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    guided reading
    By silvercat323

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    From what I understand, guided reading is basically directing students through the text and teaching them what good readers do so that when it comes to read independently, they know what to do. I see it as giving them tools to unlock comprehension so they can see what successful reading feels like.

    For the skills to focus on, I build on whatever skills I taught whole group, and I find out what specifically students need to work on. The materials need to be on their instructional level--not too easy, not too hard, so that will vary based on each group, but sometimes I use the same text with all groups and provide more scaffolding for students who need it. The actual teaching of the skill is really short though, just a few minutes while I introduce the book. I think the best thing for improving reading skills is time spent reading appropriate texts.

    You can do guided reading with a variety of texts. I use the small books that come with my basal series, trade books, content textbooks, and articles from Time for Kids. I don't know if I do it right or not, but I feel like it was successful with my third graders this year. What I do is:

    1) introduce the text--picture walk, look at text features, make predictions with the kids, give a short idea about the story, build background knowledge, teach new vocabulary words (not all of these for each text, it just depends on what the text requires and what the students need to understand) *also, it is important to set a purpose here...if it is a short book, maybe ask a question or have them think about why a character is like another character or something like that based on the skills you are teaching, or if it is a chapter or part of a textbook, have them read to find out what causes erosion or something like that.

    2) have students whisper read--I think this really benefits the students because when they are whisper reading in the group, we know that they are not fake reading, and studies show that the more actual reading students do the better readers they become. At first, they try to make it a race, but I have them continue reading over and over when they finish for fluency. I continually remind them that sometimes good readers read texts over and over to help understand it better.

    3) while they whisper read, I go to each student and have them read a little louder to me. This is the most important part (in my opinion) because I can see what strategies students are using, and I can immediately correct, give cues, and help them apply strategies that we are learning in class. During this time, I get ideas on skills to teach directly to groups or the class based on what students struggle with.

    4) after everyone has had a chance to read to me and read the text at least once, I have some kind of discussion about the text where they have to use the text to answer questions or make comments.

    As for what the other students are doing, we are required to do literacy centers, so I make sure they are centers with tasks that require the students to actually read such as poetry, leap pads, reader's theater, computer programs.

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