Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Guided Reading Dilema!

Hi Everyone! I read a great post from Mrs. Patton yesterday about how she is loving doing reading conferences as opposed to typical guided reading. Two years ago, after I read the CAFE book for the first time, I implemented reading conferences in addition to guided reading groups. I remember thinking they were so efficient and effective - got right to what each student needed and I could move through a conference much quicker than a guided reading group. Since then, I have gone back to doing regular guided reading groups, which after what I said about my reading conferences, you may be thinking, why? I don't really know. I think part of me thinks guided reading is "best practice" so I should stick to that - and part of me thinks the conferences worked so well because I did them the year I looped up to 2nd with my old 1st graders. 

Anyway, I would love some advice/ suggestions/ to hear what works for all of you. This year I am feeling like my kids are making normal progress, but I'm not totally satisfied with my guided reading groups. With my lower couple groups, I feel like I'm not getting to all the different components of the lesson because reading the book is taking so long. Does that mean I'm choosing the wrong books? Just letting them read for too long? Or would they be better off meeting with me individually? And for my highest couple of groups, I feel like - what are they really getting out of a guided reading group? I find it so difficult to teach comprehension strategies during a 15-20 minute guided reading session. How do you gals do it? I have done book clubs/ lit circles in the past, but they are just not taking off this year so far. Maybe I need to keep trying...Sometimes it just feels like I try to cram way too much in from 9:15-11:00 (our literacy block) - and the kids just can't do it all and get enough out of ALL of it.  

Right now, I am thinking about leaving one round of Daily 5 a day open to conference with students who are reading to self. During that time, I hope to reach my higher students. What do you think?!

I'm really looking forward to reading what works for all of you! Your suggestions and thoughts are sooo appreciated! 

Hope you're all having a great week!


Holly said...

You know, if individual conferences seem overwhelming to you, you could try {maybe you already do this} having them read the books you've chosen for guided reading groups at their own pace. I have my kids alternate their chairs - one facing the table, one facing out...then they read the instructional level text at their own pace and I "listen in" and offer tips along the way. I never round-robin...or have them choral read. So, when I'm not able to conference this is how I handle working with kids as individuals...keep notes, offer teaching tips, etc.

Hope that's helpful!

Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

Jill said...

I have nothing to add.... because I am required to teach from my basal and I have no leveled books. But I wish I could conference!!! I have kids at a AA guided reading level and an M... clearly neither of these kids are being helped by the basal!!!!!!

But good luck to you. If I were you I would conference! It just makes more sense to me.

Marvelous Multiagers!

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