart for Reading Strategies

Prompting Strategies During Reading

You can reinforce reading strategies with the feedback you give to students as they read independently. When a student makes a mistake and keeps on reading, you could say a prompt. An example is to say, “Hop back rabbit to reread it.”

It is handy to have some prompts on hand for reading strategies, so you know just what to say to quickly guide students to apply that strategy. Remember, don’t take over their independent reading with a lecture. A quick prompt is all that is needed to redirect.

Performance Assessment During Reading

Performance assessments during guided reading are to simply observe students as they read and record it. Checklists and running records are the two assessment tools to use for this. Performance assessments will let you evaluate students and their reading levels, saving you a ton of valuable guided reading time. They also tell you when your student is ready to move on to the next reading level.

Level A Mastery Checklist

Now sadly, sometimes schools want us to apply several formal assessments that don’t always provide much value in actually guiding our instruction on a day-to-day basis. Sometimes, we must do what we are told because, at the end of the day, we still have to make a living.

You can’t minimize the time spent on those required formal assessments. However, performance assessments will minimize your need to opt out of guided reading due to time constraints. Since performance assessments are quick, they allow you to get the information that you need daily to guide your day to day instruction.

Assessments for Guided Reading

Though sight words, phonics skills, and more can be assessed through observing students as they read, some other assessments will need to be done to evaluate skills that may not be measured by performance assessments. For example, you might still need to do an assessment for things like letter sound mastery, but you can do them less often if you are completing performance assessments. Minimizing your assessment time will help you get more guided reading lessons completed throughout the year. More guided reading lessons mean your students have more time to grow their reading skills.

After the Book

After students have completed independent reading, it’s time to zone in on reading comprehension. This can be done with a prompt or by simply asking students to tell you about the book in their own words. You only need a few minutes dedicated to this part of the lesson to make sure that they understood the story.

Extensions that Support Guided Reading

About ten minutes, give or take, should be used towards activities that support reading growth. These activities should include guided writing, word work, or phonemic awareness activities. You don’t have to include all three components with each lesson, but it is good to include two if time allows. You can also make a schedule, alternating between activities, to make sure you are covering them all on a regular basis.

Guided Writing Dictated Sentence

Guided writing is not the same as writing workshop. It should consist of a dictated sentence that incorporates sight words and graphemes that students are currently working on at their reading level. On the first day, students can build the dictated sentence. The next day, students can write the sentence with support. You can also have students write the sentence without support if you think they need more challenge.

Dictated Sentences for Guided Writing

Phonemic awareness activities play an important role in supporting reading growth.

Beginning Middle and Ending Sounds

If students have not mastered their alphabet, this is the time to work on that with them. Alphabet charts are a quick and easy tool that can be used to reinforce letter recognition and sounds. Alphabet books are another great resource. You can make it tactile by having students trace the letters with their fingers. During alphabet activities, you simply focus on a letter or two at a time. It is always best to start with the letters in a student’s name if they don’t already know them.

Sorting Letters by Characteristic

Other phonemic awareness activities should include rhyming and syllable activities. Asking students to identify words that rhyme by putting their thumbs up is a quick activity that can be done in a minute or two. Another effective activity is to have students clap out syllables.

Phonemic Awareness Activities

Word work tasks are also an important extension to support students with understanding phonics concepts. As a tip, I like the concept of using mats because they don’t involve prepping and managing a million pieces. They are easy to whip out quickly and to put away too! Plus, they are still hands-on and engaging.

Blending Words Activity

Some examples of word work activities include subbing sounds. This word munch activity has students spinning for a letter, covering up the first letter in the word, and substituting the sound with it.

guided reading letter subbing activity for word work

Another activity is to have students sort pictures by sound. You do need picture cards for this activity, so it does involve a little prep. If you laminate them, you can reuse the pictures cards for sorting every year.

Sorting by Beginning Sound

Word building is also a good activity to use for word work. You can actually use this activity to practice sight words too.

Building Sight Words

guided reading word building activity

 

Word work can be having students swap out letters for other letters to create a different word. I like to call this Extreme Word Make-Over. For example, sad gets changed to bad. Then bad gets changed to pad. Pad then gets changed to pat. Then pat gets changed to bat. This reinforces the concepts of beginning, middle, and ending sounds.

guided reading swapping letters activity for word work

These activities will help students strengthen their word decoding and word recognition skills. It helps students extend the guided reading lesson with guided writing, word work, and phonemic awareness activities.

Knowing When to Move Students Up a Level

Having a mastery checklist for each reading level will easily guide you when it comes to pairing students with the right reading level.

Guided Reading Level Mastery Checklist

Between occasional assessments and performance assessments, you can check off what students have mastered using this mastery checklist. Simply bump students up when they have sufficiently mastered that reading level.

Being Successful with Teaching Guided Reading

Keeping routine and consistency with these practices each day will allow students to grow their reading abilities. It’s important to constantly monitor progress and regroup as needed to best support student learning and growth.

Guided Reading Mega Bundle with Lesson Plans and Activities

Click to link to the guided reading bundle

To better support teachers, I put together a resource that includes all the activities and tools needed for guided reading levels AA-D in one large mega bundle. It includes everything, but the books! Literally, it is full of over 1,700 pages. There are many activities in a one page mat format. I tried to keep it as low prep as possible without compromising on the quality of the activities. Click here or the bundle picture to follow the link to the resource.

It is my hope that this bundle will help support teachers through planning and teaching guided reading to their students. It was created with a lot of love.

 

Guided Reading Freebie

Click to link

If you would like to test drive my guided reading bundle, I have a decent size guided reading freebie that you can receive for free when you sign-up for my free newsletter. You can do that here. Make sure to check your downloads folder for it. Click here to sign-up!

Also, make sure to check out some of my other guided reading posts here, here, and here.

Now before I close out, I also want to let you know about my free tech course. This free course shows you a simple three-step system for setting up the use of technology in your classroom. With the abundance of tech options out there, it can get overwhelming in the primary grades. The key is to wisely pick just a small amount of tools and add on from there later on if desired. This course will help you get a system in place, includes some free tech resources to utilize with the system, and even includes short student tutorials to get your class on board. Find more information about it here.

Using technology in the primary classroom to reach more students a free course

Thanks for stopping by The Candy Class. Be blessed!

Candy Class for Teaching Resources and Ideas

Jolene Mathew from The Candy Class

 

 

 

 

 

 

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5 06, 2017

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

By |2019-03-12T21:06:00-05:00June 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. 🙂

 You can also view my privacy policy here.

Now as promised, I have a freebie for you I mentioned earlier with the Chunky Monkey level B lesson plan. Simply fill out the form to join the newsletter to snag that up too! If you already signed up, just run it through again to get it sent to your email too.

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 |2019-03-12T21:06:00-05:00April 19th, 2017|Guided Reading, Reading Strategies, Strategy Share|2 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 when you sign-up for the newsletter. If you already joined, just fill the simple form out again to get it sent to your email box.

Guided Reading Level B Sampler

Click here or the image to get the freebie! 

Thanks so much for stopping by to visit my blog!

Jolene 🙂

 

 

743 Shares
10 04, 2017

Strategy Share: Using Strategies to Teach Reading and Writing

By |2019-03-12T21:06:01-05:00April 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 🙂

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23 02, 2017

Seven Tips for Teaching Guided Reading with Confidence

By |2019-09-02T22:28:17-05:00February 23rd, 2017|Uncategorized|3 Comments

 

Image for tips for teaching guided reading

When I use to ask students about their favorite part of school, what do you think the overwhelming response was from them? Recess? Nope. Lunch. Guess again. Guided reading? YES!!!! Actually, they would not say guided reading. They would tell me things like spending time at the table with you reading. Gush! My heart would absolutely melt! Spending time reading with the teacher was their favorite part of school!

Now honestly, I can say, I sincerely lacked confidence in teaching guided reading when I first taught kindergarten many years back. Pretty much, I was thrown into a classroom that was formerly a storage room a week after school started because the enrollment was high. I was told to teach guided reading with only access to a room full of leveled readers. Thankfully, I had that! I discovered that I LOVED teaching children to read, even though I was not the best at it initially. For sure, I was a work in progress for a while. I can’t say I was an instant pro at it my first year. Hopefully, I did not scar those students from my first year of teaching kindergarten for life haha! I know I can’t be the only one to think that about their first year of teaching! It was not until my third year of teaching kindergarten that I finally felt confident at teaching children how to read.

To save you some trial and error, I want to share some of my teaching strategies with you that will hopefully help you to teach guided reading more confidently. 

Guided Reading Level Mastery Checklist

1. Regroup Frequently- Evaluate where students are frequently, and regroup based on those evaluations. Now I am not talking about giving them 100+ formal assessments. Teach, of course! Performance assessments are your guide and work seamlessly during guided reading as you teach. Checklists and running records are both great performance assessments to give you the feedback you need to adjust your reading groups as needed. That way, students are always being challenged at the appropriate level. Having a list of clear guidelines on when students should move up to another reading level helps a bunch too. You will still have to evaluate things like beginning sounds if they have not mastered those, but many things can be assessed through performance during a reading lesson to help you make decisions on regrouping.

Guided Reading Name and Alphabet ActivitiesAlphabet Activity

2. Build Up- It would not make sense to teach a student on paragraph writing if they did not know how to write words, nor would it make sense to teach a student how to read level C readers if they don’t have a firm foundation with the alphabet. Teaching effectively means finding out where the student is and guiding that student from there. If they know most of their alphabet letters and sounds and have a firm foundation with print concepts, give them level A. If they only know a handful of letters and sounds, that preschool level AA is going to help that sweetie a bunch! The child is going to build confidence, even if you have one or two children that have to spend the whole year on that level. I tell you, you will see growth when you continue to build from where they are. In my professional opinion, building up from where a student is with their reading development is by far the most effective strategy you can utilize when it comes to teaching reading. If you are doing that, students are going to flourish in reading.

Spend most time reading

3. Let them read. -Don’t fluff it full with other junk. From the research I read, they should be reading. Sure, you will need to include some things that support the learning of reading such as sight words and word work, but make sure the bulk of the time is spent on actually reading. Keep those other activities short and sweet.

Example of a Word Work Activity

4. Support Your Readers- Having that small group time to focus on word work activities to build up phonics skills, teach sight words, stretch comprehension, and to build and write sentences is very valuable to supporting the learning of reading.  Keep these activities short and sweet, of course. For example, one day, you may have students identify the missing letters out of three words. Another day, you may have the students mix and fix them. During word work, students may sort words that end with the b & d sound. Another day, they may build some CVC words. Since these activities are only focused on a small bit, they can be completed within a few minutes each. The goal is to support the reading, not take over the reading lesson.

Example of technology being used during guided reading

5. Keep it engaging- When completing sight word and work work activities, keep it hands-on and visual to keep your students engaged. Technology is also another engaging method to use. If you actually have enough tablets or iPads, I actually have a resource that includes digital formats. (It also includes everything printable too, so a teacher can be hybrid with it.)

Fun Guided Reading Strategy Posters

Click here to learn more about the guided reading bundle

6. Teach Reading Strategies with Memorable Characters- Children love characters. We know that a popular world renown cartoonist has proven that! You may have used the popular Lips the Fish and Eagle Eye reading strategies before. However, there are other reading strategies for decoding texts that students need to learn that lacked a fun character to help make it more memorable. I got to work and created some more characters to help teach those strategies. One character, my son helped me come up with the name, is Left-to-Right Gecko. This is simply teaching children the print concept of reading left-to-right.

7. Have fun! Young students love spending time with their teacher. (Remember my story at the beginning?) Just be authentic. Enjoy that time with your students. Laugh, be goofy, and make it a fun place to be. You will make a big impact just by being engaged with them as they read.

I hope these teaching strategies help you to soar with your guided reading instruction. Make sure to sign-up for email on the right, so you can receive more posts like this from me. Also, I have a guided reading sample of level B freebie for you when you sign-up for email!

Guided Reading Level B Sampler

Click here to get it

Thanks so much for stopping by the Candy Class!

Jolene  🙂

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