So far this year, I have been using Reader's Workshop, Writer's Workshop and Wilson Reading System (for spelling and phonics) with my 3rd grade resource room students. Now let me preface this by saying, I really do see a lot of great qualities in Reader's Workshop.. I love the anchor charts and talking about what "good readers do".. it's very beneficial for my students to have these reminders. But then when the independent reading part came, this is where things got tricky. My students are in my class because they have trouble reading, so allowing them to read by themselves and hope that they are using the skills and tips I had given then, wasn't helping them make much progress. And in talking to some of the other resource room teachers, I found that many teachers were feeling the way I was. So that's when I went on a guided reading mission!
I started by making myself a binder (one of my favorite things to do!) with dividers for each of my students (I have 8 students in my reading class). It looks like this:
In each section for each student, I have an editable reading conference form that has all of their goals from their IEPs (you can get your own editable conferencing form HERE!). This helps me soo much during progress reports!
Okay, so now I have an organized binder, but where do I get texts and running records? That was my big question when I first started. Luckily, my school has a subscription to Reading A-Z, where I am able to get leveled texts, running record forms, fluency checks and much more! I've been using Reading A-Z for weekly read-a-louds for my students and comprehensions checks at the end of the week. My students also have home logins where they can read and take comprehension checks on the computer. So now I am using it for guided reading and it is super helpful, especially when I want to assess my students when I think they are ready to move up a reading level!
The other big question is.. how do you fit it all in? Yes, that is the tough part. First of all, I have a verrry small room.. so literally, my guided reading groups have to come sit around my desk. Not ideal. But we make it work! Anyway.. I try to do a mini lesson a day, but some days if I know we have a lot to get done during guided reading, I give the class a "tip" or a "reminder" and send them on their way. I try to meet with my groups for about 10-15 minutes, depending on what we're working on. I don't meet with all of my groups each day (I have 4 groups), I usually meet with 2 one day and 2 the next day. To track what each group worked on and which skills were observed, I use "Guided Reading Lesson Plans A-N" by JD's Rockin' Readers. What a great product! It's given me such great ideas and options to do for each reading level!
I also downloaded this free blank running record form from The Curriculum Corner. It's great to use for any book in your classroom! This way, your students can bring a book they enjoy to guided reading and you can still assess them!"Guided Reading Activities with Pizzazz!!" by Lesson Plan SOS (love them!!). There are tons of great worksheets in this packet that are really engaging for my students.