Friday, November 1, 2013

Guided Reading Part 2: The Pre-A Reader

Pre-A students are kiddos who know less than 40 uppercase and lowercase letters (added together) and less than 5 sounds.  They are in need of some heavy interventions to get them up to speed.  Outside of the guided reading lesson I have those kids run through a letter tracing book daily.

Our Title 1 teachers are taking our lowest kids and running through the book every single day.  A student traces the capital letter and says the letter name.  Then they trace the lowercase letter and say the sound the letter makes.  Last, they point to the picture and says the name of that.  It is important they trace with just their finger (not a pointer or a marker).

If a student knows less than 10 letters, they should begin by tracing just the letters in their name and the letters they already know.  Add more pages once they start to catch on.

During the guided reading lesson I follow Jan Richardson's plans from her book The Next Step in Guided Reading.  You can get her plans for free here.

I start with one of her eight ways of working with letters.  My lowest group did number 7 the other day.  That is where I say a word and they find the matching letter on the ABC chart.   It is a quick way to know which sounds are still tricky for them and which ones they have mastered.

I wrote in my last post
 how much I love these trays.  I attached the alphabet chart to the cookie sheet with contact paper.  I can easily take off the letters I don't want to work with before each session.

I also work briefly on letter formation (since most of my low kids have difficulty making the letters).  I STRESS starting at the top every single time.  Bad habits die hard though! 

Next, we move on to working with names.  I have one little guy who can write his name but can't name the letters so I work with just him on this.   
 I typed up his name and put it in a zipper pouch so he can use a dry erase marker to rainbow write it.  Inside the pouch are the letters of his name and his name puzzle.

 We run through the letters every day. 

The next step is to do one working with sounds activity.  I alternate between clapping syllables, recognizing rhyming words (thumbs up or thumbs down) and picture sorts.

For me, picture sorts sounded like a great idea BUT all those little cards stressed me out.  Plus, my picture cards were different sizes and I didn't have enough for a small group.  I finally just made my own that would fit in a baseball card organizer.

There is a very specific order for how a picture sort should be done.
1.  Say the picture.
2.  Say the sound the picture starts with.
3.  Say the letter that makes that sound.
4.  Put the picture under the correct letter. 

After working with sounds, we finally start to work with books.  I basically do echo reading with this group.  The big thing is teaching this group concepts of print.  I also work a ton on tracking print (one-to-one).

 The last part of the lesson is interactive writing.  We work together to write a sentence.  Then we cut it up and put it back together like a puzzle.

I struggle with fitting everything into one day so I do the writing part the second day.

If you are looking for some picture sort cards, allow me to show you my newest product.

I made picture cards for the following sorts:
1.  Initial Consonants (Pre-A & Level A)
2.  Medial Vowel Sounds (Level B & C)
3.  Beginning and Ending Digraphs (Level D)
4.  Initial Blends (Level E)

I have also included the pages for your own letter tracing book for your Pre-A kids.  A kind follower suggested I also add some letter cards to use as headings for the sorts and/or to organize the letters so I added them, too.  Thanks for the great idea Yvonnee!

I included this pack in my 20% off Blogiversary sale.  Check it out here.

Also, don't forget to enter my Blogiversary giveaway!  There are 4 $10 TPT gift cards up for grab plus some AMAZING products from my blogging buddies and I!

I'll be back to post about Emergent Guiding Reading groups soon!


  1. This is great! Where did you find the laser light rings at??

    1. I got them from Amazon.