Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Creating a Guided Reading Schedule that WORKS!

Guided Reading Lesson 4

Nothing can give a teacher a headach faster than trying to create a schedule for guided reading. How often? How long? How many kids in each group? Below are a few of my thoughts. I'm no guided reading guru....just a teacher with lots of guided reading experience under my belt. I hope some of the ideas are helpful.

If you are just learning how to do guided reading, start with homogeneous groups. This would be all of the students reading at the beginning of second, another group reading at the end of third and so on. Your running records will let you know the kind of instruction they need as you look at the kind of errors made.

As you get more familiar with the guided reading process, you will become more comfortable using your running records to pull students together to work on specific types of errors or comprehension problems. At that point, you may be changing the make-up of groups fairly often. There are times I worked with a specific group for only a few sessions. Once the problem is corrected, we regroup to work on other areas of need. For now, working with homogeneous groups with a careful eye to their needs, as noted on the running records, is a good way to start without losing your mind.  When I first started guided reading I did homogeneous groups for the whole year, and didn't branch out until the next year. Slow and steady is better than moving too fast and freaking yourself out! Do remember, guided reading groups do change students fairly often. As students improve, groups will change.  Guided reading groups are not like the reading groups of years ago. (once you are a helicopter you can never be a rocket) type of thing. Guided reading groups will usually change with each running record session. When you feel confident enough, you will be able to pull students of different reading levels together for individual work. For now don't stress. It's all one step at a time.

How big and how often? For early-fluent and fluent readers (high second through fifth grade readers) groups can be 4-6 students and meet at least three times per week for about 20-25 minutes each time. If you have students in the emergent reader range (first through middle second) smaller groups of 3-4 students each that meet five times a week for 20 minutes each time is optimum. Second grade teachers will have 4-6 students in these groups, since those readers are on grade level. If you have an outlier or two (REALLY low or REALLY high readers) you might work with another teacher. You take the two or three low readers from both classes, while she takes the 2-3 very high readers. It can help keep you sane.

The schedules below are just an idea of how you might arrange a guided reading schedule of 90 minutes for your room. Yours will, of course, be individualized, but this could get you started and give a few ideas.

If you would like to download the above schedules in PowerPoint Click Here

I hope these schedules give you some useful ideas to use as you make your own schedule. If you would like to see the other posts (some with freebies attached) in this guided reading series check out:

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