At the start of the school year it is important that you find out where your new students are by performing an assessment. What also helps is being able to ascertain where each child is along the road to independent reading. My first grade students have already been assessed in letter/sound identification and sight word knowledge. Based on these results I now have to group them according to their instructional level.
In guided reading students are put into groups of 3-5 students for a 15 minute session (flexible for older students). The books chosen for each group would vary according to their needs. For example, books may range from predictable texts for the lower level to decodable texts, books containing a large amount of sight words, leveled books in a series or trade books for the more independent readers. The teacher selects an instructional focus then allows the groups to read together while she walks around, providing guidance to students. For instance, when stuck on a word she can question students to help them arrive at an appropriate decoding strategy. The teacher may also provide guidance in interpreting meaning of the text or predicting outcomes.
A running record is an observational tool that is used to record the reading behaviors of individual students. It captures what he does while reading, how he self-corrects and what strategies he uses to decode new words.These patterns can be used to determine the reading levels of students.
Click HERE for a free running record
Click HERE for the guide Codes for a running record
While you are busy observing students and providing guidance to groups it is necessary to monitor the activities of all groups. The stronger students may finish early so may have to ensure that more tasks are at hand for them.
Guided reading is a very effect way of allowing students to be in charge of their own learning. It is a great instructional strategy that can produce students who are more confident about their reading ability. It can also motivate all students by making reading a social activity.
Here is a FREE Strategies for Determining Unknown Words Poster by Miss Snowden
You may also be interested in my Spring Word Wall Cards. Click the picture below.