Starting Guided Reading | Guided Reading |

This is a tricky area and many people have many different views of how to start guided reading in the classroom. I like to view more as setting up our reading "plan" or reading workshop (although I do not subscribe to this method completely). I find it easier to start setting up guided reading and my reading workshop in general in the beginning of the year. This is because I am setting up my entire reading workshop/ reading block.

Things I consider:
What will my schedule be?
What will the other students be doing?

It takes me a good long while before we area ready to start guided reading. I am anticipating starting the about the fifth week of school this year. So what am I doing the first month of school? The first week of school is pretty much getting to know you activities and team building activities. I rarely start on academics the first week. Then the second, third and fourth week of school I am laying the ground work for guided reading. Since students will generally be independently reading while I conduct guided reading groups (I will introduce reading partnerships later in the school year), I spend most of this time building up their reading "stamina." Most kids simply aren't able to read 30-45 minutes independently and I use this time to build them up.

To structure this I use the First 20 Days of Independent Reading from the Guiding Readers and Writers Grades 3-6 book by Fountas and Pinnell. I HIGHLY recommend this book. I pull all of my mini lesson from these first 20 days and then send my kids off to independent read and then we meet back to discuss what we have learned in our reading. While I do not use ALL 20 days of mini lessons, I pick and choose the ones I know I will use to set up my reading workshop. Below are some charts that we created using the First 20 Days of Independent Reading during our mini lessons:

When I am ready to start guided reading, I simply need to introduce routines like which groups will be called and how they know when their group will meet. They know what to do when we are in guided reading, because they have been practicing it for 4 weeks!

I loved this idea that I found on Ms. Gurian's website. You can create a tool box for students to use during guided reading- or even in independent reading time! She also included directions on how to use it! Love it and will be work on making these for next school year!!