Guided Reading: How to get students excited about it!

Guided Reading is an important part of the day in a primary classroom and you want to make sure your students are excited to meet during small group. To keep your kids engaged and to make it a productive and successful guided reading time you need to be prepared.  Today I am sharing 4 things that that will get students excited about guided reading and participating in small group lessons. These tips will help keep your students motivated, excited and engaged during guide reading time.

1.  Reading Phones/Whisper Phones

Does this sound familiar?  When I work with my small group I hear these same things every.single.time - "he is being too loud!"  "I can't hear myself!" 

Enter the reading phones.  When you place them to your ear like a phone and use a talking voice you can hear your voice nice and loud.  If you use a loud voice then you hurt your own ears.  Well, the change was immediate!  Students immediately lowered their voices and used a whisper voice.  During our guided reading time now, everyone can sit at the same table and read to themselves without complaint.  Yay!  The only thing I need to say now is "Don't lick the phone" or "Don't put the reading phone in your mouth"  Ewwww! Thank goodness for Lysol wipes.

2.  Finger Lights

I LOVE finger lights for tracking text.  They are a 4 for a $1.00 at the Dollar Store and worth every penny.  When students are reading they slip on a finger light to track the text.  They can light up each word so they know exactly where they are on the page.  These lights have worked wonders for my students who are still struggling with word awareness.  They are also fantastic for activities where students are returning to the text to find something. Some examples might be to find a long vowel word and light it up or find the sentence that tells us the setting of the story.  Using finger lights has definitely increased the engagement during our small group time.  

3.  Whiteboards

If you have been to my blog before you will know about my fondness for whiteboards.  I use them all.the.time. During Guided Reading, I use them for pre and post reading activities. I love that they allow me to save paper.  There is way too much paper floating around the classroom as it is. I often snap a photo of a response I want to save and place it in their digital portfolio on Seesaw.

4. Browsing Books

If your class is anything like mine the first 5 minutes of your small group time is interrupted with a bazillion questions and problems.  I have tried various strategies to help kids learn to problem solve on their own but there are those times that I just have to stop what I am doing and go and deal with the problem.  This is where browsing books come in.  I got this little idea from Jen Jones from Hello Literacy.  At the beginning of our group time, I put a collection of books on the table that are slightly lower than my students current instructional reading level.  They know that when they come to my table they are to pick a book and start reading.  Since these books are not overly challenging they dive right in and are able to be independent.  This is a good use of their time and it allows me time to problem solve.

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Are you interested in learning more about how I teach Guided Reading and what my go-to teacher tools are?  Click below to find out.  

1 comment

  1. The finger lights are a great idea! Thanks!


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