The other day I posted about balanced literacy and all the components. Today I’m back to share how I do one component of balanced literacy in my classroom… something near and dear to my heart (since it pretty much is my whole school day…)- guided reading!
At the beginning of the school year, I posted about my organization for each group and so far after a few weeks in it has still been working out well and keeping me prepared for all my groups each week! I keep my lesson plans for the day, my texts and any follow up games/reading response pages within each section of the accordion file.
Another piece that keeps me very organized and ready for my groups is my guided reading buckets. These hold anything that doesn’t fit in my accordion file. I have whisper phones which we use the first few minutes of our guided reading groups to warm up by practicing reading previously read stories to work on fluency, read with expression, etc. I don’t know if you use whisper phones but man oh man do my kids LOVE them. I personally LOVE them because they actually get my friends to just start reading as soon as they sit down. Hoping the novelty doesn’t ever wear off… 🙂 I also use post it notes, highlighters and highlighting tape all to find evidence in the text to support answers to comprehension questions or find word patterns/sight words/vocabulary, etc. For my littlest friends, I use pointers to focus on the words we are reading, stickers to encourage super reading and segmenting boxes when we are writing or completing phonemic awareness activities. When writing about reading, we use post it note tape to fix any mistakes made. All of the stuff in our bucket just makes guided reading more engaging! You can also read about some other items I use with my littlest friends here.
With my emergent readers, I use little reading folders that include Level A, B, C or D passages. The passages include simple sentences with sight words and predictable text. These passages align with F&P’s leveling system and have helped my little friends gain confidence and become stronger readers. I am so proud of the progress they have made! After reading through the text twice on their own, I also have two reading response questions that my friends answer with writing and drawing. After the reading response questions are done, each student goes back and highlights, circles and underlines three of our sight words that were a focus of the day for the story. I also complete a running record with my friends throughout the week to see if they are at an independent, instructional or frustrational level for the stories.
I include all the stories for the week and the previous week in the folders so we use these folders as fluency folders and as our warm up with the whisper phones! My little friends love these passages and so do I!
A few other items that keep guided reading running smoothly in my room are my running record binder (the cute cover makes keeping track of students that much more exciting), my observations pages and my “super day” notes that I send home to parents.