A few short years ago I would typically start guided reading in the spring (March or maybe April). No judging please!! I really didn't think I could do much in terms of reading groups until then. I cringe at that now :(
Last year our school said that kinders needed to start guided reading in January. We also got a guided reading room so at least I had some resources to work with. I was amazed at how much progress my kiddos made!
This year I am proud to say that my guided reading groups have been in full swing for a few weeks now!! Why did I start even earlier?
Fountas and Pinnell (our school's guided reading guide) has said that kinders should be at a level D by the end of the year.
My first thought was: D??????
You MUST be crazy!!
After a week or so of whining I figured I better get going! I helped facilitate a book club in August where we dived into the Next Step in Guided Reading and got everything ready. Here are some tips that have helped me.
I am using Jan's lesson planning sheets and her letters/sounds checklist (can you see it in the first bin on the left??). I record the letters and sounds known for each group member on one side and then put the lesson plan in the other side of the sleeve. I can quickly glance at these charts to figure out what letters I should focus on with each group. The book can slide right in which makes lesson planning at home very easy to do.
Jan does talks a lot about ways of working with letters and sounds. After some brainstorming we came up with these trays. I took a cookie sheet, put in the alphabet chart (I got mine from Lori Rosenberg's Learning Letter Sounds Pack) on top and then covered it with contact paper.
I got my packs of magnet letters here. I love that the vowels and consonants are different colors.
Anyway, when we want to "mix and fix" they bring up the letters they need and go to work.
My last tip has been a MAJOR time saver. If you are familiar with Jan's book, you know that almost every lesson includes picture sorts. The thought of trying to organize all those pictures made my head spin. I bought some cheap baseball card organizers and put my pictures in there. I admit that at first my cards slid right out. I thought it was a big fail but then my love affair with washi tape paid off. A little strip of tape at the top of each slot prevented the cards from coming out until I need them.
I also finally found a use for my little pocket chart. I put all the cards I'll need for the day (I meet with 3 groups a day) on the top of the chart until I need them.
How do you organize guided reading? I'd love to hear!!