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Guided Reading in Kindergarten?

by Kelly Mikesell

Many teachers ask me about guided reading in Kindergarten. They ask about what to do with students who aren’t reading, what to do after they read the book, how to start guided reading, and why they even need to do guided reading with “little ones”.

Well, I am a firm believer that guided reading is one of the most important parts of a Kindergartner’s day. It is during this time that you can really see what a student knows, what skills they use consistently and what needs to be worked on, and almost more importantly, the students get a little time one-on-one 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 Literacy Tree books, PM Starters, and other DRA leveled resources for guided reading. I start my non-readers in DRA Level 1 books right away so they can start gaining necessary concepts of print. The other students are started on their DRA level.

Typically in guided reading I have the children read a review book for warm-up. It is at this time that I would pull a “Running Record”. Many students are not ready for a RR right away, so just let them warm-up for the reading and skill work to come. This time is crucial for your low students or students who are not confident readers. In reading a familiar book, the child can realize that “I can read!” and they are more prepared for a new story.

After the review book, I introduce a new story with a front cover discussion and a picture walk. This is when I can plug in any key words or vocabulary the children will need to read the story.

Then, they read! The 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 reading strategies for kindergarten visit Kelly’s Kindergarten.

After we read the story, we discuss any needed strategies and review the story. Then I typically do some mini- lessons in skills. For example, we may work on beginning sounds, syllables, ending sounds, rhyming, 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 once more before they return to centers.

I always end guided reading with a smile, and cute stamp on their hand and excitement. This makes the children even more excited to come to the table the next time!

My groups last about 15 – 20 minutes, and I meet each child at least 2 times a week. My lowest students are met with every day.

For a great overview on guided reading in Kindergarten, visit Linda’s Learning Links.

Good luck and happy reading!

About the Author:
Kelly is a Kindergarten Teacher in Tampa, Florida with 10 years experience and the creator of www.elementary-teacher-resources.com, where Kindergarten Teachers can find great ideas that are fun, fast and fabulous! She was born and raised north of Chicago, and went to Illinois State University for a B.S. in Elementary Education and has taught K - 8 Technology, Kindergarten, First Grade, Pre-K, and VE K - 3.



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