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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Guided Reading in My Classroom

Guided Reading has always been one of my FAVORITE parts of my school day as a classroom teacher.  It only made sense that I made it my job.  I blogged a little yesterday on how I collect data. Today, I'm going to talk about how I do Guided Reading with my Title One Kiddos--mainly my 2nd graders.

First, my school uses Wilson's FUNdations--or at least we're supposed to use it. It seems to be a program that people really LOVE or Really HATE.  Me?  I'm not much for a script.  I believe there are some great strategies within Wilson's, but I don't think there is just ONE program that completely gets your below level students caught up.  After all, students learn differently and we need to tie in all those learning styles.

With my 2nd graders, I do try to review and reteach the Wilson's chunks as I know their teachers use it in the classroom.  I feel it moves way too fast so we review the sound cards and then spend a week on a couple chunks or vowel pairs.

Here's a Run Down of what I do.

1) I teach in a small classroom...very small.  However it has quite a bit of storage. To help me organize my activities for the week/story, I place it all in a basket and keep on my shelves. I have my baskets all labeled with the grade levels and subjects I teach. I have found this has been a great help when organizing for subs too.  I can just quickly place our game/activity in the basket, have the sub pull the basket and I come back to no clutter on my desk! :)
2) I create my own lessons.  I don't have a set curriculum.  I have the district pacing chart of where I HOPE to have my students, but I move at their pace.  I base my lessons on where I see the deficits and we build from there.  My group is the same reading level, so that helps with planning.   I choose a specific phonics skill where I notice they are struggling and that becomes my focus of the week.

3) I give them a Spelling PreTest based on the phonics of the week.  We chart our spelling words on a graph and glue it in our folder.
 I know these graphs don't align with the photo, but it is the pictures I had on hand. 

3) I teach a phonics dance chunk--you all know how much I love the phonics dance.  I also feel that it sticks!  However, some of our skills are things I had to make up my own words and actions.  Here's what we are doing for R Blends:
You can click R Blends Actions-First Grade and Fabulous if you want a copy for your room.
4) We work in our notebooks for the phonics skill of the week. We use sorts, interactive pages, activities that keep them engaged.    Here are some things we've worked on.

A blends sort--how we used it.  We practiced reading the words, then we named the blend and highlighted it.  Then the students glued it into their notebook.  The example below is another example of an activity we do.  It was from a separate week. 

 Here the students had to match up the pictures with the beginning sounds.  They glued it to the front.  Then they had to spell the word underneath.  I used cut and paste letters to represent the chunks and sounds we've worked on in class.  For example, sh is one sound on the letter cards.  Here's a copy for you if you'd like to try it. Just click the image below to grab both pages.
Trigraphs-Freebie-First Grade and Fabulous

5) We do making words lessons.  We practice writing and spelling on the dry erase boards.  We play a variety of games.  One activity that is quick and simple to do is print out a set of picture cards  you are working on.  Have students draw a card from the pile, and spell the word on the board.  You can even play this as a quick check game.  You hold up the picture card, have students write the word, then say "1, 2, 3, SHOW ME"  Students will turn their boards around to you and you can quickly assess how they are doing with their spelling.

6) We also have to apply these phonics lessons though to our reading, right? I just LOVE Reading A-Z.  I find a story that has our phonics lesson in it.  (Note, some weeks are not always phonetic based, this is just a blog post on my phonetics approach).  After selecting a story, and making copies for my students (I love that they can take a book home for extra practice, or if I give homework.) I This also becomes a focus for the week.

7) Before we read our story, we do a guided picture walk.  I try to feed my students unknown words as we do our walk.  I tie in the vocabulary, and build from their background knowledge. This is also a way to work on Tier II and Tier III words, if there are any within the story.  We go through our story and highlight words with the pattern we are focusing.  I've noticed that this helps them when reading.  They remember that chunk, blend, digraph, etc when they see that it is highlighted. Next we play Rivet.  Rivet is a game that helps me reinforce skimming and scanning and also phonics.  If you want to see about Rivet in more detail, and how I taught reading as a Classroom Teacher, click HERE.

8) We read our story.  We talk about our story. I ask questions for comprehension, and then I want to work with the skill, and/or write about it.  As I said, I love Reading A-Z for the stories, but sometimes I need more "meat" to my lesson.   Here are a few activities we did for the story Fran Goes to the Prom.

 After highlighting the words in our book, this became an independent activity (or homework).
Students wrote down words from the story that had the same beginning sound as the picture shown.

This was to practice sentence writing.  They are still struggling with composing a sentence with a capital, period and proper spacing.  Sometimes they have capitals, periods and spacing, but it isn't a sentence.  I know we've all been there.    This helped me monitor comprehension of the story (As they were to write about something that happened).  The pictures at the bottom were to help generate ideas.  They did a great job with this writing activity.
If you liked the freebies to supplement Reading A to Z, click HERE!

I hope this helps give you some ideas of what I'm doing.  This is just a glimpse into our week.
We do a variety of games.  We work with sight words.  
We read, reread and reread some more to help with our fluency.  
I'm proud of how far they've grown so far this year.  :)

How do you teach small group reading?


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