Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Guided Reading 101 Part 1




Hey friends!

A few of my friends have asked me about Guided Reading and why I think it is a necessity to any ELEMENTARY Classroom. Yes, I just said Elementary. That means Kindergarten through Fifth Grade. In first grade, students progress through so many levels, it's important to keep track of their development. Throughout the primary grades, foundation of a students literacy development is set. In the upper grades, students are making the switch from learning to read to reading to learn. The students will dive into deeper texts with more complex concepts.Students in the upper grades still need the teachers support to understand and break down these difficult texts. Guided reading gives teachers the chance to do that. Piggy backing off my post from yesterday on  fostering a love of reading, giving students the chance to read REAL books through guided reading will help with that process.





The first step to Guided Reading is Assessment. 

I'm a huge fan of Fountas and Pinnell Benchmark Assessment . This kit is very targeted to be able to show you specific patterns the students make while reading.  To begin, you need to determine a starting level.  Use the last known independent reading level and start there. You can also use other forms of a benchmark assessment of course, F&P is just my favorite. The program is through and follows the literacy continuum. 

Running Records Assessment

Once you have determined where to start, begin to take a running record on your students. You can grab a free running record here. To do this, you need a running record calculator. I found an app called "Running Record Calculator". This is very helpful because it automatically calculates the time and errors for you as you enter the information.  

What is the purpose of a running record?

Well, there are several. We are trying to determine the students independent reading level, keep a record of errors over a period of time, and make instructional decisions about each student in order to guide their instruction. Oral Running Records are how teachers can plan their instruction. 
 Running records should be 100 words at least for a true assessment. In the upper grades, I'd recommend using a text with 250 words.  Depending on the students reading level, depends on how often you should assess them. You can read more about that here.


Steps to take a running record

*Record the number of words you are assessing.
*Remind the student they will not read the entire book orally.
*Make a notation if the student has read the book before.
*As the student reads, place a check mark over the words he/she reads correctly.
*If a word is missed, record the word the student says above the word. Pay attention to the readers behavior when making errors.
*Try to intervene as little as possible, the goal is to see how much the student can do on their own.
*Analyze the running record or the point of it is useless 



What is the difference between an error and a self correction?

An error is a word that is read incorrectly, omitted, or inserted. A self correction is a word that is first read incorrectly, but immediately corrected. Self Corrections do not count as errors.

What does count as an error?
If a student reads the word incorrect, it counts as an error. If the student omits or skips a word, that would could as an error as well. When a student inserts a word that is not in the text, that counts as an error.  If the student repeats the a word, that does not count as an error. You can use the guide below to help keep on track. Click here to download the file. 




Error Rate:
Error Rate is shown as a ratio. Use the formula below to find the error rate.
Total words / Total errors = Error rate 

Accuracy Rate:
Accuracy rate is shown as a percentage. You can calculate the accuracy rate using this formula:
(Total words read
Total errors) / Total words read x 100 = Accuracy rate 


To identify the miscues, we use  Meaning (M), Structure (S), and Visual (V).


Running Record Analysis





One  purpose of the running record is to see a pattern in the students errors. Are they pausing before they get to certain vowel patterns? Do they re-read when they get to words with inflectional endings? Do they understand vocabulary words? One of the most common types of errors comes when students do not self monitor. Students should recognize when something doesn't sound right or that they've made an error.



I always taught my students to go back and reread a sentence and ask themselves "Does this sound right or make sense?".  This self monitoring strategy will pay off in the long run. I've taught the little kids all the way to the big kids about self monitoring. If students do not understand or recognize that they made an error or mistake, they are not thinking while reading.

I use these posters to help aide in my instruction with self monitoring.
Students who are self monitoring should have a self correction rate of 1:4 or less. That means that the student is correcting one out of every four words they are reading.



Word Work Strategies for Guided Reading


Word work is an important part of guided reading. Students need to practice reading, spelling and the meaning of the words they come across in different text that they will encounter.  Through word sorts, the teacher can show students how to sort the words by the sounds they make. We can also teach students what the words mean and ask students to identify synonyms and antonyms.  Students can also practice spelling these words. That way, we are not teaching phonics, spelling or vocabulary in isolation. Through word work, we are teaching all of these skills in one strike. Research suggest that students need 12 authentic experiences with a word before they truly understand it. Through word work in guided reading, you are providing your students with authentic experiences every single day.


Word Sorts for Upper Grades are pictured below


Word Sorts for Primary Grades


Stay tuned for the next part of our series on Guided Reading. I will focus on grouping, text selection, and scheduling on the next post!


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