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Guided Reading in the Spring

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Preparing for Benchmark Testing

By the spring, typically you’re feeling pretty good about your Guided Reading groups. They are usually running smoothly, following a good flow. Even with that being the case, you still want to ensure that your readers are progressing at a good pace. 

Using Running Records

Most likely you have benchmark testing coming up in the next few weeks. One way to prepare for that is by checking in on your readers, using running records. These are a great, informal, formative assessment to use to guide your teaching. Running records only need to take a few minutes to provide insight on a reader’s behavior. 

Each of my Guided Reading passages comes with a running record. You can use these to see whether you should move a reader up a level. You can also use them to get more specific in the word work portion of your small group time. 

Adjusting Your Word Work Activities

Once you notice specific areas where your readers need help, it’s important to address those during small groups. Each of my passages also comes with a lesson plan. You can use this to get started and then add in more specific focuses, depending on your readers. 

Materials to Make Word Work Engaging:

  • Sticky notes
  • Mini erasers
  • Special pointers
  • Fun pencils, markers and crayons
Sticky notes can be used to help readers focus on a tricky word they’ll see in the text. Mini erasers can be used to identify sounds or syllables of tricky words. Readers can point to tricky words in the text, using special pointers. If highlighting or marking up words, try using fun pencils/markers/crayons. 
 
All of these can be used and modified for each reading group. One group may be still focusing on short vowel words, while others are breaking down three syllable words. Just pay attention to the types of words readers had a tough time with while doing the running record. Focusing on those difficult areas can be just what your readers need to move to the next level.

Spring Themed Passages

As one more way to make sure you’re helping readers improve, you can try using themed materials. These increase engagement, which often leads to improved reading! 

I have spring themed Guided Reading passages for Levels A-M. Take a look at them here

The passages will make you and your students happy with the inclusion of the spring themes. They’ll also help you feel prepared for Guided Reading groups each week, as warmer weather approaches.

Why should you switch it up?

Not only are the topics more relatable, but students are also being exposed to new words related to their current surroundings. These words are most likely going to be seen in other texts and read alouds in the upcoming weeks. Readers will feel more confident as they already recognize the words from Guided Reading groups. 

As the spring months come upon us, consider trying out my spring passages. You’ll appreciate the lesson plans being done for you, the engaging passages with comprehension questions and the running records for your own data!

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