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Guided Reading Routine

Hey!  It's Katie from Miss Kate's Desk.  I am here today to share with you my routine for my guided reading groups.  I absolutely LOVE guided reading.  It is my favorite time of day.  I generally follow this routine below, but you know, sometimes things happen and we change it.  If we don't have a funky schedule change, drill, testing, or assembly...I am at my table with my groups. 

*Sight Words*
I always start out my guided reading groups with sight word flash cards.  Not all groups do the same flash cards.  I group my sight words by quarter which are color coded (we use 4 grading quarters in my district).  Some groups know the current quarter's words so we move on, others may be working on a previous or current quarter.  I start flashcards for sight words right off the bat at the beginning of the year when my students start reading groups with me.

*Read a Book*
Most Monday-Thursday we read a leveled book together.  Generally we read the same book more than one day (2-3 days) Some days we will switch it up and whisper read a book while I listen to various students reading.  On We read books on the students' instructional level.  They take home an independent level book each week after Christmas break.

I group my students by reading level. They are flexible groups.  My building does DRA in December for kindergarten to find out reading levels of students.

I do running records though starting about October to help group students better.  I also do running records or progress monitoring throughout the year so my groups are flexible and students change reading levels.  This way students aren't stuck with a level 2 (B) book from December to May.  

Don't forget to ask comprehension questions!  I am getting better at this, but some days due to time I would rush through or not ask any at all my first years of teaching.

*Boogie Board Phonics or Sight Word Practice*
I end my group with a few minutes of word writing practice.  Some days we work on blends or digraphs, or silent e words, or sight words.  It varies depending on my groups and what skills we need to practice.  Some days I give tally marks when they write words correctly.  The winner gets a smelly sticker or a gummy bear.  The beginning of the year we do a lot of letter writing practice and also CVC practice.

I am in love with Boogie Boards.  I use to use dry erase boards and markers in reading groups and they drove me crazy.  Someone was always losing a lid, or the ink would run out.  I got a couple on my own through Amazon when they were on sale.  My mom thought they were amazing and found a few at Sam's Club (pretty cheap) for me.  I also bought a couple from Michael's with a coupon.

They are wonderful!  Students write on these with the stylus and it writes with a fine tip point similar to a pencil.  To erase, simply push a button (with a finger, a student of mine pushed with the stylus pen and poked a hole in it and it would not erase anymore).  

On Friday we always do a phonics or sight word game as a reward for working hard all week.  Some of our favorites are shown below.  I also have many resources from TPT that I love to use.

*The Time*
I stick to 4 groups that are 15 minutes long

-1 minute for flashcards
-5-10 minutes for the book
-rest of the time for word practice (letters, cvc, phonics, sight words, blends/digraphs, and more)

I am fortunate to have a reading aide come in my room to do 2 groups so each day all of my students are able to have a group.  In years past I've struggled to meet with each group and when I did their groups were only long enough to read one book and that's it.  She is able to go to our K-2nd grades for 30 minutes in each room a day.  It's such a huge help.  If you do not have this kind of help, look into other options such as volunteers, a staff member without a classroom, or even an older grade student who can read and do sight words with your higher readers who are reading on grade level.

*Placement of the Table*
My guided reading table has literally been in every corner of my classroom.  I finally settled earlier this year on one of my long sides of my classroom with the table placed in the center.  I do this so I can see ALL literacy stations.  I have a big brown walk in closet for student bags and teacher storage on shelfs that creates a corner of my room that is hard to see.  Kindergarteners love those places that they think you can't see them.  :)

I also put the table on the side of my room with the word wall next to it so my students have easy access to sight words and color words while doing our groups.

Find a routine that works for you and your students.  No one exact routine will work for everyone since groups due to time you have and number of students.  

You may have noticed I mentioned nothing about lesson plans.  Fortunately I do not have to have lesson plans for guided reading.  I pre-pick books for the week, other than none of it is planned. I observe and watch my students to see what words and phonics skills they need.  Plans are wonderful but you may plan to do really hit retelling and then realize your group forgot how to use picture clues when stuck on a word and need to hit that first instead.  Be flexible and have fun!  If you make it look like a chore or a bother, your students will see practicing reading and words as that too.

Happy reading!

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