My name is Marti Sides and I am currently a 3rd grade ELA and Reading teacher. I have been in education for the past 15 years. I have taught 3rd grade, 4th grade, and have been the instructional technology specialist at my campus. However, this was my first year to teach guided reading in my classroom.
Before you begin, you should familiarize yourself with the guided reading process. The process is a bit confusing for the novice guided reading teacher, even if you have been teaching for years. I honestly thought this would be an easy thing to do in my classroom. Boy was I wrong! Even though I had read stacks of books over the summer, explored numerous websites, and asked question after question, I still could not quite figure out how to get it up and running in my classroom. I mean, I was just putting students into groups and reading with them...right? Not quite.
My biggest problem at the beginning of the year was the other students. I began the year teaching my students about the Daily 5. This is a great reading program developed by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser that allows students the freedom to choose between five literacy activities each day. These activities are read to self, read to someone, word on writing, word work, and listen to reading. As the students were engaged in their own daily five literacy choices, my goal was to work with guided reading groups. Despite my best efforts and good intentions, it never seemed to work that way.
Over the Christmas break, I decided that I needed a little more structure in my classroom. After a lot of thought and much research, I was able to find "The Guided Reading Guru," a guide a found on Pinterest and purchased on Teachers Pay Teachers. The thing that inspired me the most was the format she used to see each reading group. It gave me a simple schedule that I could follow. Based on the schedule provided, the author saw three guided reading groups per day. Using the three groups per day schedule, I decided to implement a more structured approach to the Daily Five. With this in mind, I simply created a rotation schedule that moved each group of children from activity to activity. There are five groups of students and each groups rotates through three activities per day.
So what is the moral of this story? The moral of the story is to find a system that works for you. Regardless of of how much research you do, there are always going to be things that just don't work for you or your students. Keep working at it, and don't give up. I promise that once you figure out just the right system for you, it will be well worth your time.
I am in no way an expert at the guided reading process. I am a novice like many of you. However, I wanted to set up a site that would allow those of us just beginning to implement guided reading in our classrooms to be able to walk through the process in a very sequential manner from preparation to implementation. I've tried to share with you the things that work for me, as well as the sites that I have found the most beneficial in my guided reading journey so as not to overwhelm you.
In addition, I would like to express that the opinions expressed on this site are solely my own and do not necessarily reflect that