January 24, 2013

Guided Reading

I've been working on becoming even more
 "structured and organized" in my planning
I'm someone who constantly re-does something attempting
 to find the "perfect" method, 
even though what I was doing before was efficient.

Lesson planning is no different.  
I'm always trying make it easier, more efficient, and smoother.
Each week staff at my school are asked to
meet with a leadership team member
 about what is going on in our classroom, 
where we are going next week,
 and making sure we are using data to drive instruction.  
The main focus is in reading.
It is one way for the "team" to know more about what is "really" going on.
I do believe it is another way to make sure everyone is doing their job:)

I've tried a few different guided reading lesson plans with no real luck 
in finding something that wasn't taking more time for lesson plans.  
My district already requires a lot for lesson plans already.

I came up with this little thing the other evening.
A format that I simply handwrite in the information in.
All of the "basic" set-up is pre-typed.
Each group has one sheet for the entire week.
For a copy, click here.
Link as been fixed as of 1/25/14
{Please ignore the messy handwriting!
I was doing it in-between groups this week. 
 But hey, next weeks is already done!
 And I didn't have to do it at home or during plan time!}

For whole group, I use the plans below.
I use to have groups on the bottom of this sheet, 
but it just was too much of a pain to delete things each year, etc.
I meet with every group, every day for at least 15-25 minutes.
No ifs ands whats about it.
Reading is from 9-11, granted it never starts until 9:15
 due to late kiddos, bell-work, you name it.
Whole group goes from 9:15-9:30, once in awhile until 9:45.
Routine and structure is the only way to get
whole group accomplished in 15 minutes.
We touch on everything required and mentioned in our basal plus some.
I pre-look at what is expected and combine things
as I see fit throughout the week.
We work HARD on big word strategy, also.

Here is a break down of a group.  
We stick pretty close to the same format every day/week.
  *Voc. words and high frequency words covered
in whole group for the story of the week
*Dry erase slips to practice dictation sentences
using our high frequency words.
*3-4 voc words are from the leveled reader
of the day to help us be successful
*Writing assignment changes daily based on skill/needs. 
It is always started in group then finished at desk.  
We discuss it briefly the following group.

 *Students immediately begin to re-read their book 
from the previous day the minute they join the table. 
 This also gives me a few minutes to switch gears.
Re-reading the previous book daily improves reading scores drastically.
I also follow the LLI setup for the hard/easy days.
Allowing kiddos to read a book on an easier level every other day helps them build confidence!

This week I decided to bring in some word work centers based
 on our skill of the week into groups. 
 I'm trying to work smarter and not harder! 
 Each week I kept trying to come up with new things to do and hello! 
 I have all of these games created in my Journeys unit!  
The kiddos never get to use every game for each story I have created 
because there is only one word work center weekly
 Kiddos worked with a partner in their group to work on a skill of the week.
Then they rotated.
I will be doing this weekly!

I keep all running records in one binder.
Students are assessed on informal running records based on needs.
Below level- once a week
On Level- every 2/3 weeks
Above Level- every 4 weeks
I normally try to do on level and above level kids more often, 
just to keep myself in a routine!

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  1. Your post has definitely inspired me. I'm going to take some of your ideas and put together some structure for my reading groups for next year. I LOVE your ideas and can't wait to use them. Thanks so much for sharing : )

    For the Love of First Grade

  2. Wow...I wish I could be more organized with my guided reading groups. I really feel it's the area that needs the most improvement for me. I feel like I can't find the time to fit groups in and whole group and teach common core (which is new to us this year and we have to come up with all the materials to teach it ourselves!!!) Just wondering how long your reading group time is? How are you able to get in all groups and whole group? I've also had trouble when I have a group, one kid reads REALLY slow, 2 kids read average and 1 kids flies through everything (b/c he only works at a fast speed!) So then the really slow kid who just reads slow makes it painful to wait for them. :) I do like your lesson plans for the groups. It has inspired me to look at mine and revamp them. Thanks for sharing your ideas.

  3. Yay!! Love your ideas for small group instruction...thanks for sharing, friend! :)

  4. I love taking a peek into Guided Reading. We had an impromptu PLC on this during planning day on Friday.

  5. WOW Alisha!!!! I am SOOO impressed at your guided reading groups... My school has turned HUGE on small groups and I will be sharing the link to this post to my team!! I need help on being more consistent and I am loving your plans!! Printing out NOW!

    Thank you!!

    Sweet Times in First

  6. So organized and efficient! I have never been truly satisfied with how guided reading goes in my room. I always feel like I am rushing through shared reading in order to have enough time for groups or vice versa. I love seeing how other teachers do reading in their rooms. Thank you for sharing "your way" :)

  7. Great ideas!!! What are your other students doing while you are meeting with groups?

    Thanks for sharing,
    Frade 2 Happenings

  8. Thrilled! Thanks for your post. I found your website through Pinterest. We are using Journeys for the second year. We are reading Luke goes to bat this week also! I love the journeys program.

  9. These are great ideas...thanks

  10. I love love love love how organized you are! Your GR groups must ROCK!!!

  11. This is great info! Thanks for sharing.

  12. This is so helpful! Thank you for sharing!
    Crayons and Curls

  13. Okay wow! You are an answer to my prayers! I have been looking for a better way to plan out my small groups and create a routine as well. What you have is just what I need to as a starting ground at least. Thank you! You mentioned Journeys. Do y'all use Houghton Mifflin? If so, my school does too! We use Texas Journeys and I really like it. But it's lacking in helping me with small group stuff in my opinion. But your routine is just what I need. Thanks again!! Oh and pinning this!!
    Mrs. Landry’s Land of Learning

  14. Are the daily lesson structure sheets (Monday, Tuesday, etc.) available for download?

  15. Super organized and well-planned! LOVE that! Thanks for sharing!

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  17. Thanks for sharing your class schedule, lessons/activities & routines. I especially like your idea on frequency of student running records as it relates to needs. I probably will try that.

  18. I love this so much!! We have implemented math group rotations at our school, and I could really use help on the structure of those. Do you do guided math groups too?

  19. Great organization tools. I will definitely be "lifting" a few of your ideas. TFS

  20. That was amazing! :) Thank you so much for sharing this! :)
    You are a wonder! :)


    Mrs.Russell's Room
    First Grade

  21. Alisha-Could you make the daily routine available to download? I teach 5th grade but with common core starting in our district next year I need a reminder as I plan. I like what you have for a younger grade but would like to use it and be able to tweak it for upper grades, if that would be ok with you.
    Thank you!

  22. Yes please make it downloadable if you can!

  23. You might have mentioned this, but what do you use for Running Records? Is it a cold read on level for each group, or does each kid get the same text?

  24. Where did you get the idea for easy/hard days? This seems like something I would love to try. Thanks in advance.

  25. What do you mean by easy days/hard days? I love how organized you are!

  26. Thank you so much! Due to "hey! Look over here!" approach at my school I ended up teach 7th/8th grade ESL this year instead of the gifted Language Arts I was supposed to teach. This blog is such a valuable tool it is front and center of my book marks-just behind attendance and the online plan book! I haven't taught guided reading since I was student teacher 10 years ago and even then, I never had to plan it! Small adjustments on schedule from the blog since I only get to teach reading 3 days a week, but an hour each day. I would be lost without the bubbly blonde!!!

    1. Thank you so much for such kind words!

  27. Very organized! I will definitely be "borrowing" some of them. Just one question....you said easy/hard days are based on LLI. What is LLI?

    1. LLI is literacy leveled intervention, it is an intervention system that can be used with low students.

  28. I tried to download a copy of the form --because I LOVE this and would really LOVE to start incorporating into my guided reading time! It's not working for me - could you email it to me or ...? I"m not sure! My email is mrsrachelsbooth@gmail.com
    THanks so mucH!!!

    1. I must have deleted it in google docs, but it is fixed now!

  29. I have tried to download it too but to no avail!

    1. I must have deleted it in google docs, but it is fixed now!

  30. Thanks! I was so excited when I saw this!

  31. Thanks for your ideas and guidance...much appreciated! :)

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  33. Are the breakdowns of your days (3 pages) available for download? Thanks

  34. Would you happen to use the SRA Imagine It! series? Regardless, this is terrific!

  35. very helpful! i would also love to have a copy of your group what to do plans breakdown. Is it available any where?

  36. Thank you very much for sharing! I don't see you mention using the Daily 5/Cafe series, do you incorporate that into your Guided Reading schedule?

  37. What do your reading rotations look like? If you have a group, are your students broken up into other stations? I'd love some insight on your management board/system. First year teacher, so any help will do!!!


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