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Guided Reading Nitty-gritty


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I've been thinking a lot this summer about my teaching of reading and how to develop it further so I've been rewatching the Early Reading CPD resource dvd. I have, as ever, a couple of questions on the finer points!

 

First of all, where do you actually do your guided reading / group reading sessions? I do them in the classroom or outside as I would any other activity, but I find it really difficult to stay focussed (that's me as well as the children!) and not be distracted and disturbed by everything else going on around us. In the dvd, and every other clip I've seen, guided reading always happens separately, away from the rest of the class. I've always assumed that was for the purposes of filming, but I wondered if maybe I'm wrong and some of you do your guided reading in a quiet, separate place.

 

Next, do you and your TA take equal turns in doing guided reading sessions or do you do them all? How many do you each do a week?

 

And last of all, what kind of notes and assessments do you make, when and how? I usually jot down significant points that come up as they occur whenever I am working with a group for any kind of activity, but this really conflicts with the focussed teaching I'm doing in guided reading. Do you manage to stay really focussed on your direct teaching and keep assessments in your head till the session's over, or do you write things down as you go?

 

Thanks for reading and helping!

xx

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I gave up on guided reading about a year and a half ago as my class were at such different levels/stages of reading it was becoming impossible to group them - think I had children at at least 8 different levels, and there were only 16 children! So, we did indidivual reading instead. Kept system the same last year (18 children) and children made great progress that way. However, I appreciate that for those with bigger classes/no TA support/all sorts of other reasons, individual reading is just not practical!

 

That's probably not much help but thought I would join in!!

 

More usefully, when we did do guided reading, my TA and I each had a group and others either did 'set' activities or were choosing, then we swapped the groups over. The rest of the school have parents in to help so all children in the class do their guided reading at the same time.

 

purple x

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Ive decided - well yet to implement and discuss with TA (and mentor as im nqt) that i wil ahve a rolling guided reading session so with 5 groups. ive planned to do this session twice a week so that means that it will take 2 1/2 weeks to get through all groups. (but i will also be doing individual readers xD )

 

the sessions are 15/20mins and i plan to have 1 group with me doing reading, 1 group completing a phonics game with ta, 1 group with IWB and desktop computer interactive activity, 1 group independent reading in book area, 1 group with whiteboards and pens.

 

so children will have a different activity each session and i wil stay in the room as i expect all children to keep on task for this :o .

 

HOWEVER, i will trial this and see how it goes and it may get chnaged or scrapped altogether if it doesnt work!!

 

lucie x

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I am LSA in my setting and we share guided reading between us. There are 5 groups who do a guided reading session each per week and they read individually 2/3 times per week as well.

 

We take the group out into ELS room or keep a group behind instead of going to assembly every once in a while we will use the star time room too so we are able to keep focus.

 

We have re-designed our recording sheets so there is more room for comments, these are usually filled in after the session, although we have been known to record odd comments as we are working our way throught he book on a bit of scrap paper.

 

Vicky

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We are just starting whole school guided reading on a set day this year. In reception we will be spliting the children into 4 groups, and each week I will read with 2 groups, my TA with the other 2 and then sawp for the following week. My reading record sheets are specific for guided reading, and have a huge comments box so I can write as I go - whether I will or not, is yet to be seen.

As to where I am not sure... I have two group tables in my room, but one doubles up as my construction area. Probably one group will read there, although I quite like the idea of a group on the carpet and a group in the book corner, but I don't know yet.

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the sessions are 15/20mins and i plan to have 1 group with me doing reading, 1 group completing a phonics game with ta, 1 group with IWB and desktop computer interactive activity, 1 group independent reading in book area, 1 group with whiteboards and pens.

 

so children will have a different activity each session and i wil stay in the room as i expect all children to keep on task for this :o .

 

So you're treating guided reading differently to other activities in that it won't just be an adult focus during continuous provision? I thought about this and was worried that it would be one more thing (like assembly, P.E. and ICT suite time) that would take time away from sustained child-initiated play.

 

Marion, you have no TA??? At all?? How do you manage it?

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I've always had a NN working with me Emma she's just had a lovely baby girl and the TA (lovely lady but just qualified, never worked in a school and basically happier working with a single child) who did her maternity cover got a permanent job (in a school much closer to where she lives) but only found out the last week of term. It's going to be interesting delivering EYFS in Sept.... budget permitting we will probably advertise but after last year I don't want to rush into it.

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Guided Reading is one of those tricky things that never seems to work how i want it to! Last year i did it in groups of 5 or 6 children, which worked well for the higher ability children but not so well for the rest of the class. This year my plan is to just have individual reading for the first couple of terms and then see how i think each child will progress best. I do love reading big books in a small group and feel that the children benefit from it so i am hopefully going to fit that in at some point too, as well as continuing with whole class stories. Busy busy!

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we only attend assembly twice a week, i know what you mean about it being another adult lead time, ive planned for it to be close to the end of the day and on days when there is the least amount of adult focus, so it is generally on two days where i havent done an adult input after lunch.

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I used to be Teaching Assistant and used to be involved in guided reading every day. Class of 30 split into 5 groups and we rotated activities throughout the week. Each group had a day on the computer doing some sort of reading activity, one day listening to story using tape and headphones, one day guided reading with teacher, one day guided reading with me and the other day playing a phonics game or something similar. It worked really well for us and I really enjoyed this part of the day. mrsW.x

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I was new to Reception last year and I didn't do guided reading in groups. I tended to do individual reading with books the children took home and made comments in their home reading record. These comments could then be transferred to the EYFSP. I found individual reading the best way to assess the children as they had 1:1 adult support and it gave me a good knowledge of where the children were at. I don't think many 4 year olds can sit in a small group and follow guided reading unless they are higher ability but I could be wrong!

 

At the beginning of the year on a Friday I did a whole class guided reading using ORT on the interactive whiteboard to give children the idea of reading (using picture clues, guessing what might happen next, etc.) but this couldn't continue throughout the year when children's abilities differentiated more.

 

I think it's a case of try it and see what works best for you. Good Luck :o

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I have 4 groups of 6 children for guided group reading, I was lucky enough to have a small class in reception. I would set aside 2 afternoons a week (2 groups each afternoon) into our quiet homebase area for a 20 min reading session. We have two reception classes in one open plan area so the other class teacher would also be taking a group for reading in her quiet area. We then have 3 tA's between the two classes and they would be supervising the rest of the children on various child led activities. The children were told that they were only to go to a TA for help when guided group reading was going on and so stopped both children and myself being distracted!

 

If you don't have a quiet area I have heard about some teachers who wear a special hat when they are doing guided reading and the children know that they are to seek help from another adult when the teacher is wearing the hat - sounds like a fun idea!

 

The records i keep are individual records on how each child does in Guided reading and also a key words record list. Children also have a comments book that myself/parents/children can write in about their home reading book.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi

Thought I'd join in the debate - guided reading and phonics are things I am really passionate about and feel are really powerful and enjoyable tools for teaching reading. I am CLLD Lead teacher and it is something lots of schools ask for help with and something we promote in our work with schools in the area.

 

I do GR once or twice a week for every child - the sessions are split between NN led and those led by me. The groups range from 6 with higher ability to 2 or 3 for lower ability and all the children really love it. We start fairly early with GR but initially it can be phonics games, no word books and we concentrate on teaching the children how the sessions work eg where/ how we sit, what you do when you've finished your book and give the children lots of praise so they really enjoy the session.

 

I am lucky in that I have a really big room and so do GR at a table at one end which is fairly out of the way but the children know they can play quietly near that table but mustn't disturb us.

 

I know having the right books can be an issue - we don't have lots of the new phonic guided readers but we have a range from different schemes old and new that we use (book banded) and these seem to work pretty well. I know ORT can be difficult because of its lack of phonic words and reliance on odd sight vocab - I have used phrases and sentences from Letters and Sounds to build confidence when I can't find an appropriate book.

 

The focus now should be putting phonics into practise so the walk through and conclusion of the session could be picking out some phonic words from the book and blending them together or just blending words together that contain a new phoneme even if it did not appear in the book at all!

 

I'd encourage all Reception classes to use GR as soon as they can as I think it is powerful way to teach and assess reading and it doesn't waste teacher time as much as only using individual reading does. (I do use individual reading but a parent helper does this for me and then some focus children are heard read by themselves because I feel they need the extra practise.)

 

Helen

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As Helenrhino said I think that GGR is such a better use of time than individual reading. There are a couple of children that I would hear individually if they are really struggling but as the books we have are so well levelled/banded I feel that nearly all children in the class are being targeted correctly anyway.

 

Our reading was given outstanding in our last inspection and nothing was mentioned about not listening to indiviual readers so it must have been fine in inspectors eyes!

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