Friday, September 20, 2013

Guided Reading Tips for Struggling Readers

Hey Friends!!

I am linking up with my sweet friend Jen from The Teacher's Cauldron!!!
Jen talks a lot about the tools she uses during guided reading. Since all of my experience is in Title One schools and working with struggling readers, I wanted to share a few tips!!

First Tip:

Student Grouping

Each and EVERY Child learns differently. So we have to teach each child the way they learn. The best  way I have found to do this is ability grouping. Our students are grouped by reading levels. We have five groups and follow a Daily 5 routine. We are very fortunate to have two teachers and one aide in our room during this time. I know this is not the case for most of you! This is my first time EVER having this much support! Here is our schedule:

The Gen. Ed teacher does the guided reading program. She individually picks each book for each group each week. We do not follow a basal program. Each book is picked by level and skills that we are teaching. Then, we plan out our before, during and after reading plans and questions. 
The SPED Teacher (Me) does a hands on and engaging activity practicing the skill that we are working on each week. This is working out SO Well. We are able to supplement each other so well. She 
We have carefully prepared our students and taught them our routine. We practiced each station each and every day. For our Work Work, our students use their "Word Study" words. We use a specifically  designed plan for word study, it's district wide. It is similar to some spelling routines. Basically, we have choice board set up in the classroom. This choice board contains nine different choices the students can use to work with their words. 

Use Hands on Manipulative's to Teach Reading

Students need to be engaged in the reading process. Make it fun for them! Add scrabble tiles to your work work center! Let them "build" their words! Add sight words to your board games and on Fridays (Or any day in my classroom) let them play them! My students love playing sight word Jenga! Learning and having fun at the SAME Time! That is a WIN! That should be your goal! Teach with CENTERS, let students have a choice about what to do. Students can then take charge of their learning!! 

The picture above shows our students working with digraphs.

Here's another look at our word work  centers

I use both theme and skill based centers in my classroom. These two pictures show centers that are themed based with skills embedded. 

Discover Their Interests!

Most students do not want to read about the price of tea in China..I know I do not! Reluctant readers will do so much better with topics that interest them! Use Reading A-Z to find books that are topics that your students will like.

I have found that struggling readers often enjoy reading nonfiction books and mystery books. The "
This series has been a huge hit for my son! He is certainly a  reluctant reader but this series has changed the way he looks at reading! He's interested in it so he looks forward to reading them!
Use your scholastic book points to find topics for  your hard to reach boys! 

Topics, Series and Titles for Boys:

Lego Ninjago
Lego Chima
Star Wars
Super Heros
Trucks and Cars
Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Magic Tree House

Topics, Series and Titles for Girls:

Fancy Nancy
Babysitters Club
Amelia Bedelia 
Judy Blume
Junie B. Jones
Ivy and Bean
Mallory on the Move
Lemonade War
Because of Winn Dixie

Go Back To the Basics & Differentiate your Instruction

Sometimes you just need to go back to the basics. Discover where your students are, and go back to the skill that will help them the most. Even if that means you are a 4th grade teacher, with a student on a 1st grade reading level!  Typically, we instruct our students one their highest instructional reading level. However, if you have a student who is really struggling, do not be afraid to drop their level down. This will help the student develop more confidence in their ability! If a student has confidence issues, be sure to build them up using positive reinforcement ANY chance you get!!!
If all else fails, begin to implement an intervention program

Till Next Time :)

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  1. what a great post!! thank you for linking up!!

  2. I loved this post and I love the system you have for your reading block- I'm always looking for new ideas to make sure we are meeting every students' needs during the reading block and will definitely be using this post for ideas!
    Thank you!!
    Aylin :)
    Learning to the Core

  3. If you are looking for a guided reading program for kids, check out

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. Thank you for these resources! I shared some of your resources and linked back to you from my blog: Thank you again! Hope you'll check my new blog out as well!


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