Many teachers ask me about guided reading in Kindergarten. They ask what to do with students who aren’t reading, what to do after reading the book, how to start guided reading, and why they even need to do guided reading with the “little ones.”
Well, I firmly believe that guided reading is one of the most important parts of a kindergartener’s day. It is during this time that you can really see what a student knows, what skills they are constantly using and what they need to work on, and most importantly, students get some one-on-one time with you.
In my class I have 3 different reading levels: non-readers, pre-readers, and readers. I follow the same “plan” with each level. I use books from Literacy Tree, PM Starters, and other DRA leveled resources for guided reading. I start my non-readers on DRA level 1 books right away so they can start getting the necessary print concepts. The other students start at your DRA level.
Usually in guided reading I have the kids read a review book as a warm-up. It is at this time that he would draw a “Running Record”. Many students aren’t ready for an RR right away, so let them warm up for the reading and skills work to come. This time is crucial for your weak students or students who are not confident readers. By reading a familiar book, the child may realize that “I can read!” and are more prepared for a new story.
After the book review, I present a new story with a cover discussion and photo tour. This is when I can plug in any key words or vocabulary that the children will need to read the story.
So, read! Children should read at their own pace, NOT together. Listen carefully to the students. See what strategies they have used and what strategies still need to be discussed. For a great list of kindergarten reading strategies, visit Kelly’s Kindergarten.
After reading the story, we discuss the necessary strategies and review the story. Then I usually do some mini skills lessons. For example, we can work on initial sounds, syllables, final sounds, rhymes, phoneme segmentation, and phoneme blending or sight words. Sometimes I use a game, like Instant Learning Centers, or sometimes I use picture cards.
After the reading, skills, and review, I always have the children reread the story one more time before heading back to the centers.
I always end the guided reading with a smile, a nice stamp on my hand, and excitement. This makes the kids even more excited to sit down at the table next time!
My groups are 15-20 minutes long and I meet with each child at least 2 times a week. My shortest students meet every day.
Good luck and happy reading!