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Guided Reading

Discussion in 'Primary' started by buzzby, Dec 29, 2011.

  1. Hi all, hope you have enjoyed the festive season so far and are enjoying a relaxing break!
    I will be delivering some Guided Reading Inset during the next term and although I have highlighted the things that my school needs, I was wondering...
    What would you like from guided reading inset?
    What would be the most valuable for you? I don't want to bombard colleagues with information but at the same time I need to get across the expectations of the school.
    What things do you find particularly difficult about guided reading? What resources might help you?
    Also, anyone got any links to training videos, I would really like to use a video clip and break down the session and how it is built up over the 20-ish minute period of time.
    Thanks
     
  2. veritytrue

    veritytrue New commenter

    The thing that's really, really difficult about guided reading is the limited time available. On a (very) good day we have 15 minutes and to make the session meaningful for up to 8 children is nigh on impossible.
     
  3. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    Sheeesh! I have 25-30 mins a day. Cannot imagine how it would work with 15 mins!

    GR is something I'm pretty confident with, but our lit co-ord would be focussing on what the rest of the class do when one groups is reading with the teacher. Oh and how we assess and track progress for the different AFs.
     
  4. greta444

    greta444 New commenter

    Higher order reading skills: what they are and how to develop them
     
  5. I agree with the time-based issue: I have 20 minutes straight after registration, so some people are still wandering in late, and it always ends up being 15 minutes and feeling very rushed.
    I enjoy guided reading with a group, even though I have very large groups, and I'm on top of recording APP evidence for the groups and planning each session with a single AF in mind. What takes forever is planning meaningful, engaging activities for all the other children, rather than just palming them off with holding activities, which is very tempting. Then, you can guarantee that something will happen one day at the beginning of the week (a special assembly or a hymn practice or something unannounced) and the whole of the rest of the week's GR is messed up.
    I'd really like my TA to have decent training on GR so that she could run sessions alongside me, but when I tried that, the planning load doubled and I was never quite sure where she had got up to, so it just seemed easier to do it all myself.
    I've just googled "guided reading vidoes" and it looks like there are quite a few on Youtube. Use Zamzar to download them and convert them to .wmv and you will be able to watch them in school.
     
  6. I think that very much depends on how you do guided reading at your school and how it is organised. Our timetable doesn't allow for daily 20-minute sessions, and I wouldn't really want them either. That would mean 80 minutes per week when most of my class are doing something potentially pointless, just so that they are being kept quiet while I'm working with one group. (I don't have a TA for my class.)
    Have you looked at how different teachers at your school organise guided reading? That might be a starting point: looking at what works and what doesn't and then thinking about how to address the weaknesses.
    I've got one 60-minute session (which is also linked to our library time) per week and all my groups are doing guided reading at that time. I've got six groups (ranging from 3-8 pupils per group) and each of them have got an adult with them. It has taken me three years to get this number of adults timetabled (and I've tried the short sessions with the other groups being occupied...hated it). It works much better for me and my class really enjoy guided reading and the attention they are getting in their small groups.
     
  7. minnieminx

    minnieminx New commenter

    I also think it depends a lot on what teachers at your school want to do and what would work for them. The model Dejana uses was used by a teacher at our school and she swore by it. It worked brilliantly for her. One or two of us had a go at it, but no-one else could make it work. The teacher concerned would have been driven nuts by doing what I do, and I was definitely driven nuts by the 4 weeks I tried it her way.

    Although there does need to be some consistency in schools, I also think good GR sessions in all classes is more important than a similarity of approach.
    I would be seriously unimpressed to see this sort of thing in any class. Totally unacceptable for children to spend any time in a week being 'kept quiet' so the teacher can get on.
    And that makes it good or outstanding in my opinion, which counts for nothing but hey ho!
     
  8. Kartoshka

    Kartoshka Established commenter

    Another vote for support on meaningful activities for the rest of the class to get on with quietly and independently while you read with one group.
     
  9. What do you class as "meaningless holding activities"? In my Y2 class I have one group doing GR, one group working on reading comprehension questions with the TA (Based on the previous days GR), one group doing silent independant reading and another group doing a phonics activitiy relevant to their level. Its not hard or complex to plan and set up, and I feel that every child is accessing something meaningful in that time. The only difference is the expectation that they are very quiet - we've talked a lot about how a quiet environment is necessary for reading.
    The children LOVE their independant reading time, and whilst I cant police whether they are actually reading or just browsing through the pictures, they are getting enjoyment and familiarity from a range of books. For christmas I got them a class set of horrid henry books and fairy books, and they love having their chance to use them. Even my less able are sitting down with them. Theres a lot to be said for just letting children have time to read unpressurised, and it requires no planning whatsoever.
     
  10. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    In one year 1 class I was in they did:
    Guided reading with teacher
    Reading to TA individually
    Handwriting
    Independent reading (or looking at pictures, which I think is fine too)
    Choosing (admittedly this would only really work in Y1 I suppose)
    5 groups, each group did each activity once each week.

    In a Year 5 class I supplied in, the teacher dedicated one whole afternoon to guided reading. Again, 5 groups, each did GR with her, they then did silent reading, a follow up comprehension activity (written), and 2 topic type activities. All of the things I have mentioned are meaningful, I think.
    The class I'm about to take over in, we're trying to get 5 adults in the class at once (borrowing TA from next door, plus my TA, then I suppose we may be relying on parent helpers??) to do GR each week. Apparently OFSTED observed this last year in the class and thought it was brilliant. I'm not yet convinced - I suppose less time is "wasted" doing "holding" activities (though as I've said above, I don't think activites have to be pointless - time spent reading is never wasted IMO) but I'm guessing planning has to be done in a LOT more detail for 4 other adults, 2 of whom are volunteers, to follow. I have no idea if TAs have had GR training, I'm guessing volunteers haven't. Therefore a maximum of 3 groups are going to be assessed each week, and each group only gets to work with me once every 5 weeks - ie every half term. Hmm, not convinced by this, I have to say.
     
  11. I'm probably a lone voice out there and no doubt willl get shot down from various quarters but most times whilst i'm doing GR, I let the rest of the class enjoy reading a book of their choice. Where did we go wrong that children can no longer read for pleasure without being made to do a comprehension, or a spelling activitiy etc. In my opinion, whether seen as right or wrong, it is not 80 minutes of wasting time. It is about enjoying reading with a book of their own choosing (or a recommended one) for 20 odd minutes a day and as it is straight after lunch, it is also a nice calming activity.
    If SMT doing checks, then that is a different matter...
     
  12. paul_mc1

    paul_mc1 New commenter

    We did a series of workshops just before Christmas and byh far the most valuable was gr. We had children who kindly stayed behind and were our guinea pigs as we obsaerved and discussed the gr session. Whatever focus you choose, there's nothing better than observing a colleague in your school reading with 'your' type of kids. I would however advise ks1 and ks2 gr because the demands are so different e.g. balancing gr with other subjects. In ks1 the issue in our school is that we are expected to teach a literacy hour, phonics (which the chn need direct teaching), handwritning and include gr. How can you balance it all? In ks2 the chn are more independent and therefore you can set other groups off completing an activity whilst spending time with a gr group.
     
  13. My class still have "silent reading" when they can read their own choice of book. They have time in the library, when they can sit down and share books or magazines with friends without me telling them what to do. We have times when I read to them (and there are stories they ask for over and over again, even in Year 5).
    However, they have their guided reading session, where they can share a specific book with each other and an adult. That doesn't mean they constantly get asked reading comprehension questions (my group generally drifts off on all kinds of tangents...mostly my fault, I admit), but this way they can access texts which are slightly above their independent reading level. I believe being able to discuss your opinions of what you have read is important (as much as enjoying reading for the sake of it is), because it helps them to see things from different points of view and to broaden their understanding of what they have read. It also helps their speaking and listening skills, because they have to justify themselves and not everyone will always agree with them.
    Additionally, my class also have a basic skills reading session, where we look explicitly at exam techniques. Regardless of me wanting them to read for pleasure, they still have to get through reading tests and mine struggle with those a lot. (Not surprising, considering that half my Year 5 class are below level 3 in reading. It just worked out that way this year, and mainly due to lack of progress in LKS2. They are improving, though...)
     
  14. Thanks paul_mc1 - I had thought about using actual children from our school to do the session. Will focus on what the session should look like and then maybe later in the term folow up the session with an actual goup of children.
     

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