Sunday, August 16, 2015

Book Study: Week 6 (Fluent Guided Reading Part C)

It's week 6 of the #GuidedReadingGals' book study on The Next Steps in Guided Reading by Jan Richardson!

There are 3 bloggers blogging about Chapter 6- Fluent Guided Reading:
1. Melissa is guest blogging on Teacher Talk with Mrs. Sadler about Part A (p.178-199).
2. Brooke is guest blogging on Big Ideas for Little Hands about Part B (p.200-224).
3. ME!!!! I'm hosting Part C (p.225-251)!!!!

There is lot of great information in Chapter 6, so let's get started!!

Chapter 6 is all about the fluent reader- readers who are reading levels N+. These readers have mastered decoding skills so are ready to focus on comprehending challenging texts. 

Chapter 6 Part C (225-251) focuses on several comprehension strategies and how to scaffold them. Jan Richardson discusses cause and effect, character analysis, making inferences, poetry analysis, and more!

1. Scaffolding: Okay, so I've always known I needed to scaffold and I do scaffold my instruction the best I can, but sometimes it is hard!! My favorite part about this chapter is how Jan Richardson spells it out for you!! She gives you a strategy and then tells you exactly how to scaffold it. 

For example, when teaching cause and effect, she gives you 3 steps:
1. Flag the effect and students find the cause
2. Flag the paragraph that contains the cause/effect relationship
3. Flag the page that the cause/effect relationship is on. 

She even gives a paragraph with each step that further explains what you should do. She makes it so easy!! 

2. Character traits: Jan Richardson says you should introduce 1 character trait a week and connect it to someone they know (people or characters in fiction, fairy tales, current events, etc.). I love this idea! I can see even adding the weekly character trait as a bonus word on their spelling tests. Students would have to spell it and define it. 

She also cites how Manyak recommends having the whole school on board to teach character traits. This way, each grade level would be responsible for teaching about 20 character traits. Wouldn't it be nice to have the whole school on the same page? 

3. Individual Prompting: When students are reading silently and working on their independent writing responses, Jan Richardson says the teacher should conference with individual students. In this chapter, she states several questions to ask students you are conferencing with when they are stuck on something. 

Two questions really stood out to me:
1. What are you thinking now?
2. What questions are you asking yourself?

I don't feel like I incorporated questions like these enough. We have to teach students that readers are thinkers. We have to teach them to ask questions and to think about what they are reading and writing and asking these two questions will do just that! 

1. At the end of chapter 6, Jan Richardson lists several questions teachers often ask about fluent guided reading. One teacher asked if students can write on whiteboards instead of in reading notebooks. Richardson says you should use notebooks so you have artifacts you can use for evaluating students and I couldn't agree more! 

When I was in the classroom, all my students had guided reading notebooks where we recorded our word work, guided writing, and comprehension work. This past year, I worked as a remediation teacher and all my students had folders to keep their work in. I made quick little charts like the ones below for students to show their work on and keep in their folders. If you have notebooks, these can easily be glued into their notebooks. Once students get comfortable using charts, teach them how to create their own charts in their notebooks!

Character's Feelings 


Sometimes you just don't have any schema on a word! :)

Cause and Effect

2. In this chapter, Jan Richardson talks about the importance of reciprocal teaching. She talks about how you should start by teaching each strategy to the whole class. Then, have students practice one strategy at a time in guided reading groups. Once all the strategies have been taught and mastered, you can give students their own strategy card to work on independently. 

Another idea would be to create a comprehension puzzle. Give each student in your guided reading group a comprehension strategy on a puzzle piece. Then, after all students are finished, have them share their puzzle pieces and put the puzzle together!

1. Since this chapter is all about comprehension, I thought I would share my Reading Comprehension Choice Boards and Activities Bundle! It contains choice boards and activities for the following reading comprehension strategies:
~ Summarizing
~ Inferring
~ Visualizing
~ Making Connections
~ Questioning
~ Predicting
~ Schema

Each comprehension strategy contains a choice board with 9 activities. Handouts and activity sheets are included for each activity that does not require plain paper. 

Choice boards can be put into a center for students to work on independently... 

...or they can be used as homework, a whole group activity (number each activity and have students vote on the activity they want to do that day), or as a Fun Friday task during guided reading groups.
(I like to use Fridays as my day to catch up on anything we didn't finish during guided reading groups and a time to work one-on-one with students who need extra support. These choice boards are perfect for those students who have finished everything and are ready for an independent task!)

You may also like these:
Reading Comprehension Skills Bundle
(Contains whole group Smartboard lessons and activities for schema, inferring, questioning, predicting, visualizing, summarizing, and making connections!)

Character Traits Games and Activities
(Contains four fun character trait games!)

Character's Feelings, Traits and Motivations 
(Contains Smartboard lessons and activities for teaching about character's feelings, traits, and motivations!)

Cause and Effect 
(Contains Smartboard lessons and activities!)

Don't forget to check out Melissa at Teacher Talk with Mrs. Sadler and Brooke at Big Ideas for Little Hands!

Check out each week of the book study by clicking the links below!
Week 1: Guided Reading- Center Rotations
Week 2: Guided Reading- Grouping Students
Week 3: Pre-A and Emergent Guided Reading
Week 4: Early Guided Reading
Week 5: Transitional Guided Reading
Week 6: Fluent Guided Reading
Week 7: Helping Struggling Readers

And, check out the rest of the #GuidedReadingGals blog posts below!


  1. This is a great post!! I really liked the writing samples ... a great way to see if they are understanding what has been read!! I also REALLY like your choice boards! Will be sharing this post on my FB page

    1. Thank you so much!! I am so glad you enjoyed reading this post and found the writing samples and choice boards useful!