It’s the beginning of January and if you haven’t started guided reading groups yet, don’t panic. It’s never too late to begin! In my first year of teaching grade 3, I was so intimidated of ‘doing it wrong’ that I didn’t even bother doing it AT ALL.
You read that correctly. I was so scared of someone walking in and seeing me ‘do guided reading wrong’ that I didn’t even do it – instead I met with my students individually throughout the year.
Looking back, I feel so silly for worrying about making a mistake (a huge fear of mine actually) when I should have just STARTED.
At the very heart of guided reading is just meeting student’s where they’re at and scaffolding good reading strategies to help them progress.
The reason we group kids together is to make OUR lives easier. We group kids because we notice students W, X, Y, and Z are all struggling with decoding, so let’s meet with them because they could all benefit from the exposure and targeted practice.
If you are feeling like I did, nervous to start or get it wrong, here are a few tips to help ease your worries:
- The simplest form of guided reading can be done with 2 kids and 1 book. If you are nervous about getting started, grab 2 students with similar struggles, sit with them, and have them each read a page to you.
- Plan for short meetings. 10 minutes a session is a good place to start.
- Once you gain confidence, you can branch out and begin making a grouping of students more intentionally.
I hope this helped you to feel confident to begin guided reading with your students. Remember the whole idea behind guided reading is just to meet students where they are at with their reading struggles, and to give them a tool (or a few tools) to help them overcome that struggle to become more competent readers.
Have you started guided reading in your classrooms? Let me know in the comments below if you have or haven’t. What’s your biggest worry about guided reading?
Cheers until next time,