Sunday, June 24, 2012

Guiding Readers: Chapter Two

I'm not sure about the rest of you, but I am LOVING this book.
The author, Lori Jamison Rog, writes in a way that makes me feel as if I am just sitting with her and having a conversation about guided reading. Right when I have a question pop into my head, she is right there answering in the next section.

Chapter Two is devoted to "The Guided Reading Lesson Sequence" which involves revisiting a text three times for both word and text level comprehension.  She is very clear in stating that no one guided reading format is best and should be determined by the needs of the students, but that we do get more for our "pedagogical buck" if we plan a sequence of lessons centered around one text.

The sequence involves:
  • Day One: Text introduction and first reading with a focus on accuracy and basic understanding.
  • Day Two: Re-read of the text with a focus on comprehension and word study
  • Day Three: Re-reading of text with an extension of thinking, focus on text structure or author's craft and often includes a writing experience.
I'm dying to hear your thoughts, but will highlight a few of mine. Here are the ideas that stood out to me as the most important:
  • All guiding reading lessons begin by identifying instructional goals for the group.
  • Finding the right text is KEY. And this goes beyond level. Once you identify the goals for your group, you find a text that will allow you to apply that instructional focus.  (Gone are the days of being able to just pull a set of books and "wing it"- We'll I'm thinking those types of lessons were never really encouraged, just came as a result of not understanding the importance of GR)
  • When planning an introduction, consider: Picture Walk, Prior Knowledge and Purpose (There are some great ideas for Picture Walks throughout the book). We may also consider pre-teaching some vocabulary here. While we want students to use context to figure out the meanings of difficult words, we should look ahead to story specific words that may not have enough context to figure out on our own.
  • The teacher's role: TO PROMPT AND ASK QUESTIONS. It is ok for the teacher to "talk" but remember the purpose of guided reading is "READING!"
  • The student's role: TALKING AND READING.  The bulk of our 18 minute lesson should be spent with the kids processing text.
  • ALWAYS END WITH A MUST-DO: in order for students to immediately apply their new learning.
There is a section on TIPS, TOOLS, and TECHNIQUES. This reminds me of the work we need to do at the start of the school year in order to actually do Guided Reading. I just did a training for new teachers in our district last week on "Getting Started Right" and it included behavioral and management mini-lessons on establishing independent reading that should be happening in order for Guided Reading to take place. This is also where I see so much of what we do in the Daily Five being of great benefit.

Ok...I'll stop talking now. What were YOUR THOUGHTS?  I'd love to hear your thinking on the following: 
  • What were your "a-ha's"?
  • What current instructional approach to Guided Reading was confirmed by the author?
  • What are some new questions/wonderings that you have?

GUIDED READING LESSON TEMPLATE (similar to the one in the book, but I added a place to keep track of a focus student for the day- to keep some anecdotal notes on and also a reflection section. This could serve as a place to record a new set of goals for the group.)

READER'S TOOLKIT COVER (One of the author's tips was to never run out of post-it notes. She suggested cutting a file folder into three's, adding a cover sheet to it, and putting a stack of post-its inside. That way students are always prepared and you can make the most of the 18 minutes.)


Thinking of Teaching


  1. Great thoughts Stacy! Phew.. looks like we were both bogged down with little ones today :) I enjoyed sharing chapter two with you... and I'm a new follower of yours! I look forward to learning more from you! :)
    Tori's Teacher Tips

  2. Stacy thank you for sharing your findings. I enjoyed the second chapter as well. What I found interesting was pretty much what you noted. In addition I noted, the author saying to not use chapter books in guided reading. I did like the guided reading sequence. I must confess I often did this sequence with my lower groups but did not consistently apply it with the rest of my groups. Time to redesign my lessons.

  3. Thanks for the freebies! I am loving that much of what I already do in the classroom is being affirmed. (Yay! I was already doing it right!). I also really liked the sequence presented. One of the things I need to improve upon is keeping records of my observations. I always seem to run out of time....but I guess that's part of making the most of my 18 minutes, isn't it?

    Primary Inspired

  4. Great job Stacy and thanks for the freebies! I really need to work on keeping more of their reading records in addition to their Oral Reading Fluency and lexile scores. Especially during the instructional time. One thing that I was doing right was having group for my low babies and my higher babies! I'm really excited about the Reader's Toolkit and have made my own prototype too, check it out tomorrow on my blog!

    Thanks again,

    Teaching with a Touch of Twang

  5. @Allison- I always found that my struggling readers got my full attention, perhaps it was the stress of helping them make leaps and bounds in a short period of time. But, this sequence presented gives a logical way to keep up with all readers. The idea of planning 3 lessons from one piece of text is very appealing to me

    @Brenda- You are welcome for the freebies, and I too am always thrilled to when a teacher practice of mine is affirmed through those in "the know!" As far as the observation of students- this has always been key for me. That is why I chose to add the spot on the lesson plan to take notes about students. One method that I found helpful is to pick a focus student (or two depending on the group size) I focused on writing notes about them throughout the entire lesson. That way by the end of the week I had at least 1-2 really strong anecdotal records on each child rather than one small chunk of information. I use the reflection to reflect on the overall performance of the group that day- that is also how I know I do think about all of the students.

  6. I like the idea of focusing on a student or two each day. Do you then transfer these notes to a student file? What other methods do people use to keep track of anecdotal notes?

  7. KH- I usually put a sticky note on my lesson plan page and put a note on their. Then I put the sticky notes on a sheet of paper, date them and put that paper in my binder that has a section for each student.

  8. Thanks for linking up with the blog hop!!
    Thinking of Teaching


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