Saturday, 30 May 2015

How to Make the Most of Your Guided Reading Lessons

So a little while back I shared my guided reading toolbox with you. If you missed that post, click {here} or the picture below. It talks about some of the goodies I keep on hand to use during my guided reading lessons!


Then a few weeks ago I was guest blogging over at the Hameray Publishing blog, where I shared a few more ideas about how I use some of my favourite tools. I also shared a freebie guided reading notebook cover that you can download. Go check it out {here} or by clicking the picture below.


Today I am going to share with you how I set up my guided reading lessons. Here's a peek at my guided reading plan book. I keep my reading and math group plans in the same planner. I just keep a sticky note on the current weekly pages.


I split my kiddos into five groups based on reading level, but these groups are fluid and change throughout the year. My groups are colour-coded and each group has an animal--the blue dogs, green frogs, yellow ducks, pink cats, and purple fish. In my guided reading planner, I have a laminated page for my groups. I can write the names in dry erase marker, but I prefer to use little post-it flags. I can move them around easily as the groups change. Plus the colours match. Love it!


I keep each group's books and lesson materials in a matching tub. Of course the tubs are buried in a box somewhere, but I use these tubs from Really Good Stuff with these cute labels.


I only have about 40 minutes a day for my guided reading time, so I see two groups a day for 20 minutes each. I usually try to see my lowest group three times a week, my middle groups twice a week, and my highest group once a week.


I have to make the most of that 20 minutes, so I break my lesson into 4 mini parts:

{1.} Reread/Fluency - 2 minutes
{2.} New Read - 8 minutes
{3.} Comprehension - 3 minutes
{4.} Word Work/Writing - 7 minutes

Here's a close up of how I plan my lessons. It doesn't take a whole lot of planning. Just a few minutes to jot down the name of the group, the title and level of the new book we will be reading, some tricky words that I want to address, check off the reading strategy we will focus on, a comprehension activity, and a word work or writing activity.


Here is a break down of the four parts of the lesson:


The group that is working with me grabs their book box, sits at the horseshoe table, and picks a previous guided reading book from their book box to start reading while they wait for me. This gives me a chance to make sure that everyone else is at their correct station and there are no problems before I settle in for (hopefully) 20 minutes of uninterrupted guided reading time! In their book boxes, students keep about 2-4 guided reading books from our previous lessons and four books of their choosing from the class library. 


Once we're all ready to go, I introduce a new book to group. We usually do a quick book walk, look at some tricky words we might come across, and make some predictions. We might also review the reading strategy we are focusing on before we read the book.

Then I give each student in the group a copy of the book and have them whisper read the book to themselves. Sometimes they just read normally and sometimes I let them use the whisper phones (made out of PVC pipe and duct tape). And if anyone is struggling with one-to-one matching, we might use some of my favourite tools such as glow-in-the-dark fingers, mini laser pointers, googly eye rings, or highlighter strips. 

I take turns listening to a few or all the students reading, making notes about who used what strategies and who struggled with what skills. If someone finishes their book before the others, I make them go back and reread! Fluency, fleuncy, fluency!


After everyone has finished the book once, we do a quick and simple comprehension activity. It might just be orally answering questions from a spinner, beach ball, or task card. We might do a story map together, practice sequencing the events of the story, or make connections to the story. 

Various spinners and cards from TpT sellers


Then the last thing to do is a word work or writing activity in our guided reading notebooks. It usually has to do with the book we just read, a phonics skill we are working on, or some sight word practice!

**Edited** You can now download ALL of my guided reading and math pages (planner cover, group organization page, group labels, group schedule, and weekly lesson plans) by clicking here or the picture below:


That's it for now! Enjoy your weekend!

**Edit** Freebies are now available on TpT if you are having trouble downloading them from Google Drive:
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Guided-Reading-Freebies-2623187
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Guided-Math-Freebies-2623189

61 comments:

  1. Thank you so much for this post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for sharing! I have done guided reading for 2 years and always looking for a better way to improve my lesson planning organizing. This should be a great help!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Do you bind your planner together yourself? I LOVE it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to just put everything in a binder, but I like the way the binding looks. I have a GBC ProClick Binding Machine at home and I love it! :)

      Delete
  4. Do you by chance have your guided reading groups page and schedule for download? I love the pictures of the animal groups and how colorful they are.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Email me and I can send it to you: firstgradegarden@gmail.com

      Delete
    2. Me too pretty please?Ill email if you say its ok

      Delete
    3. Me too please....brooke.byrd07@gmail.com

      Delete
    4. Me too? :) :)
      rigbys2014@gmail.com

      Delete
    5. I would like too!
      kristen.middleton83@yahoo.com

      Delete
    6. Me too, please! :-)

      amandafrauman@yahoo.com

      Thank you!!!!

      Delete
    7. I would also love the schedule please! Thank you so much for this post!! 1.miss.smartiepants@gmail.com

      Delete
    8. I would love the schedule as well! jesscrush@gmail.com Thank you!

      Delete
    9. Could I have it too please? bturner@hisd.com Also, where did you find the cute animals? I am needing to make one more group in my class and I would like my clip art to match haha sorry I'm rather OCD

      Delete
    10. Could I also have it? This is great thank you!
      caseykessler1@gmail.com

      Delete
    11. Hello, could I also receive a copy please. I am a first year teacher and would love to try out your material!
      afay@connect.carleton.ca

      Delete
    12. I am a first year teacher and would love this as well!
      abby.worwood@gmail.com

      Delete
    13. I would love one as well! adubusky@gmail.com

      Delete
  5. Wow! This is one of the best posts about guided reading I have read so far... and I've read a LOT. I have just finished my 3rd year of teaching and still feel like guided reading is my weak point... thank you for this post! I would love to read about some examples of activities you would do for word work :) Also I am wondering what you would do with a group that is below a reading level 1 (or A)? Thanks!
    Andrea
    Maternelle avec Mme Andrea

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. When we go back to school, I'll take some pictures of our word work activities and post some ideas! With my below level A readers I still follow the same format, but our "new" read might be the same level A book for the entire week. We do more choral reading together and focus a lot on tracking the print. And for the word work part, we do a lot of alphabet sound/name practice! At the end of the week we might do a writing activity that matches the simple sentence in the book. (ex. If the entire book was I see a cat. I see a dog. etc. I might get the students to write (with support) a new "I see a ___." sentence.) Hope that helps!

      Delete
    2. Very much so! Thank you :)

      Delete
  6. Thank you!! I really love this! I'm unable to get the word document to open correctly though. Would if be too much hassle to send me a pdf version? Thank YOU!
    brittneyhoff@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great information! Love your organization tips! Thank you!
    Spellbound in Second

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love how you organize your guided reading groups! Thanks so much for sharing!
    Crystal Wyatt
    http://wyattswiseowlteachercreations.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  9. Do you have your guided reading groups page and schedule for download by chance? Thanks for a great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, just click the picture at the end of the post that says "Click here to download the freebies!" :)

      Delete
  10. Do you have your lesson plans available as a PDF file so that we may print exactly how it looks in your notebook? Thanks so much for the ideas and GREAT organization!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ok everyone, the group schedule is now available. Just click the picture at the bottom of the post to get access to all my guided reading and math goodies!!

    Amanda

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great blog! Thanks for the downloads!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi, where did you find the guided reading notebook?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The teacher book is available at the end of this post. Just click the picture that says "Click here to download the freebies!" The student notebook is just a cover that I bind with white paper. We do writing and word work activities in it. You can download the cover for free from here:
      http://blog.hameraypublishing.com/blog/fun-ideas-for-guided-reading

      Delete
  14. Great blog and I love the downloads you shared! Can you tell me what the inside of your guided reading notebook looks like? Does each child have their own?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is just blank white paper inside. Yes, each child has their own. I use them during our small group time. We do writing activities, work work, practice sight words, etc. You ca download the cover and see a few ideas on this blog:
      http://blog.hameraypublishing.com/blog/fun-ideas-for-guided-reading

      Delete
  15. Is there any chance that you have your guided reading planning pages with 3 groups on them? I love this post, it has given me a lot of good ideas!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, but there is an editable Word version of both templates in the folder (click the picture at the end of the blog post), so you can try playing around with the template to add an extra group. Just insert rows into the table.

      Delete
  16. LOVE!! Can you explain your reading strategies a little more? I understand some of them but a few I'm not sure about. thanks so much!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I love this set up...it is excellent...is there anyway to edit it? My school follows red, yellow, green, and blue. As a school we have to use that...red for below yellow for approaching green for one and blue for advanced. I don't want to confuse the kids by using pink. I have adobe...but i'm not great at it yet...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Email me and I can try to help you out: firstgradegarden@gmail.com

      Delete
  18. Just wanted to follow-up with this post. I downloaded this summer and have used this in my classroom this year. It has been amazing!! Now if I could just be as organized as you, but one step at a time. Do you have a favorite word work activities that your kids do?

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is just too awesome! Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is just too awesome! Thank you :)

    ReplyDelete
  21. Great post! Thank you for sharing your hard work! Happy New Year! :)

    ReplyDelete
  22. Thank you for sharing! I would love to see what is inside the kids wordwork/ writing book!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Do you have a blog post about what your other groups do during this time? I need ideas. First year in 1st grade and I don't have any help. My students range from 10 wcpm to 130 wcpm and it's a high needs group. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow! So much useful information! You are really generous to share all of your hard work. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Amanda, what a fantastic resource! Thank you very much for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thank you so much for this post! I love your Guided Reading planner! Are you willing to share your page that you laminate and the labels? I would love those as well!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, they are available at the bottom of this post. Just click the link. It will take you to a folder with a file called "guided reading stuff".

      Amanda

      Delete
  27. This is so amazing. I am a first year teacher this year and your post has given me so much guidance. Thank you for sharing this!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I was wondering if you had unburied your colored baskets yet. I am curious how you adhered the labels to the basket. ReallyGoodStuff sent these white plastic label holders that clip on the baskets but your labels don't fit right. Do you use something different? Thank you so much for this amazing resource. I'm excited to see it in action!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I just laminated the cards and used my hot glue gun to adhere the labels to the baskets. I stuck them right over top of the handle. They worked fine and can come off easily if I want to use the baskets for something else! :)

      Delete
    2. Thank you!! I glued them today and they look fantastic! :-)))

      Delete
  29. Hi! I love this post! I was wondering if you could tell me who makes the colored animal clip art?? Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  30. What do you put inside of the kids guided reading/word work notebooks? Do you just put blank pages and then have them do the word work activities on them? I love this idea and want to get it set up for my groups this year!

    ReplyDelete
  31. What do the inside of the word work/guided reading student books look like? Did you just put in blank pages and then complete the word work activities on them? I love this idea and want to set up these books for my groups this year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I just put blank white paper inside them. I bought these guided reading packs from Karen Jones and use her activities in my notebooks! They are pretty awesome packs and have activities for every guided reading level:

      Levels A-E
      Levels F-J

      Amanda

      Delete