S'More From The AP
Week Ending September 25, 2015
Guided Reading - By Mrs. Littlefield
My most favorite part of teaching Guided Reading is the relationships that I build during my time with each of my groups. Having 20-25 minutes with a small group of my 4th graders discussing our reading, working on our skills, and developing strong, motivated readers is the best part of my job.
When I begin to think about how to group my students, I consider several things. I look at previous STAAR data (strengths and weaknesses), BOY assessments, (iStation, fluency checks, etc.) and their personalities and interests. Once I have established my groups, I begin to plan my time with them. In fourth grade, the best part about having older readers is that we immerse them into novel studies where a lot of our reading skills and TEKS are taught within classic and fun stories such as There’s a Boy in The Girl’s Bathroom, James and the Giant Peach, and Stone Fox. It is a new responsibility for our students because when we meet together for our “book club” twice, sometimes three times a week depending on the group, we are not reading together. They are assigned pages that are read outside of class for homework or during DEAR time.
When we come together we spend our time clearing up misconceptions about the reading, questioning each other, making connections, and applying our mini lesson reading skill to their reading in our Reader’s Response Journals (from which I take grades). It is an effective way to differentiate and reach the many needs within my classroom.
It is important to me that the time my students spend in my classroom is valuable and their learning is meaningful. Managing literacy stations can be a tough gig, but I have found that creating a menu of choices for the rest of my students helps motivate their learning/enrichment.
Students receive a station menu each Monday. On the station menu are activities such as word work (spelling/vocabulary), language review (spiral review of the parts of speech we’ve covered), dictionary digs, task cards that review the reading skill last studied, read to self, Reader’s Theater (fluency), and enrichment projects just to name a few. I asterisk the “must dos” each week. The “must dos” are not optional, but the other options on the menu are “can dos” and again, it is their choice as to what they complete. This really helps them focus their learning while giving them the choice as to how they spend their time during stations.
When they are focused and engaged, I am able to be focused and engaged with my guided reading group and it makes for a successful use of time!