Please help - question about guided reading

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Kaley12, Dec 28, 2015.

  1. Kaley12

    Kaley12 Companion

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    Dec 28, 2015

    Hey everyone,
    I'm going to begin a new job next term, teaching grade 3. I've been working as a resource teacher, so it will be a bit of an adjustment going to my own classroom. I'm mapping out my language program, and was wondering how you incorporate guided reading into your day? Is it something that is done daily where the kids go into their groups for a certain amount of time? Or is it something you do for a block of time each week? I'm just not sure how much time I should be devoting specifically to guided reading groups during our literacy block.

    Thank you :)
     
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  3. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Dec 28, 2015

    Probably the most important part of a reading program is getting your students to read a lot. If you are doing activities during your reading time, like worksheets, where students are not reading, then it's probably not going to help them advance much. For this reason, you will want to have daily guided reading, sustained silent reading, story time and an at-home reading program. I'm in fifth grade now, but when I taught 3rd, we did not do any grouping by ability. Nearly all our reading was whole class followed by partner reading or some variant of that. I tried to make sure my students read at least 3,000 words a day.
     
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  4. MissScrimmage

    MissScrimmage Aficionado

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    Dec 28, 2015

    Have you read "The Daily 5"? It's an easy read and very clearly maps out how to launch a structure that allows you to maximize your time to meet with as many readers as possible.

    Tyler B hit on the key points - having students read a lot (no round robin! have everyone read to themselves while you listen in to one at a time), and then make it part of a balanced literacy block.

    Ability and skill grouping is important, so you can intentionally teach to the skills your readers are lacking. You are going to have a wide range of abilities and your struggling readers need you the most, so make sure you are meeting with them frequently.
     
  5. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    Dec 28, 2015

    I don't like guided reading with my population (g/t students... all between one and six years above grade level as readers), but I'm required to do it whether I like it or not. My kids are in five groups, and I meet with each group twice a week for approximately twenty minutes.
     
  6. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Dec 28, 2015

    Check to see if your school or district has guidelines on this. Many schools require a certain amount of minutes per day allocated for guided reading and/or grouping by certain methods.
     
  7. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Hi Tyler B., I've seen you (or maybe another forum member) post this word count goal before. How do you informally monitor this? Do you have a general idea of the word counts of things kids are reading, or do you measure in minutes read, or... ?
     
  8. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Here's how I do the word count:
    Let's say our class book is Henry and Beezus by Cleary. There's about 120 words per page. I read one chapter aloud while they follow in their books. This is 1,200 words. Then I ask them to read the chapter silently to prepare for partner reading. I might ask them to plan out how they will express the action and voices as they read. This is another 1,200. Advanced readers read something else during this time. Then we have about 10 minutes of partner reading where I go around and listen to each pair read and take observations. This is about 600 words.

    During Sustained Silent reading, I roam around to make sure everyone is reading and make notes on what they are choosing. I don't allow non-fiction for low readers because they just flip the pages. My lowest readers are reading aloud with a partner (this rotates), parent volunteer or me. This is another 1,500 words.

    Malcome Gladwell says that we need 10,000 hours of doing something before we are extraordinary. My focus is on getting my kids reading a lot.
     
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  9. yellowdaisies

    yellowdaisies Fanatic

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    Dec 28, 2015

    When I was teaching 1st, I found the book The Next Step in Guided Reading by Jan Richardson to be extremely helpful!

    And I agree with the Daily 5 suggestion - this gives you what the other kids are doing while you're pulling groups.
     
  10. gr3teacher

    gr3teacher Phenom

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    You and me don't see eye to eye on whole class reading or grouping, but I definitely wish I had the freedom to run my language arts block closer to how you run it than how I am asked to run it.
     
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  11. YoungTeacherGuy

    YoungTeacherGuy Phenom

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    I recently shared and discussed this article about flexible grouping with my teachers.

    For most of my staff--it reaffirmed what they're already doing.
     
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  12. otterpop

    otterpop Phenom

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    Thank you! It seems like you have a good format for your reading time!
     
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  13. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    I think our administrators should trust us to run our classes effectively. I'm sure you would run an outstanding literacy block.
     
  14. Kaley12

    Kaley12 Companion

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    Dec 31, 2015

    I really like how you structured your reading block! I agree that reading needs to be a very high priority and have quite a large block of time devoted to it. Out of curiosity, about how much time per day would you say is devoted to reading (i.e. the outline you just described), and how much time to do you spend on writing activities, such as grammar or independent writing tasks?
     
  15. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    In third grade, we would spend about 60-90 minutes a day in language arts. Students never sat for more than 20 minutes at a time, and other lessons would fall between the various parts of the literacy lesson. This could work like this:
    10 minutes. Discussion of what we learned yesterday and what happened with the story. If they needed background information, special vocabulary, this is when most of it happens. We often would make predictions about what might happen. I do this on the carpet with them gathered around me.
    20 minutes. I read aloud and they follow in their copy of the book. We pause to discuss our predictions, how the author made us giggle, (if we were studying humor) and so forth. They would be in their seats.
    20 minutes. I would ask them to sit elsewhere in the class (to get them to move around) and read the chapter silently preparing to show their reading partner how they would do the various voices of the characters (or some other excuse for them to read it again.) High readers can read something else during this time. Low kids read with a partner, a parent volunteer or me.
    10 minutes. I assign partners (never to put two low kids together) and they do partner reading by moving their chairs close together (more movement).

    15 minutes. Later in the day I do Story Time. This is a book that's just above their reading level but spot on for their interest level. We discuss vocabulary and background concepts as they come up. This discussion is brief.

    20 minutes. Sustained Silent Reading. I monitor this like a hawk. THEY MUST READ.
     
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  16. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    So do you not teach writing, grammar, and spelling, or is that at a different time of the day?
     
  17. Kaley12

    Kaley12 Companion

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    Thank you so much for the response Tyler B! I like the way you have everything laid out and keep things moving so they kids aren't on one task for too long. For clarification, is this your reading block for the day, or your entire literacy block? I'm just wondering how you incorporate writing into your day? Do you do formal literacy lessons, such as on grammar or punctuation? Or do you integrate writing it into other subjects and use literacy for only reading?
     
  18. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    Guided practice is the most important but often neglected part of a lesson in any subject. In reading, my concern with round robin grouping is the lack of time actually spent in guided reading per student. Cooperative groups or partner reading add more time, and all the students are more involved in the process. Sustained silent reading, students reading at home, and students being read to are also important--no, they're vital (and often neglected). When writing coincides with reading material, the reading and writing lessons enhance each other. What I find least helpful (but sometimes enforced upon teachers) are 3 or 4 ability groups meeting 30 minutes at a time, each student reading a page or less, while the rest of the group does workbook pages, arithmetic practice, and various photocopied work (which they rush through to get to a spare time activity).
     
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  19. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    I mix between whole class reading and discussion and pulling one to many kids back to read and discuss with me (could be for lots of reasons: specific skill to simply assessing the progression of kids more or less on the same general level).

    I base my stuff around Daily 5.

    I also have a read aloud and try to avoid skipping it. I heard once to fit in reading to the kid's above anything else and try to abide by that. Some of my 2nd graders have such poor concept of story, and reading aloud helps there along with countless other skills.
     
  20. Obadiah

    Obadiah Groupie

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    I remembered a couple of extra practice activities I created for 3rd grade cooperative/partner reading. First was a simple trivia game. It was non-competitive, so it could easily be started and stopped at any time. I created a stack of cards with a multiple choice trivia question on front and the answer on the back. The students would take turns reading the question and they'd each try to guess the answer. These were questions I found that I thought young students might enjoy, not questions from the classroom curricula. Of course the purpose was not to learn the answers to the questions but to practice reading. I found it easiest to type and print them onto cheap multipurpose paper, laminate each sheet, then cut them out; our laminating machine did an adequate enough job so that I didn't have to bother with leaving an extra plastic border around the cards. I kept them in a Velveeta Cheese box. I also found pictures on the Internet for some of the cards.

    A second activity was to make a competitive board game related to a story the students read. Landing upon certain spaces required the player to choose a card with fun instructions to follow (again, related to the story).
     
  21. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    All those are part of literacy and are taught along with the mentor text. Students study how their author writes, spells and so forth and they have a daily assignment. It's the most amazing way to teach writing because they are so motivated.
     
  22. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Every day they study how our author creates suspense, humor, or extreme clarity and practice those skills. About every three weeks we have a big writing project where we use those skills we learn each day into one writing project. Our whole school used this book about teaching writing.
     
  23. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Ok. That makes sense... but, then, when do your students actually engage in writing themselves? I didn't see time for that allocated in your schedule in your earlier post? Was that just an example of your schedule, and you vary it from day to day?
     
  24. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    What do you mean by how the author spells?
     
  25. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Here's an example. We read a book by CS Lewis and notice that his sentences, except dialog, are usually about 15 words long and usually contain joining words (conjunctions) and commas. We study more about how he does this, then during journal time, they have 20 minutes to write whatever they want: except they need to show that they can have at least one sentence in the style of our author. I roam around the class with a stamp to stamp their journal when they've achieved success or offer instruction if they don't understand the assignment.

    Each day it' a different skill. What I notice is that they will employ writing techniques from previous lessons without me asking them to do that. They will develop their own style eventually, but my goal is for them to gain skills in crafting writing to suit their purpose.
     
  26. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Ok, our author, Beverly Cleary spells friend, f-r-i-e-n-d. Hey let's try that!

    Students are genuinely interested in spelling things correctly for final drafts because they are trying to imitate the style of the author. I do not encourage them to worry about spelling when working on rough drafts because it slows them down, and fluency is far more important when writing.
     
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  27. Backroads

    Backroads Aficionado

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    So bettering spelling by seeing words organically in writing rather than a big separate program?
     
  28. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    What if you could make your students long to spell everything correctly? Couple that with spelling aids like word processing software, spelling apps and dictionaries. My students spell well in their final drafts.

    I read a blog post about integrating spelling into the writing program, and tried it with my class. It really works. Some kids are naturally great spellers and need no instruction. I don't see any reason for such students to study "harder" words that do nothing to help them become effective writers.

    Other kids are terrible spellers (like me) who mostly need to learn a basic set of high-use words and strategies for recognizing poorly spelled words. If spelling instruction is integrated into writing instruction, it frees 20 minutes a day from running a spelling program that actually makes little or no difference in my students' writing abilities.
     
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  29. TeacherGroupie

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    The second most comprehensive book about American English spelling that I know* is Painless Spelling, now in its third edition. It's written for middle schoolers, judging from occasional breezinesses in the tone, so it's accessible to people who aren't specialists in the English language; it covers nearly all of the spelling patterns of English; it gets even the fiddly details mostly right; and it's eminently affordable (Costco occasionally carries it for well under ten bucks). The chances are pretty good that you'll find in it some useful rules that your standalone spelling program isn't, um, spelling out.

    As for teaching writing by having students mimic the style of..., that's a technique that was practiced consistently throughout the Middle Ages. It works: the student who can produce half a dozen short texts each of which really does sound like its mentor author is well on the way to developing an ear for style, a sensitivity to the implications of word choice, and a repertoire of strategies to fall back on when phrasing is difficult - when, as J. M. Barrie puts it, "I am at a sentence that will not write."

    *The most comprehensive book is American English Spelling, by D. W. Cummings, which runs to almost 600 pages. You don't want to go there.
     
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  30. MissMae

    MissMae Rookie

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    I did the Daily 5 last year, but I switched it up to a Reader's Workshop style this year and like it much better. I spend 30 minutes teaching students a reading skill that incorporates my Think Aloud and a Buddy Up portion where students work in teams. Then, we move on to Guided Reading, where one station is students complete a Think Mark practicing the skill they learned with a text. A Think Mark is usually a Post It, or half sheet. One station is Read to Self/Partner Reading/Writing/Grammar Skills. The last station is working with me, also practicing the skills with a text or doing word work. After Guided we might do a 5 minute share out/wrap-up of our understanding of the skill. My entire ELA block is 90 minutes long. I also teach 3rd. I would recommend checking out Jen Bengel's products on TPT, she is awesome.
     

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