by C. Elkins, OK Math and Reading Lady
Well, I have finally come to an end of this series on the topic of Guided Reading and Literacy Stations. This last part will be short (I promise) and will hopefully tie it all together . . . along with some of my ideas on what should go on at your teacher station. Here’s the summary:
- Build and sustain your classroom community.
- Assess students to determine instructional reading level (90-95% text accuracy).
- Practice procedures for the activities which students will be doing.
- Decide how to group students.
- Decide which type of scheduling system you will use (rotation, flexible).
- Organize materials: book sets, activity materials, teacher materials
Another important aspect of making your guided reading program work is collaboration and professional development. Talking and working with others is a way to share ideas and problem solve. Yes, you can find plenty of activities via TPT and Pinterest (and via me), but just because you find it on the Internet, doesn’t mean it’s the most effective materials / methods you should use. The same goes for instructional videos. If you are reading this , it means you ARE seeking out professional opinions and resources – THANK YOU! I base my posts on researched methods and advice from the leaders in the field, plus some practical application and personal experience thrown in the mix. Please see my resources section (home page in black bar at the top) for those I consider to be the most helpful.
Do you have the following materials handy?
- Basket for each group to keep books and materials organized
- Letter tiles / magnetic letters
- Small whiteboards and markers
- Teacher aides such vowel patterns chart, alphabet chart, sound box template, and sorting mats
- Pencils and erasers
- Writing journals
- Blank cards for adding sight words or vocabulary cards to each group’s basket
- Writing surface for teacher (table-top easel, chart paper, white board)
- Strategies chart for teacher and student reference
Suggested 15-20 Minute Schedule for Each Group:
Day 1: Introduce the book and reading strategy. Then provide children opportunity to silent read (while teacher taps in and listens to each child softly read 1-2 pages).
Day 2: Discuss the story. Praise strategy use. Provide another opportunity to read the story – via discussion or partner reading.
Note: If the books are at the emergent level (A – C), you may be able to combine Day 1 and Day 2 together in a 15-20 minute session. If the book is a higher level (late 2nd and up), you may want to read and discuss a few pages at a time over a 2 day period. Example: Intro part 1, highlight tricky vocabulary or language structures, give a purpose or strategy, silent read until specified page, listen in to individual students, then discuss that section. Repeat with other sections. This works well with non-fiction books divided by sub-headings too.
Day 3: Word work — phonics and/or vocabulary practice related to the book or to needed skills
Day 4: Writing related to the story. This can be guided (K-2) or independent types (3rd – 5th). It can very easily complement your whole class comprehension skill such as main idea, summarize, sequence, cause/effect, character analysis, story elements, etc. Plus the teacher can monitor and informally assess all sorts of writing (mechanics, spacing, spelling, ideas, punctuation, letter formation).
Day 5: Familiar or independent reading practice. Reread previous books or independent level books to build confidence and fluency.
Watch for future posts which expand on the above teacher station lessons (book introduction, strategy lessons and prompting, silent and oral reading, word work, and writing in the guided reading session).