I’m back from the dead.  True story.  If you follow me on Facebook and Instagram you know I was beat down by a migraine this weekend (and you really should be following me on FB and Instagram!).  Friday night we were getting ready for a date night and BAM!  I lost vision in my right eye.  That’s my sign.  The crazy thing is that it happens out of nowhere.  If you’ve never had a migraine, count your blessings.  I’ve dealt with them since I was 8 years old although I have almost outgrown them I do get them a couple of times a year.    People, I would rather have a root canal than a migraine!  Yeah, it’s that bad.  The 2nd day is always better but I am always exhausted from the pain.  But I’m back now!!!

Today I am linking up with the amazing bloggers at Freebielicious for chapter 3 of the The Next Step In Guided Reading!

This chapter focuses on two groups:  The pre-emergent group (students who know less than 40 upper and lowercase letters and few sounds, if any!) and the emergent group and gives great lessons and tips on how to work with these groups during guided reading time.  Now, I’ve been very pleased with my guided reading system for the past few years.  My students make progress throughout the year and end the year at or above grade level so I’m not looking to revamp my whole system, however, there were several things that stuck out at me in this chapter!

The first thing that stuck out was the power of tracing letters for students who struggle with learning their letters.  If a student cannot name 40 upper and lowercase letters, they should trace a letter back everyday.  They trace each letter and name the letter.  The author of the book, Jan Richardson, says this should be done with a tutor.  Sadly, in our school system we don’t have adults beating down our doors to help or volunteer so this is something I will have to do with my students.    Another key point to make here is that Richardson says your letter book, letter chart and class letter display should all use the same pictures for the letters.  We all know that consistency is great for our students!

(the mister is such a great model!)
Here is a free ABC chart and letter trace book for you!  Click the picture to download!
Another point that struck me was the 15-20 minute time frame for each lesson and the things you should cover.  For your Pre-emergent group you should cover: working with letters and names, working with sounds, working with books and interactive writing.  In 20 minutes.  I’m glad the author gives your some time suggestions for each component as well as suggested activities.
When you’re working with your emergent readers, grouping becomes a bit more tricky.  They should be grouped by reading level but also by needs.  Look at their level but also consider their sight words, sounds, letters and comprehension.  The emergent groups will work on sight words, sounds, writing and will learn cross checking strategies to help them become better readers.  I really like the cross checking strategy the author shares to make sure students the picture and first letter of the word to decipher a word.  You select a page from the story, cover the picture and have the students read the text while you point to the words.  At the unknown word, they should say the first sound of the word and then you can show the picture!
Here are some suggested materials for your guided reading lessons:

These activities jumped out at me for working with letters and sounds during my pre-emergent group time!  These will be implemented in my classroom this year for sure!
Be sure to visit Freebielicious and join in the linky party to get tons of ideas and resources for guided reading in your class!

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  • Reply Raevers July 7, 2013 at 9:59 pm

    Great post! I've fallen a little behind on my reading, but have found so many great posts about this chapter. Sorry about your head–I get aura migraines and they are KILLER! Hope you're on you way to better! Thanks for the goodies, too. It's so helpful to have great plans from the very first day!

  • Reply Chrissy July 7, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    I wish I was studying this book–great post!

    Sorry you've been dealing with migraines. Mine are triggered by flashing light, usually in traffic as the sun bounces off the car in front of me. Fortunately, this only happens a few times/year. I also lose my vision, from the outer edges to the inside. It's awful!

    Hey, I got a new job! I'll be teaching kindergarten in the city's public school district. I have yet to see my classroom, but new staff orientation is tomorrow!!
    ReadWriteSing

  • Reply Chrissy July 7, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    THANK YOU for the traceable book and chart!

  • Reply Carol Cobb July 7, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    I have really enjoyed everyone's posts about this chapter. Such useful information for Kindergarten teachers. I especially like how Richardson broke down how much time to shoot for with each component of the lesson. Awesome!
    -Carol
    Mrs. Cobb's Kindersprouts

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