Guided Reading: The Emergent Reading Lesson

Welcome to another Summer Blog Party.  This week, it's Groovy Guided Reading.

Guided Reading has a ebb and flow.  When reading with Emergent Students, we need to make sure the 20 minute Guided Reading lesson moves at a steady pace and covers many skills.

This is how I get it all in.
3 minute Brain Book Time - This is a familiar read.  When they are called to the table, they know to pull out a familiar read and "get our brain going."  Rereading familiar books helps with student comprehension and fluency.  It also allows for automaticity in decoding and word recall.

3 minute Vocabulary Introduction - Remind students of word wall or sight word they may encounter and introduce 1 or 2 words that may cause stumbling blocks.  Do not introduce every new word.  If the new word is heavily picture and context support, let them practice using their fix-it strategies to determine new words on their own.  Use the 5 finger rule for vocabulary:  If there are 5 or more words you have to pre-teach, don't teach it at all.

3 minute Book Introduction - Give a basic overview of the book without retelling or "pretelling" the story.  Sometimes I do a picture walk.  It depends on the topic.  At Level C and above I rarely let them preview the last page. I always ask at least one question to prompt thinking.  I also make sure to discuss any names.

5 minute Independent Reading Time - Don't miss this step.  Let all students have the experience of reading the entire text.  As you start independent reading time, you stagger the start time for each child and listen to the students individually for a sentence or two, making sure they are self-correcting and using background knowledge and fix-it strategies.  I usually have the reading fix-it strategies on my table, then can give a physical cue (pointing to it) instead of a verbal cue.

3 minute Reflection - Always take time at the end of the lesson to give a high 5 to someone at the table who used a reading strategy, decoded an unknown word, and read with inflection or fluency.

Finally, 3 minute Word Work.  For purposes of this lesson, I'll focus on "using known to find unknown."  This is a critical skill for reading.  Monday, I will introduce the skill by picking out the word "van" and relate it to the sight word can.  I  have magnet letters c, a, n, in their guided reading bucket.  I ask the students to take the letters c, a, and n out of the bucket and spell a sight word.  Most will recognize the letters make the word "can."  I ask for a sentence with the word can.  Tuesday, I add the letter "v" to the bucket.  I ask students to make the word "can" again, but to think about how they could change the word to make a new word. I demonstrate replacing the beginning letter is the only possible scenario with these letters.  It can't possibly be "cvn" because there would be no vowel and it can't be "cav" because if we only have one vowel it is USUALLY a short vowel and that doesn't make sense.  Wednesday, I have put a picture card of a "can" and a picture card of a "van" in their guided reading bucket.  I ask them to take out the two pictures and write (using their dry erase markers) the word can beside the picture of the can.  Then we change the pictures and need to fix the word.  We discuss changing the "c" to a "v" to make "can" into "van." Thursday, I put a picture of a "can," a "van," and a "man" in their bucket.  I ask the students to take out their pictures and write the words.  We discuss changing the beginning of the word to make new words.  Finally, Friday they will do a "word changer" quick activity.  I have made some of these up to use known to make unknown.

There you go: 20 minutes.  (PS I always have a timer at my guided reading table.)

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  1. I love how you talked about 'using the known' :) That's a great way to help students make connections and cement the ideas :)

    I also have to keep a timer, because the time goes by so fast!!!
    Literacy Without Worksheets

    1. A timer definitely keeps me on track. It's too easy to spend too much time with one group and have to skip the others. Enjoy!