Guided Reading for the Pre-A Reader
Happy Wednesday friends and welcome back! If you missed last week’s review of chapter 1, click here and check it out! You can also check out the Live video playback on FB here. Today is all about Guided Reading for the Pre-A Reader – Chapter 2 of The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading. (A little late to the Summer Book Study party? No problem. Go buy the book HERE and jump into chapters 1 & 2.)
2018 Summer Book Study
The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading!
Can I just say how much I love this book?! Sometimes pd books are dry and filled with jargon, that is difficult to digest and just boring to read. But not this book!! I love how Jan Richardson combines a little research with practical, easy to implement ideas for any classroom teacher. Okay…now on to chapter 2!
What is a Pre-A Reader?
- A student who knows fewer than 40 upper and lowercase letters.
- Lack concepts of print; left-to-right tracking; does not know the difference between a letter and a word
- Needs assistance learning how to write name and make correct letter formation.
So, essentially we are talking about the majority of incoming kindergartners! 😉 LOL.
And just like we talked about last week with chapter 1, use the 3 step guided reading process:
Assess, Decide, Guide.
For the assessment part, I can’t recommend ESGI Assessment Software enough!! In chapter 2, Jan provides a letter/sound checklist and other assessment forms. But I can’t stand keeping track of those papers. I always seem to misplace them. Ugh. Eliminate all those papers and save tons of time by just using ESGI! (Plus, use the code CHAOS for a free trial membership and $40 off your year-long license.)
So, now you have assessed all of your students and decided what guided reading groups you will have. It’s now time for the guide time.
Materials to Use for Guided Reading with Pre-A Readers – Emergent Learners
As primary teachers, we know that students do best when ‘doing’ and being able to use a variety of materials, so here is a list of materials that you will be using with your Pre-A Emergent Learners.
- Alphabet Tracing Books
- Alphabet Chart in Plastic Sheet Protector
- Name Templates
- Name Puzzles
- 6-8 Sets of lower-case magnetic letters
- Dry Erase Markers
- Beginning Sound Pictures
- Sentence Strips
- Pair of Scissors
- Level A Books
Tips for Small Group – Guided Reading Lessons for Pre-A Readers & Emergent Learners
- Provide developmentally appropriate small-group instruction.
- Purpose is to teach foundational skills.
- Letter Names & Sounds
- Letter Formation
- Phonological Awareness (syllable, rhymes, initial/beginning sounds)
- Concepts of Print
- Oral Language
- Start the 2nd week of school if possible. (The sooner you start, the better.)
- Tactile and Kinesthetic Tracing is imperative to building muscle memory for properly forming letters.
- Targeted small group lessons should never be more than 20 minutes.
- Each lesson should include 1 activity from each of the 4 components.
- Working with Names & Letters
- Working with Sounds
- Working with Books
- Interactive Writing
- Each component should only be 3-5 minutes and purposeful.
- Limit teacher talk during lesson.
What a Small Group – Guided Reading Lesson Looks Like for Pre-A Readers & Emergent Learners
1. Tactile Tracing of the Alphabet – Alphabet Book
First, Jan Richardson gives some eye-opening reasoning and research for kinesthetic and tactile tracing of letters. I always have my students trace letters, when I am teaching letters, but I have never had them use specific letter cards to ONLY trace with their finger. But it makes absolute sense that in order to build that muscle memory for creating the correct formation, students need to practice with specific tactile letter tracing. This was new to me, since I have them ‘sky write’ the letters, using large motions in the air, but never specific letter cards. But I am on it next year and even created a set that follows all of her stipulations! 🙂 You can check them out HERE and I put them on sale for all of YOU READERS!! Students should practice with teacher, older student or aide to physically trace the capital and lowercase letter, saying the letter name each time. Student should point to the initial sound picture and name it.
(Read pg 29-31 for more details)
These are the whole-group letter tracing practice sheets that I use in my classroom too. These are meant to be done with writing tools. 🙂
2. Working with Names & Letters (2-6 minutes)
This is important, since phonetic writing often starts with letters from a child’s name. Don’t forget to keep a quick pace, using a timer, if necessary. Choose 1 name activity to do for the day’s lesson.
- Name Puzzles
- Magnetic Letters – Students match the magnetic letters to their name (which is in a plastic sheet protector)
- Match magnetic letters to an alphabet chart
- Name letters
- Find letters on an alphabet chart
- Name a word that begins with that specific letter
- Find the Letter that Makes this Sound
- Name the letter that begins with this word
If you are looking for more name activities, check out this post.
3. Working with Sounds (2-3 minutes)
Do one activity a day to help assist in teaching phonological awareness. Here are a few ideas:
- Clapping syllables (use the pictures on the alphabet chart to say, and then clap the syllables.
- Hearing rhymes (say 2 words and have students repeat them. Thumbs up if they rhyme, thumbs down if they don’t. Use words that are distinctly different and not words that share the same initial sound)
- Sorting pictures (students will sort pictures by their initial sound and match it to the specific letter of focus)
I created these alphabet picture cards a few years ago and they are perfect for this activity, since there are several for each letter and they are small! You can see them HERE.
4. Working with Books (5 minutes)
Select a simple level A book (remember you want to teach to the more challenging, instructional level, which is a little too hard for them) Here is a sample of Level A books. You can purchase on Amazon HERE.
Here are the main ideas for working with books:
- Picture Preview
- Shared Reading
- Concepts of Print
5. Interactive Writing (5 minutes)
Students will be assisting the teacher in writing by sharing the writing utensil. Here are some ideas that Jan suggests for interactive writing:
- Dictate a simple sentence
- Students repeat sentence. Teacher draws a line for each word.
- Students can assist the teacher by writing the dominate sounds in each word on it’s specific line.
- While one student is writing, the others will be practicing writing that specific letter too.
- Select 1 or 2 letters to teach correct letter formation.
- Specific letter formation chants and information can be found on page 43
- Students will cut sentence from sentence strip up into parts and then put them back together to remake it. Students can take home their own sentence to practice.
While I do a lot of the suggestions that Jan makes in this chapter, I am feeling more confident in my Pre-A Readers guided reading group for next year. I have a plan and will start this group earlier, than in years past. This chapter is full of explicit teaching/instruction and a plethora of ideas and resources for teachers to use! I hope you learned something and would love for you to share! Leave a comment for me below, or meet me on Instagram or FB during one of my LIVE chats!
Don’t forget to check out Greg’s recap of Chapter 2 HERE!