Predictions should not take long; every child should not be given a turn. Predictions should be more than about the title and cover. Inference can be taught during the picture walk. The students should be encouraged to stop at key points in a book and make a prediction. Students of all ages should be required to justify their predictions. They should discuss how they modified their thinking and why if they discovered a prediction was incorrect.
For younger students, the teacher should always hold the book while giving the title, and until she/he is ready for the students to look at the text, otherwise the students will not focus on what the teacher is saying.
Some examples of language that might need to be planted would be verb tense, irregular plurals, etc. For a primary group, for example, if the word ‘saw’ is the verb used in the text, but the teacher uses ‘see’ during the intro, the students will most likely use ‘see.’ She must plant the word ‘saw.’ Picture walks should be very brief.
Any particularly unusual vocabulary should be introduced before reading, but never more than 2-3 words. The key words here are ‘one or two’. A difficult word for emergent readers might be ‘saw,’ if it has never been introduced before. Having a student or two quickly put magnetic letters together to make a word is very effective in cementing the word.
A teaching point should always address the needs of the students for a particular text or level. As stated, the teacher should prepare a teaching point ahead of time based on observation of the previous day’s lesson, but if she notices that the students have a more pressing problem, she should abandon the prepared point and address the current problem It is always preferable whenever possible to make connections for the students. By tying a teaching point into a reader’s workshop mini-lesson, a teacher is helping a student to see those connections.
Independent reading is the largest chunk of the guided reading lesson. The intro and teaching point should be minimal compared to the actual student reading. Students should not sit side by side during guided reading if reading orally. Struggling readers will automatically stop reading when stuck and wait until their neighbor solves the problem. Teachers should move the students apart. There are a number of effective ways to do this. Teachers must keep the pacing right to successfully manage their day. A timer to drive instruction is strongly suggested. If every group is not reached during one slot of time, the teacher must find a second time during the day to pull guided reading groups. Guided reading groups should be conducted next to the word wall in order for the teacher to have them analogize with known words on the wall. Students must learn to analogize in order to be successful readers and spellers.
At the point of difficulty a teacher may quickly write a known word on a white board, underline the chunk, and point out that the student knows this word; then she may point out that the difficult word has the same chunk, etc. Teachers should be provided with prompt cards to refer to at a child’s point of difficulty or error. It is the goal for a teacher to know these prompts, but that takes time and practice. A brand new product that does provides these prompts in a teacher-friendly format is called ‘Guided Reading Coaching Tool’ and can be ordered from QEP, Inc., at 972-985-0025. Strategy cards are available for every grade level on the COL in the yellow pages in English and Spanish. They may be printed in color, laminated, and placed on a ring or on the wall. The teacher may choose to use them for teaching tools, for reminders of what to do, or to have a student refer to evaluate what he is or is not doing correctly. The best indicator that students will be successful readers is self-correction. Teachers are tempted to tell students a word too quickly, especially if a student is one who ‘appeals’ to the teacher at the point of difficulty. That is a habit that must be broken if a student is to be an independent reader. The teacher must use the correct prompt to require the student to problem-solve on his own. The student should not be interrupted if he reads a word incorrectly. The teacher should let him continue to read to the end of the sentence or paragraph. Often, the child may realize the text doesn’t make sense and go back to self-correct. If not, the teacher must give the correct prompt to send the student back to the point of error. During the reading time a teacher may ask individual students comprehension questions to assess critical thinking.
Guided Reading Lesson Planning
Before Reading Video Sample: http://www.eworkshop.on.ca/edu/core.cfm?p=modView.cfm&L=1&modID=15&c=2&navID=modView
Teacher pulls one student at a time, listening to a sample of text and intervening as necessary to provide support. This is an opportunity to ask individual comprehension questions prepared ahead of time or based
Anecdotal records are taken to note strengths and weaknesses.
After Reading Video Sample: http://www.eworkshop.on.ca/edu/core.cfm?p=modView.cfm&L=1&modID=15&c=2&navID=modView
In your groups, develop a lesson for the book. Be sure to include the following parts: before reading, during reading, and after reading. Include any extensions that you want the students to complete following the lesson.
Be prepared to share your lessons with the entire group.