Monday, February 26, 2018

Making The Most of Guided Reading

Guided reading is one of my favorite parts of the day. So much magic happens at my guided reading table, and I just LOVE when I see those lightbulbs go off!

But here's what I hate about guided reading. Getting there.

Getting settled in is pure craziness. And it's not all of my kids' fault. The computer isn't working, the iPod died, Clumsy Kevin tripped for the third time and is screaming crying. Sometimes things happen that need my attention, and my poor guided reading group that was sitting waiting patiently for me is now playing tag around the guided reading table.

This is reality. And it's not an "I give up. I'm never going to figure out how to fix this" problem. It's a problem that has a solution. There are so many ways that you can make the most out of your guided reading time and STILL give your much needed attention to those last minute settling in issues.

Just by giving your guided reading kiddos something to kick start their brain and get them ready to go at the table can cut that chaos in HALF. And get them doing something MEANINGFUL while you're at it. Do you really need another reason?!

So, are you wondering what on Earth you're gonna give your kids that they can do by themselves while you make sure everyone is settled in and ready to go so the magic of guided reading can happen? You don't think I'd leave you hangin, do you?

At the beginning of the year, fine motor activities are my BFF. We have a serious relationship. 
Fine motor activities are perfect because there are no academic skills required! Just teach your kiddos how to do it, and they will be flying solo in no time at all. {And the best part is, they just think they're playing!}

Tracing activities are another no brainer. 
Laminate ANYTHING (lines, patterns, letters), and kids can practice tracing with a dry erase marker. Tracing lines is great for beginning writing practice, and I like to have my kids trace the letters that we are learning to write!

As the year goes on, we move on to building sight words.
Put the letters that your kids will need in small containers so they don't need to waste time searching through a huge box. I like to either focus on the sight words we are learning OR the sight words that are in the book we're reading. Leave index cards with the sight words on them in the middle of your guided reading table so your kids know which words to build!

Giving your kids some extra practice with beginning sounds is always a great idea in my book too.
Just give them some pictures, a dry erase marker, and a whiteboard, and they are practicing a super important reading strategy without even knowing it!

Even CVC words is another important beginning reading skill to throw into the mix.
You can differentiate based on your group. Have your high group write the whole CVC word, and your middle/low groups write one or two missing sounds.

The limitations of "warm up work" are only as far as your brain will go, and the rewards are ENDLESS! It has completely changed how my guided reading groups function.

We're already strapped on time for our groups, why not make the most out of each minute?!

If you're interested in trying it out with your class, here are some ideas you can try with your kids RIGHT NOW for free!

But if you want to dive right in with everything ready to go, I've got you covered with the whole set! Grab it right here and start making every minute count!

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