If you’ve ever held a small group reading lesson, but weren’t prepared, you’re not alone. You had the data. The students are ready to read independently. You planned for every other part of your day. But you just weren’t prepared for the small group. It happens to the best of us. Wouldn’t it be great if there was some way to be a little more prepared without having to spend hours each week preparing to meet with a group of kids for 15 minutes? Well, you’ve come to the right place. Let me show you how you can work with a group on the fly with pre-made anchor charts for reading workshop.
Listen to Your Students Read
As you listen to your students read, you’re probably taking notes and making observations about their strengths and areas of need. Whether it’s a need to focus on high frequency words, fluency, or comprehension, your students can always use some extra instruction to help push them to the next level.
Here are some questions to consider as you listen to your students read:
- Is the reader reading high frequency words?
- Does the student point under each word? Does he/she need to?
- Is the (emergent) reader looking at illustrations for assistance?
- If the reader makes a mistake, does he/she go back and fix the mistake?
- Is the reader excited about reading?
- Does the student decode words with sounds he/she knows?
- Is the reader reading fluently?
- Can the student tell the plot and setting of the story?
Analyze Your Notes
Once you’ve gathered information about the readers in your classroom, fill in the observation chart. This will help you to decide what your focus will be for each student.
Some of the ideas in this chart were created with the hierarchy of goals shown in Jennifer Serravallo’s book The Reading Strategies Book. Because a student doesn’t demonstrate strength in items lower on the hierarchy (e.g high frequency words) does not mean they can’t be strong in skills on the higher end (e.g. comprehension). However, it is important to address the needs of each student on the lower end of the hierarchy to prepare them for independent, fluent reading.
Decide What You’ll Teach
Now that you’ve completed the observation chart, you’ll notice that some students have similar needs. In that case, you can make groups of those students.
|High Frequency |
Make Your Anchor Charts
Focusing on your students’ needs, prepare the reading strategy anchor charts you’d like to use during your guided reading groups.
Keep the reading workshop anchor charts in a central location like a binder or a folder. When you work with a group for a reading workshop mini lesson, just pull out the anchor chart you’ll be using.
How to Use the Reading Anchor Charts
- Have your small group come to your guided reading table or the floor.
- Tell your students what they’ll be learning
- Go over the anchor chart you’ve prepared.
- Model for students how to use the strategy in your own book.
- Have students practice with you.
- Give your students the opportunity to practice as you watch/listen and give feedback.
As you focus on specific strategies with these anchor charts for reading workshop, your students will begin to see the importance of the strategies and will begin using them independently. They’ll appreciate having a focus and, even if it seems small, these small steps will get your students closer to becoming proficient readers. This strategy can be use for all subjects! Read Writing Goals: An Easy to Follow Step-by-Step Guide to find out how you can implement this strategy in writing.