Those that have never taught are prone to think teaching a child to read is simple, yet it really takes skill and meticulous planning! I LOVE teaching guided reading and have had the privilege of attending several PD courses on the subject! Of all the different professional development courses I have completed, the one based off Jan Richardson’s The Next Step in Guided Reading was surely my favorite. She is a guided reading guru and has such simple, practical advice that makes all the difference and has revolutionized my instruction!
After attending a training, I began implementing a 3 day guided reading model in which kids read for two days and write on the third. Here is a snap shot of my guided reading and a few helpful video links and resources from Jan Richardson herself!
Day 1: Introduce the guided reading book, have students take a picture walk, ask probing questions and pre-teach tier 3 vocabulary words. All of this seems simple, but to be done effectively, takes time and planning! Of course, it becomes more second nature over time, but it does take time!
I found this video to be very enlightening, seeing it modeled by Jan Richardson is very helpful!
After the book is introduced the students read quietly and I listen to each child read individually. There is a consistent routine established that if they finish the book early, they read it again! No down time here! Our limited time is too precious!
Day 2: Students re-read the book and answer specific comprehension questions that I target for them. For example, if we were reading the book Tony Baloney by Pam Munoz Ryan & Erwin Fotheringham, we might be focusing on making inferences and I would have assigned specific pages where they make an inference and document it with a sticky note! At the end of the session, students will share an inference that they made that day with a partner or the group, time dependent!
Day 3: Guided Writing! This is AMAZING because the ELA block just goes too quickly and my guided writing groups often take a hit! During the third day, I have a pre-determined writing prompt that pertains to the skill we have been working on within the book we've been reading.
For example, a prompt may look like this: “On page 4 & 5 it says, ‘Tony Baloney does not love trouble…but trouble loves him.’ What do you think this means? Use text based evidence to support your thinking.”
Students will then write their response, edit their response using a checklist and then draw a picture with details if they have time at the end. We have done a mini-lesson at the beginning of the year to establish that the purpose of drawing a detailed picture is to help generate more ideas for their writing. This allows me to rotate around the table giving quick conferences, meeting each child’s individual writing needs!
Here is another link to a video by Jan Richardson teaching guided writing after her students finished their guided reading book! I hope it can help bring the concept to life for you!
Again, this is my own SPIN on guided reading/guided writing but it is largely based off Jan Richardson’s work! She really is a pro!
Depending on what type of funding you have in your district, the accessibility of multiple copies of leveled books may be difficult! I have created some leveled reading passages with comprehension passages aligned to the common core, here is a freebie if you are interested! It works well with the two days of reading, one day of writing model!
Allison is born and raised in Western, New York. She feels fortunate to teach in one of the top public schools in the country! She's a proud wife and Momma of a beautiful baby girl who was born in Spring 2014. She loves Jesus, teaching and family time!