The Next Step in Guided Reading {Book Study} - Chapter 3

Time for chapter three in The Next Steps in Guided Reading book study.  This week's host is Mrs. P.'s Specialties.  Make sure to visit her blog for a freebie.
Chapter three is about planning and working with Pre-A and emergent readers.  I've been teaching second grade for the past four years and so I honestly haven't been working with emergent readers (levels A-C) for a while.  Back when I taught first though I loved it because you can really make such a meaningful difference for those students in a short amount of time.

The five questions in green are the ones that we will be using each week to guide our thoughts.  

1.  What part of the reading caught your attention?  Maybe it's something you never thought about.  Maybe it's something that you've been trying to get a grip on.  Maybe it's something that you've never heard quite they way it was put.
Richardson says that students who cannot name at least 40 upper and lowercase letters in the alphabet should trace and alphabet book with an adult every single day.  According to her data, this is the fastest way for young students to learn their letters.  The book should have both the upper and lowercase version of each letter as well as a picture for reference.  Students are supposed to trace each letter with their finger (not with a writing utensil) while saying its name followed by the name of the picture.  This activity can be done with a tutor or teaching assistant.  

I do not teach kindergarten, but I had never really heard of this before.  I also found myself wondering where the mastery of the letter sounds fits in.

2.  How do you already incorporate this into your guided reading routine?  There's probably at least some part of the chapter that you're already doing!  Tell us about it!
As mentioned above, I have not worked with pre/emergent readers for several years.  However, Richardson suggests four components for working with a group of pre-A readers:  letters and names (3-4 minutes), sounds (2-3 minutes), books (5 minutes), and interactive writing (5 minutes).  Believe it or not, I actually do find myself assessing letter/sound knowledge in second grade even though the students are not pre-A readers.  You can find the quick phonics screen I use in last week's post here.  Below is a phonological awareness skills test that I sometimes use with my students that are struggling.  Usually they have some sort of gap that's holding them back.  It begins with concepts of word and goes all the way to manipulating phonemes.  Click the image to find the document.
3.  What is something new you want to try next school year?  How do you want to make your guided reading time better or what new things do you want to try?
I love how Richardson outlines how much time should be spent on each area of her lesson plans.  I really need to do this in order to keep my groups focused and get them completed within a reasonable time frame.  I feel like I am always behind or taking too long with one group thus causing me to miss time with other groups.  Short and to the point is where I want to head.

4.  What are some resources that you ALREADY HAVE that you can use to teach what you read about in this chapter/section?
Last summer when I was looking for a new guided reading template, I found some templates that matched Richardson's book on TpT by Grace Lovelace.  I ended up making a simpler template as I had not actually read the book, but I think these would come in handy should I choose to follow Richardson'a templates.  They have all of the components from the book listed on the plan as well as the time frames allotted for each section.  Below is a sample of the emergent lesson plan.  Click on it to download from TpT.

5.  What are some NEW resources that you want to get or try to use to teach what you read about in this chapter/section?
Honestly, I feel like I have all the resources I need to implement the components mentioned, I just need to focus and move my groups along.  I also want to get better at incorporating a small amount of word study into my guided reading group as well as a note taking system.

Feel free to join in and link up!


  1. I posted the same freebie template today! It worked well for me, but I'm thinking of taking word work out of guided reading since I'll be following Words Their Way and plan to differentiate using that.

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