Jen talks a lot about the tools she uses during guided reading. Since all of my experience is in Title One schools and working with struggling readers, I wanted to share a few tips!!
Each and EVERY Child learns differently. So we have to teach each child the way they learn. The best way I have found to do this is ability grouping. Our students are grouped by instructional reading levels. Also, we have five groups and follow a Daily 5 routine. Meanwhile, we are very fortunate to have two teachers and one aide in our room during this time. I know this is not the case for most of you! Actually, this is my first time EVER having this much support! Here is our schedule:
Furthermore, the general education teacher does the guided reading program. She individually picks each book for each group each week. We do not follow a basal program. Each book is picked by level and skills that we are teaching. Next, we use informal running records to discover each students instructional reading level. Then, we plan out our before, during and after reading plans and questions.
The SPED Teacher (Me) does a hands on and engaging activity practicing the skill that we are working on each week. This is working out SO Well. We are able to supplement each other so well.
Likewise, we have carefully prepared our students and taught them our routine. We practiced each station each and every day. For our Work Work, our students use their “Word Study” words. We use a specifically designed plan for word study, it’s district wide. It is similar to some spelling routines. Basically, we have choice board set up in the classroom. This choice board contains nine different choices the students can use to work with their words. We use choices like rainbow writing, create a comic strip. These guided reading tips will help teachers planning so much easier.
Use Hands on Manipulatives to Teach Reading
Students need to be engagedin the reading process. Make it fun for them! Add scrabble tiles to your work work center! Let them “build” their words! Add sight words to your board games and on Fridays (Or any day in my classroom) let them play them! My students love playing sight word Jenga! Learning and having fun at the SAME Time! That is a WIN! That should be your goal! Teach with CENTERS, let students have a choice about what to do. Students can then take charge of their learning!!
The picture above shows our students working with digraphs.
I use both theme and skill based centers in my classroom. These two pictures show centers that are themed based with skills embedded.
Discover Their Interests!
Most students do not want to read about the price of tea in China..I know I do not! Reluctant readers will do so much better with topics that interest them! Use Reading A-Z to find books that are topics that your students will like.
I have found that struggling readers often enjoy reading nonfiction books and mystery books. The ”
Go Back To the Basics & Differentiate your Instruction
Sometimes you just need to go back to the basics. Discover where your students are, and go back to the skill that will help them the most. Even if that means you are a 4th grade teacher, with a student on a 1st grade reading level! Typically, we instruct our students one their highest instructional reading level. However, if you have a student who is really struggling, do not be afraid to drop their level down. This will help the student develop more confidence in their ability! If a student has confidence issues, be sure to build them up using positive reinforcement ANY chance you get!!!
If all else fails, begin to implement an intervention program
Professional Development Resources
I hope that teachers are not frustrated with guided reading. Let’s chat about guided reading tips for teachers over on Facebook. This might help us all.