Thanks to those of you who commented on my last post. I appreciate knowing that someone's actually reading this thing. :-)
This past week, I had my evaluation (It went great-thanks for asking). Being evaluated always makes me think of what I want to accomplish and/or how I want to grow as a teacher each year (partially because my evaluator always asks me :-)).
This year, the goal I'm setting for myself (and the area I want to focus on) is becoming more skilled at guided reading. I have a tentative plan to accomplish this, but I'm definitely open to suggestions and help from my blogging community. For example, I read a great post by Tanya on her blog, Mrs. Dwyer's A+ Firsties today.
So here's my plan:
I'm going to read some books. I have chosen these 2:
|I know that this book won't help with guided reading, but I want to read it anyway. I'm sure I can get something of value from it about whole-class reading or reading in general.|
|I figure that the title and the authors make it an obvious choice as a source to use to learn about guided reading.|
After reading Chapter 1 of The Book Whisperer, a few things stuck with me:
- I love when she says, " I know from personal experience that readers read richer lives, more lives, than those who don't read" (p. 11).
- I love how Miller gives her collection of books from which she draws reading wisdom. 2 that I think I might want to read are: In the Middle by Nancie Atwell and Fountas and Pinnell's Guiding Readers and Writers (Grades 3-6): Teaching Comprehension, Genre, and Content Literacy.
- Atwell's components of reading workshop (interesting as my district promotes the use of reading and writing workshops): time, choice, response, community, and structure.
After reading Chapter 1 of Guided Reading, here's what I want to remember/refer back to (I LOVE that my blog is a record of what I do and what I learn!):
- The biggest thing I took away from chapter 1 is that I need at least one uninterrupted hour for guided reading. Right now, I probably have 40 minutes. An hour is so difficult to conceive with tutoring demands, helping absent students complete make-up work, etc.
- I realized that I have the basic formula down: introduce a book, read it with the group, discuss it, and maybe include a minute or two of word work. One thing I still can't get behind with my struggling readers is having them read all at the same time softly. My struggling readers tend to find this very distracting.
- I like the idea of completing a running record on one student at the end of each group, getting through everyone every two weeks or so. Often, I reserve a group meeting to do this with each group member.
- For students to effectively develop problem-solving strategies, they need to be working with a text they can read with about 90% accuracy. I already knew this, but a reminder never hurts.
I'm excited to keep reading both of these books and continue to refine my practices in both guided and whole-class reading instruction. Have you read either of these books? Do you have any guided reading wisdom for me? What book do you consider to be your "guided reading bible"?