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Guided reading

Discussion in 'Primary' started by lillipad, May 28, 2012.

  1. lillipad

    lillipad New commenter

    What do the children who aren't reading with you do during guided reading? I usually have a group doing follow up comprehension from the book they read with me, but I always struggle with the others... Ideally they would have some independent activities to get on with. I've never got to grips with the handwriting part as they race through the books and don't take enough care when an adult isn't standing over them. Ideally I need ideas for activities which are mostly independent and will keep them busy for the entire 20 minutes so I can read in peace with a group. Any ideas?
  2. Mine read individually and I display comprehension questions on the board that they answer indepedently in their reading journals.
  3. The session before reading GR book with you they could be looking for tricky words and looking them up on a dictionary etc in order to be ready for the session with you the next day.
    Reading for enjoyment - reading own choice, NF, Comics, first news, etc
    Topic research - can be note making or finding answers to specific closed or open questions.
    Some more able groups (i am in Y5/6) have book club session where they discuss sections using Blooms taxonomy reading stems to make up questions for each other.
    So glad to see no one has said they do handwriting or writing from characters point of view etc - these are not reading activities!
  4. NQT08

    NQT08 Occasional commenter

    I love this idea! I'm going to start using that - cheers!
  5. I have 5 groups on a rotation, they take it in turns daily to:
    1. Read guided reading book independently (x amount of pages/chapters)
    2. Read and discuss book with an adult
    3. Answer comprehension questions around what they read the previous days
    4. Paired reading- children read their home readers in pairs and use PDAs or other recording devices to record each other reading and then discuss together.
    5. Free choice- online stories, library books, home readers, bookcase books etc- an opportunity to read anything they like.
    My class are year 3 and we only implemented this at the beginning of the Summer term. So far so good, the children love it and I am finding that their understanding and interest in reading is improving.
    I start my LA on the independent reading at the beginning of the week and my HA at the end as I decided the HA were the more likely group to remember what they had read on the Friday the following Monday- there is the occasional need to 'rejig' their memories on the Monday though!
  6. Do they have to be reading activities? Why can't you have more than one subject going on at a time?
  7. We tend to do the following :-
    1. Reading with class teacher and reading with TA both once a week as constants.
    Then a mix of :-

    • Self assessing comprehension activities
    • IT activities - reading based
    • iPad activities (again reading based)
    • Spelling Journals
    • Dictionary / Thesaurus Work
    • Shared/buddy reading with pupils in younger classes
    • Research activities
    • Free reading time - comics, newspapers, graphic novels, etc.
    • Any other activity staff feel the pupils will benefit from!
    Hope this helps!
  8. Because the children should have 4 taught reading sessions per week. I guess if on one day they were doing somehting other than reading that would be ok - but on 4 oif the days they should be reading.
    Why would you want the children to do anything else in a specific reading session - even if your children are very able readers then surely they should be reading for enjoyment.
    It is not all about attainment but also expanding the range of texts that they read - I have seen groups of Y6 children reading recently as part of an 'adult style' reading club. Discussing their own opinions of the texts.
    i have seen children reading 'The Hunger Games' and 'The Hobbit' recently too
  9. philgreenworld

    philgreenworld New commenter

    Wow you like to go hard on your fellow professionals. I completely agree with Seagirl, you seem very shortsighted on your interpretation of guided reading sessions.

  10. I have a pre-reading session enabling the children to become familiar with the text, a pre-reading task specific to a WALT or AF strand we will concentrate on, then after the guided session where we can focus on questioning rather than reading there is a post reading task again specific to locating eveidence to support a particular AF. 2 other days are a 'Free reading time' 'Free writing opportunity' or a word game.
  11. I am sorry that you feel like this, it is not my intention.
    I am saddened daily when I see too many children (often boys) leaving primary school without a decent ability in reading and then even more depressing, without a love for reading.
    The guided reading sessions are a time of the day put aside to specifically target reading - allowing you as a teacher to put across an enthusiam for reading in order to engender this spirit in the children.
    Why would you take away this opportunity by using the time for handwriting or writing? Surely all writing can be covered in literacy and other subjects.
    What does it say to children when they do something called 'reading' and they end up practising handwriting or learning spellings by rote? To me it says 'Reading is not that important, these other things are more valuable.'
    if you are lucky enough to work in a school where levels of reading are high, children are reading for enjoyment regularly and come from homes filled with books then GR will not be such a big issue - it is in those schools where children come from houses with poor literacy skills, no books and no enthusiam for reading then we as teachers need to make sure it's a priority.
  12. I'm not sure that devoting yourself to a small group, while the majority of the class is left to their own devices, is the best way of making reading a priority.
  13. That's my main issue with guided groups. Is it the best way when the children get teacher support for one session a week and are left on their own for a further four sessions? I'm playing devil's advocate really, as I enjoy GR sessions and I can see the progress my class have made but I do think guided groups will become a thing of the past eventually, just like everything else. Oh, and then they'll come back again... before they go again. I want to start singing The Circle Of Life from the Lion King but I should really be writing reports!
  14. Your argument could be pointed at in any lesson where a teacher works with a focus group.
    Chldren are not left to their own devices though are they? They are given the responsibility to choose texts that they think they will enjoy. They have pre-read activities that are then reinforced with the teacher the next day and then followed up in a session delivered by a TA if possible.
    The chidlren are given structures to follow so that they are able to direct their own activities. For example with some groups I give them Blooms Taxonomy question stems in order to question each other and discuss their GR book.
    Some groups listen to audio books and read along.
    Children get to sit in comfortable spaces and read exciting texts of their choice or NF that interests them.
    These are discussed with the whole class at the start and end of the session with children discussing preferences etc. It is about ensuring you have an atmosphere that is geared towards the enjoyment of reading.
  15. That's right: a teacher's responsibility is to the whole class, not some pre-selected 'focus group'.
  16. Is it? At all times? Shall we scrap independent writing? Collaborative group work? Independent problem solving as well as guided reading then?
    Teachers (especially in KS2) need to sometimes take a step back and allow the children to be independent. If children are working and engaged in their own learning the teacher should not need to flit around the classroom to make sure people are on task, to make sure children are doing the right thing.
    I am not sure how you give your attention to the whole class all of the time. There is a danger of spreading yourself too thin. GR is 30 mins out of a day where I expect children to be independent within given structure.
    I differentiate tasks in all subjects to allow enquiry at an appropriate level and ensure children are able to complete tasks with mnimal instruction once inital input has been given.
    I have withnessed a number of Ofsted reports, SLt obs etc recently and 1 thing that has come out in a number of different classes in a number of different schools is that there is too much teacher talk and not enough independent learning taking place.
  17. I have an issue when focus groups are expected in most lessons, particularly Literacy and Numeracy. Do the children really perform as well as they could with little input or could they achieve more with a teacher who is circulating and giving advice where needed?
    An advocate of focus groups in my school openly admitted that the groups who are working independently do simple tasks to keep them quiet while she pushes the focus group. She had never thought about the fact that 80% of their Literacy and Numeracy time is being spent doing simple tasks so that she can work with a group.
    I also worry that we push these focus groups to achieve things that they are not capable of independently so we think they're doing really well until we test them and realise that they can't do it without a lot of help.
  18. I have no problem with children working independently or collaboratively depending on the task in hand. However, as teachers we owe it to all the children to be available when the inevitable difficulties arise.
  19. By giving examples of how people use focus groups poorly does not mean they do not work. You should have enough control in a num/lit group to have a focus group and be able to deal with the rest of the class if needed.
    I give teacher input at the beginning of the lesson and then hand out differentiated tasks. These are not simple tasks but have been well explained in the input so that the children can complete them independently.
    On some occasions I would push the focus group beyond their comfortable limits but on other occasions review work that they have already completed.
    I do not have a focus group in every lit/num session, some sessions the whole class have the same task and i do have to go around the class as you suggest but on occasion I need to have focussed groups.
    I have a focussed group in GR everyday because it allows me to assess and teach reading in depth at an appropriate level - you have to remember this is only 30 mins per day
  20. Why is it inevitable? Do children not understand after your intial input?
    I manage the behaviour in my class well enough that even when guiding a group the odd one or 2 children that may have missed something can come and get a quick clarifying pointer.

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