Thursday, June 21, 2012

Guiding Readers- Chapter 1

So why did I choose this book? Well, I taught grades 7 and 8 for a long time, and here in Ontario there is very little guided reading happening in the intermediate grades. Now that I am teaching Grade 4 (and soon to be Grade 3!! Yes, that's right I am moving to Grade 3 next year), I have come to realize that I need to do some PD in this area so I can integrate this into my literacy program. 

I did start using the Daily 5 this year in my grade 4 class and loved it....but the guided reading component of it just never took off. Once the school year started it seemed like I never had the time or opportunity to read about how to do guided reading or start implementing it in my class. Maybe that is just an excuse, but seeing as there are only 7 days left it's pretty obvious it's not going to happen this year! BUT, next out!

Misty over at Think, Wonder, Teach is hosting the first chapter of our Guiding Reader's Book Study. 

Head on over to her blog to read all about her thoughts on the start of our book study.

Chapter 1- Guided Reading: What We Know Now

I picked up this book back in February when I attended Reading for the Love of It in Toronto and heard the author, Lori Jamison Rog speak. I was hooked from the start and went straight to the publisher's display to buy the book!

I really enjoyed reading through this chapter because it makes me feel as though I really do know something about guided reading! There was lots of highlighting and stars happening over here. 

Some highlights for me were:

- guided reading is a time for student reading, not teacher talk
- to remember to listen twice as much as I talk when meeting with my students ( I always feel pressured to fill the empty space)
- to see it as a way of consistently using the gradual release of responsibility and that guided reading becomes the "we do" 
- using a system, like the Daily 5, to make sure that independent learning component is self-directed, not teacher dictated
- I love love LOVED the analogy for just-right reading as standing on their tiptoes (I think I may have to make it into a poster for my room!)
- I also didn't really realize that reading easy texts provided more learning opportunities that challenging texts, but once I read what Lori wrote it really makes a lot of sense, if it's too tough it won't help students grow

A goal for me for next year is to "understand the strengths and needs of [my] students and [be able to] match them to the supports and challenges of a particular text, fiction, nonfiction trade books, chapter books, novels, environmental print" (page 13).

I really enjoyed the pace at which Lori writes. It makes the text very easy to follow and understand. 

I find myself excited to incorporate more student talk and to re-visit texts with my students through our guided reading groups. I re-read books that I love all the time, it makes sense to re-read books in our guided reading lessons as well.  AND...the reading-writing connection! I am just in love with this book so far and I can't wait to read what you all are writing about this book. 

UPDATE: The book is available on Amazon  but it does say that the book is temporarily out of stock.

Have you posted about Chapter 1? 
Link up below so we can all share in the learning together.

7 Brilliant Teaching Thoughts:

Anonymous said...

Guided reading is an area that I have 'thought' about a lot, had good intentions to try, but never really got past the 'thought' stage. Like you, I have slowly moved from teaching 7th grade to now teaching 3rd grade. I've heard Lori speak as well, but not on guided reading...will definitely have to check out the book! thanks for sharing your thoughts.

Classroom Capers

Chynna said...

Just found your blog and I love it! Thanks for all your great advice. I just started a teaching blog too.... I am still in college and getting a little nervous for my student teaching this fall. I am looking for all the tips I can get! :)

Stacy said...

I struggle with the idea of the different level of texts and when to use them with students. It makes sense that the easier text allows for more learning opportunities, but when then do we work with students in developing strategies for understanding more difficult, complex text? On one hand the author's idea of using easier text makes so much sense, but I've been to a few workshops presented by Tim Shannahan (one of the lead researchers on the Common Core standards) he discusses teaching the students to read text closely- difficult text- and this is what will propel them forward. I guess I just need to grapple with both.
As far as the quote on Pg 13 that you site in your post- I really think you should also look into The Continuum of Literacy Learning. It is a BIG but user friendly book. For each GR Level it provides characteristics of readers at that level, characteristics of texts at that level (different genres), and the ways of thinking about, within and beyond the text (comprehension skills/strategies) that can be developed within that level. Ok- not trying to plug another book, but I feel like it could really compliment this book. my problem is I started with the "heavy read" and am thinking this book would have allowed me to understand the structure better before getting into the other.
Thanks for suggesting this read. Looking forward to hosting Chapter 2 on Monday- already am working on some FREEBIES to go along with it!!!!

Beth said...

@Monica- Glad to have you along with us and that there is a fellow convert from the older grades! We can learn as we go together.

@Chynna- Thanks for stopping by. Good luck with the student teaching in the fall, feel free to ask for help or any questions you may have!

@Stacy- Thanks for stopping by and commenting. I do have a copy of the Continuum of Literacy Learning and plan to make it integral in my planning. As far as the easy vs. challenging text debate, I think it has to be a balance and is ultimately up to the teacher to know the students well enough to decide when to use what text! Can't wait to see what you have for Chapter 2!

Maureen Hoffman-Wehmeier said...

Last week (or the week before) someone had a link to get this book for free. I had it, but now it is no longer on my computer. Can you help me?

Beth said...

@Maureen- Check the Stenhouse website.

Lori Jamison Rog said...

Hi Stacy, Thanks for your comments on my book!
An observation on your concerns about close reading/complex text. I have plenty of thoughts about Common Core, but for now... I think the place for complex text is in the read-aloud. There has to be a bridge between the texts we read to students and the texts they are able to read themselves, and I think that's where Guided Reading fits in.

On one hand the author's idea of using easier text makes so much sense, but I've been to a few workshops presented by Tim Shannahan (one of the lead researchers on the Common Core standards) he discusses teaching the students to read text closely- difficult text- and this is what will propel them forward. I guess I just need to grapple with both.

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