Sunday, June 24, 2012

Guiding Readers~Chapter 2

Chapter 2~ The Guiding Reading Lesson Sequence

What does your guiding reading time look like?

Are you huddled around a table reading the same book?  Are you sitting on the carpet with each student reading a different book?  Are the students discussing elements of the book with a partner?

Guided Reading according to the author:

"A guiding reading sequence is a set of lessons on specific learning goals or areas of focus; it is based on the needs of the students, using a carefully chosen instructional level text and learning experiences that stem from and build on connected reading."

What does this mean?
A chance to meet the needs of all your students!  Teachers are expected to perform the impossible~ teach Johnny who is reading c-a-t AND Jimmy who is reading Harry Potter.  This cannot happen during your shared reading time.  Guiding reading time is a time to instruct your students on what they specifically need, NOT what the entire class needs.  Yet it is not a time to teach new skills according to the author.  This is something that I do question.  IF Jimmy knows above and beyond the rest of the group, can he be challenged with new material during guided reading?  What do you think?  

The guided reading structure:
Day 1- Text Introduction and First Reading~ focus on accuracy and understanding
Day 2- Rereading of text~ focus on comprehension and word study
Day 3-(or more) Rereading of text~ focus on extension of thinking and include a writing experience

3 Days on ONE text!
How many of you out there spend hours trying to come up with meaningful text to read only to finish it in one day and are on the next?  OR how many of you out there spend WEEKS on the same book?  Ok, I'm guilty of the last one.  The author says NOT to use chapter books for guided reading.  WOW, this was an eye opener for me.   The author suggests using a chapter or two as a way to examine text features (or whatever you are studying) and then they can read the rest independently.  She says that not all the chapters in the book are at the same level.  Good point.

Planning your lessons:
1.Establish your learning goals- what do you want your students to learn as a result of this lesson?

2. Find the right text- INSTRUCTIONAL level 95% support 5% challenge

3. Prepare the text introduction-3 P's: Preview, Purpose, Prior Knowledge

4. Plan the "Must-Do" task- independent practice

During the lesson- key points:
Remember the teacher is talking LESS, the kids are talking MORE!  I love the quote (can't remember where I heard it) "the person doing the talking is the person doing the learning," so true! This applies to your guided reading lesson!  The students should be reading independently and the teacher is listening to each student separately.  
Round Robin is a no, no! Gone are the days of each student reading a line while others are listening.  Yes, I am guilty of this too!  Think about how much reading time a student is actually doing during this type of reading!  The teacher should listen to each student for a few moments and move on to the next and everyone is reading.  This way the teacher can listen to each student 2-3 times per session.  
Wait, they are all reading at the same time??  Yes, they are!  You have to teach the children to whisper read and have the child you are listening to read a little bit louder.  The author suggests staggering the students to avoid them all reading the same page at the same time.  She also says to use "reading phones" (see pic below- I LOVE these).  
What talking is the teacher doing?  I'm glad you asked! :)  The teacher is previewing the text with the students.  The teacher is also prompting and questioning after the story is done.  
Follow your question with another question... the author says that you should ask a mix of literal and inferential questions.  Yet no matter what type of question, WAIT TIME is super important.  This will allow for a deeper answer.  I love her point to ask a follow-up question like "Tell me more" or "Why do you think so?"
I'm DONE reading!  I'm sure you've heard that before!!  Teach the students to start from the beginning of the story again after they finish reading.

Assessment is Key
During your guided reading time you should take anecdotal notes of each student.  Use this assessment to change your groups about once a month. The author says that she uses a file folder with library pockets and a 3x5 card that can be removed and write notes on.  Hmm... good idea!

Phew! You can do it! :)
Your guided reading time is what you make of it.  I hope that after reading this you realize that the things you are doing are GREAT- nice job!  I hope also it is a reminder that this is a time to listen more and talk less to give your students READING SUCCESS! 

My students using our "whisper phones"

Have you made it this far?  If you have... THANKS!!!  I have a freebie for you-- Click HERE to get some great reading organizers to use during your guided reading time!

Are you STILL here?  Wahoo if you are!!  Please stop back this week as I have EXCITING reading posts planned... TEACHER TIPS TUESDAY will have my first guest poster Jessica @ Second Grade Nest will be sharing tips for Kindergarten teachers (and others can benefit too!).  I will also be doing several giveaways so PLEASE stop back!!

Thanks for reading! :)


  1. Great job Tori! This is a fantastic post that will be super helpful to your readers. Thanks again for signing up to co-host!
    Thinking of Teaching

  2. Yowza!! Great post about Ch. 2. I loved reading what you got out of the chapter, and seeing how you synthesized the information and turned it into what you use.

    Peacocks and Penguins - 4th Grade

  3. A lot of good points about guided reading. I am a new follower, and I will be checking back. Thanks for some insight and reminders.

    First Grade @ Klinger Cafe

    1. Yay!!! You made it all worth it! :) Thanks so much for reading and becomming a follower!!

  4. So great to see that we both put value in the same ideas from this Chapter. I'm loving your files that you have created- and the graphic organizers are awesome. I'm almost feeling like that can be part a must-do. If they do part of it with you in guided, they could go off and complete it with partner. Glad to have "found" you.