What To Do With the Rest of Your Students During Guided Reading

When you are working with your guided reading group, the greater challenge is not what your are doing with your group, but what the rest of the class is doing. This is the tricky part. Here are a few tips to get you started. When you don't want the children to interrupt you, wear something flashy like a feather scarf or a brightly colored bandana, this indicates that you must not be interrupted.

Establish a very clear rule that guided reading is done every day and it is a quiet time for the rest of the groups. For the rest of the groups, they need very clearly defined objectives of what they are to do. Here are some ideas to help.
  • Set up centers and let the groups rotate through one a day (3-4 students per centre). A centre could be a listening centre, a worksheet centre, a quiet reading centre and a word study centre.
  • Set up word study centres. One group uses letter stamps to make their words, another group prints their words, another group uses scrabble like pieces to build words, another group uses flash cards - quietly.
  • Pair students up for quiet games, word concentration, math facts whereby the students print the facts instead of saying the answers, story writing time.
  • Word wall Bingo. For this game, each student writes down 12 to 16 words from the word wall. Another student points to random words, the other students cross out the words. When the first student has all of their words crossed out, they put both hands in the air. They become the next caller. The game repeats.
Guided reading takes a lot of routine practicing. Establish clear routines and don't waiver from your behavioral expectations. Practice how guided reading works, give it time for the students to realize they are to be quietly busy as you work with your guided reading groups. Initially, you may find yourself stopping everything to re-focus the students for both work and quiet times. Over time, with your clear expectations, you will soon find that guided reading works for all students.

See more about guided reading and see some great worksheets about elements of a story, comprehension worksheets and literature response tasks.

No comments