Sunday, January 27, 2013

Guided Reading.. The Resource Room Way!

Happy Sunday! =) I've had a few people ask me how I am doing Guided Reading in my classroom, so I decided to share the resources I'm using and how I am attempting to make it work, in hopes that it may help some of you!

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:
Inside the binder, I keep a log in the front of the binder to track what I work on with my students each day and what I need to work on the next day. It's been really helpful!
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!
To help my guided reading groups summarize or respond to what they're reading, I'm using "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.
I started Guided Reading about 3 weeks ago, and since then all of my students have moved up a reading level, and a few are ready to be assessed again because I think they could move up even more! Now, I am not saying I am a miracle worker or anything like that (I'm definitely a newbie at this whole thing!!), but by doing guided reading and documenting everything we work on, has made me much more aware of the needs of my students and I see the kids putting in more effort as well! So far, so good =) I hope this may help some of you who are just starting guided reading or are looking to make some changes to what you have already been doing. This is definitely a learning process for me, so if I find anything new that works better, I'll be sure to share it with all of you!



  1. I enjoyed reading about your guided reading plans. It is difficult to create reading lessons for a resource class when everyone is so different. I am going to use your reading log page and the running records page you mentioned in your post! I also like the idea of your binder. I do something similar, but recently had to split my resource group in two and keeping up with all of the paperwork and different lessons can be overwhelming. Here is a link about my reading resource class:

    Thanks for the great ideas and forms!
    Mrs. H's Resource Room

  2. Oh, I love your ideas. I guess I'm still confused about the format of how you do guided reading. What exactly can you fit in during a 10-15 minute block? I think I take too long talking. I try to teach quickly, but I don't know how much I would get accomplished in such a short time frame. I'm impressed with your organizational skills. Do you do inclusion also?

    Extra Special Teaching

    1. In the beginning of the week, I will pull my guided reading groups and we will do a first read of a story by taking turns (each students reads a page). Throughout the reading I take notes about how each student is reading and which words seem difficult for them. Then we discuss what we read and I do a quick check for understanding. If the whole group seems to be having difficulty with the same skill (for example, stopping at punctuation), I will give them a goal ("Make sure you pause or take a breath when you see punctuation!") and send them back to their seats with the book so they can practice reading it on their own during independent reading. Later in the week, I will meet with them again with the same book and take a quick running record while we read it for the second time as a group. I then ask more specific comprehension questions to make sure they are understanding what they are reading.

      However, on a week like last week, I decided I was only going to do running records to see if any of my students were able to move up a reading level. Since these take a bit more time, I met with each child individually throughout the whole week.

      Fitting it all in is tough and the worst feeling is when a group is really showing progress or having a great discussion and I have to end it so I can meet with my other students. As for inclusion, most of my students are pulled out of their general ed classrooms during reading and language arts or math. I do in class support for a 4th grade writing class where I assist a student who requires extra support.

      I hope this helps!

  3. Great post! I really like your forms. I am a big fan of Reading A-Z. Great resources for guided reading.

    Eclectic Educating


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