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Book Study: Chapter 7 - Comprehension Strategies with a Freebie!

Hi guys! It's Cori from Mrs. B's Beehive, wrapping up our book study on Jan Richardson's newest guided reading book! I read the first version of this book almost 5 years ago, and I'm happy that I purchased and read this new addition.  As has been mentioned before, I love that it is spiral bound, and can easily sit on my desk as I teach small groups.  There is so much information in this book that it can be overwhelming! Having the book beside me as I teach will help me recall and utilize all of the important steps in a guided reading lesson.


Chapter 7 is all about comprehension.  Guided reading means nothing, if the students don't understand what they are reading.  In this chapter, Jan Richardson provides 12 comprehension strategies to use with the students.  For each comprehension strategy, she provides 1-3 lesson plans on how to teach that particular strategy.  Not all lesson plans are geared toward our little people, but I would argue that they could all be modified to fit our needs.

After reading this chapter, I felt overwhelmed again.  This book is packed with so much information, that it is hard to digest!  To make the comprehension piece a little easier, (and because I'm a very visual person) I put together this comprehension sheet for us to use.  My idea, is that you can laminate it, and keep it at your desk or in your guided reading binder. When you come to the comprehension section of the lesson, you can glance at this sheet to decide which strategy you would like to use to check for understanding.  As the students become more familiar with the strategies, you can even have them choose how they would like to share their learning!



If you would like a copy of this chart you can find it in the link below:


I hope you find this helpful, and thank you for following along with us on this book study.  Use the image below to pin this to Pinterest, if you would like to come back to this series at a later time.


Kinder Tribe Book Study: Chapter 5 The Transitional Reader

Hello Kinder Tribe friends. Heather here from Learning with Mrs. Langley and I am back to review the next chapter in Jan Richardson's The Next Step in Guided Reading. 
This chapter is FULL of ideas for the transitional reader from kindergarten through middle school. Transitional readers are tricky because they all need something different! Some struggle with comprehension while others need work with fluency. Let's dive right in! 

Assessing students is probably the part I struggle with the most so I really focused in on this part of the chapter. I love the materials that Richardson has available in the Appendix to assess students word knowledge inventory and then additional materials for the reading conference. You don't have to create anything or find anything online because it's all right there in the book. 

Work Knowledge Inventory- This is given as a whole class (or with kinders just your high kiddos). It is a carefully designed list of words for students to spell. 

Reading Conference- The reading conference should consist of a running record where the teacher makes notes of self monitoring, rereading, decoding, self correcting, and fluency. The conference should also include an oral retell (checking for comprehension).  

Richardson provides the guided reading plan for transitional readers on page 313 of the book. Unlike the reading plan for early readers (discussed in chapter 4) the transitional reading plan includes 3 days of instruction rather than just 2. The third day includes a writing prompt with planning and writing time. She points out that the writing piece has two goals, extending and assessing comprehension and improving writing skills. So important! 

If you haven't already I encourage you to go through and watch all of the videos. I have watched most of them but not all so I have some time set aside this week to go back and watch the videos I missed. I will be taking some notes! 

What was your aha! moment in this chapter? This will sound silly but mine was the fact that word study is still included in the transitional reader lesson plan. I thought that by now I could skip those and focus more on comprehension but the word lists included in the chapter were very helpful for me to see that those are things I need to work. They will be very helpful when working with my high groups this year. 

If you would like to pin this post for later here you go!  

Thanks for stopping by today! 

Catch Me, If You Can! Live, From Vegas!

& Turn EVERY Child Into A Writer!

I'm so excited to be coming to you LIVE from the ESGI booth in Las Vegas! But wait, there is more...

For anyone who can't attend SDE's "I Teach K!" conference, you can catch my mini session live on Facebook! 
I'll be going live at 4:40 PM 
on Tuesday, July 11. 
So, tune in and find out how you can 
make writing FUN and easy for your
kindergarten and struggling 1st grade students!


I'll also be presenting all day on 
Wednesday, July 12
and 
Thursday, July 13
at SDE's I Teach K!
So catch me, if you can, at one of my sessions:
You can register by CLICKING HERE.

July 12:
9:00 AM-  Bring Inquiry-Based Learning Into Your K     
                 Classroom
10:45-  Emergent Reading: Climb Aboard The Literacy Train!
1:30-  Don't Wait! Early Intervention Strategies for Your 
           Littlest  Learners
3:15-  From Re-Telling Stories to Writing: Instant Success!

July 13:
9:00 AM-  Close Reading & the Idea of Digging Deeper.
10:45-  Integrating Curriculum: Teaching Smarter, Not Harder
1:30-  Developing Writing Skills in Kindergarten

So, whether you will be in Vegas, or not, 
I hope you can catch me at one of  my 
SDE sessions or 
at ESGI's Facebook Live!


Kinder Tribe Book Study:Chapter 4 The Early Reader

Hey there Kinder Tribe! It's Jill from Chevron and Centers. I am excited to share chapter 4 of The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading with you!! I also had the previous version of this book. I love this one! The layout is very teacher friendly and is a great guide for your small group instruction.
We all know how important guided reading is with our kinders.  Let's take a look at what to do with your early readers- those children who are reading on level D-I. I love how Amanda shared the guided reading lesson plan last week. This layout is discussed in this chapter as well. I love how this format can be used with any reader.
Day One:
Sight Word review
Introduce new book
Read book with prompting
Discuss/Teach
New Sight word
Word study

Day Two:
Sight Word review
Reread book
Discuss/Teach
Reteach sight word
Guided Writing

Most of our kinder kiddos are reading on levels A-C. When we begin guided reading groups that is where the majority of our kids fall. We do have those kids that come in ready to read and quickly move to level D and beyond. Early readers know letters and sounds and are reading and writing sight words. 
Through our guided reading instruction Richardson tells us we want to help them learn how to:
  • monitor their reading for meaning and structure
  • reread  for meaning
  • use a variety of strategies to solve words
  • apply phonetic principles they have learned
  • retell what they have read
 Richardson points out that the ultimate goal of a guided reading lesson is comprehension. This past school year I had a very high class. I had 85% of my class reading on level E or higher at the end of kindergarten.  I teach in a Title 1 school and this is a rare thing! I was excited about what I could do with my kids but also worried about how to move them. I'm not going to lie it wasn't easy ha! Following the lesson plan format discussed in this book is a game changer though!
 I needed to add  higher level text and I found this set on TPT from A Teachable Teacher. She also has another pack that are leveled passages from J-O that I purchased as well for my super high readers.
I loved these and so did my kids. Children that are reading at levels E-I need to build fluency and comprehension. These passages are perfect for small group instruction. Here is a sample below. 
These passages lend themselves to Richardson's lesson plan format for guided reading. I enjoyed the fact that the passages were not so long that we didn't have time to get to the word building part of the lesson. The comprehension questions at the end were a great way to start that part of the lesson. They were also a good way to lead into guided writing.
Another topic discussed in this chapter is running records. Richardson suggests doing formal running records 3 times a year beginning, middle and end. We use Fountas and Pinnell. Kindergarten is required to do a formal benchmark test in January, March and May. Of course if you have readers coming into the year you would assess them then. I do weekly assessments with my kids at small group. I have a binder that has a section for each child. I jot my notes down on sticky notes. This lets me know quickly what strategies we need to focus on to with each child/small group. 

Thanks for stopping by to read about chapter 4 in our book study! Head on over to our facebook page and let us know if you have any question!


Kinder Tribe Book Study: The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading Chapter 3

Hello Kinder Tribe!  Amanda here with you today from Mrs. Pauley's Kindergarten.  Like my other Kinder Tribe members, I am so excited about this book study.  I owned the previous version and it totally transformed my guided reading lessons three years ago.  I was amazed at the progress my students were able to make using this lesson plan format found in Chapter 3!


Let's dive in to Chapter 3, The Emergent Reader:  Levels A-C.  When I really get my guided reading groups up and running, I have a couple of groups still in Pre-A and then the rest of my groups fall into this category.

The Emergent Reader lesson spans across two days with each lesson being approximately 20 minutes.  The lessons are fast paced which helps keep your students' attention and you are able to get through quite a bit in a short amount of time.



I love how in the book Jan Richardson has such an easy to follow lesson plan for these lessons.  There is an example one filled out on page 94 or a blank copy on page 309.

Sight Word Review (1-2 minutes) - I use whiteboards and dry erase markers for this because my students LOVED using whiteboards.  You could also use scrap paper and markers.  Choose familiar sight words and always review the most recent sight word you taught.  I also try to find words that the students will encounter in our new book that are familiar words to review.

Book Introduction (3-5 minutes) - When introducing the new book, here are the steps you can follow:
1.  Provide a synopsis - Sometimes I even write out exactly what I am going to say so I don't forget
2.  Preview and predict - Have students make predictions about the illustrations and draw their attention to important information.  You do NOT need to discuss every page.
3.  Introduce new vocabulary - If you have to introduce more than 5 words, then the book is too difficult for that group.
4.  Practice new language structures - You can turn to a specific page and read a sentence to the group and have them practice it with you.
5.  Encourage cross-checking - I love that Richardson included a chart to help you provide students just what they need for this (check it out on page 74)

Reading with Prompting (8-10 minutes)- During this part of the lesson, the students are going to individually read the book while you confer with students.  My students know that if they finish reading the book they need to go back and keep rereading it until I am finished with my conferring.  Once again, Richardson provides us with the language for prompting.  You can find a chart on page 76, but she also includes it on her blank lesson plan.

Discussion Prompt (2-3 minutes) - Engage the students in a meaningful conversation about the story.  I know that some of our books have simple story lines so sometimes we can use the text and characters to make personal connections.

Teaching Point (1-2 minutes) - On the lesson plan page, there are options for you to choose from for this part of the lesson.  This teaching should be QUICK and CLEAR.  She provides with a chart of activities on page 77 that matches a goal with a demonstration.  I am so thankful that she has provided us with all these little "nuggets" of information.  It makes planning for my groups so much easier.

Teach One Sight Word (2-3 minutes) - For this part of the lesson, you will want to choose a sight word from the book that is new to the students.  My students love this part of the lesson because they get to do some of their favorite activities.
1.  What's Missing?
2.  Mix & Fix
3.  Table Writing
4.  Write It
You can read about those here.

Word Study (3-4 minutes) - For this, you can choose activities such as picture sorting, making words, or sound boxes.  Many times I would have students do their Words Their Way sorts with me during this time.



As you can see, many of the activities in Day 2 are the same or similar as Day 1.  Let's go through the new activities for Day 2.

Sight Word Review (1-2 minutes) - This is the same as Day 1 except you want to review the new word you taught on Day 1 with the other review words.

Reread Book with Prompting (8-10 minutes) - Today students will work on reading the book with fluency.  You can use those prompts from Day 1 again to differentiate for your students.

Discussion Prompt (2-3 minutes) - This is the same as Day 1, but you would want to have a new discussion about the book.

Teaching Point (1-2 minutes) - Once again, this is the same as Day 1.

Reteach Sight Word (2-3 minutes) - Follow the same procedures as on Day 1.

Guided Writing (5-8 minutes) - For this, you want to choose a sentence that is an appropriate length for your students.
Level A sentence should be 3-5 words
Level B sentence should be 5-7 words
Level C sentence should be 7-10 words

Then follow these steps for the activity:
1.  Draw a line for each word
2.  Confer, scaffold, and teach - allow the students to work at their own pace
3.  Focus on spelling - prompt students to say the words as they write them

Once you are finished with these two days, you will want to reflect on the book and take a look at what your next steps should be.

Was this book too hard, too easy, or just right for the students?  What should the next focus be for this group?  Which students do I need to take a closer look at?  What will our next book be?

I can not stress enough how much this format changed my teaching and how successful my students were because of it.  When I started this format (three years ago this winter), I have 3/4 of my class below grade level on their Fountas & Pinnell benchmark.  By the end of that year, with my change in instruction, almost all of my students made the kindergarten benchmark.  It was amazing and still brings tears to my eyes when I think about it.

Hop on over to our Facebook group and let me know what questions you have about Chapter 3!


Kinder Tribe Book Study: The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading Chapter 2


Hello, Kinder Tribe Friends! This is Kelly from My Fabulous Class. I am so excited about this book study. I own the previous version of this book, but decided to purchase the updated version and I have here to tell you, it is worth it!!! I think the layout is easier to follow, there is new information, and I LOVE the spiral bound pages. If you haven't gotten the book, I highly recommend it.You can find it on Amazon HERE.



Today, I am talking about Chapter 2, The Pre A Reader. How many of your kids are in this category in the fall? When are they expected to be out of this stage? I would say, 50-75% of our Kinders fall into this category in August. It seems to vary year to year. The expectation at our school is to be out of this phase by October.



I know from talking to many of you, Pre-Guided Reading lessons can be a challenge, Jan Richardson does a great job of laying out exactly what you should be teaching and for how many minutes.




 I think we all start are year off with having students work with their names. Jan says to spend 1-2 minutes working with their names. She suggest using name puzzles, magnetic letters or rainbow writing.  I like to make these simple name puzzles and have all of students work with building their names. I have created this FREE Editable Name Puzzle. You can download it here.You can get the Editable Caterpillar HERE. It comes in color and black and white. I recommend printing it in color without any letters. Then, you can reuse them year after year. You can cut the circles with a 1.5 inch circle.

In the book, Jan provides several examples for working with letters. She suggest picking one activity and working on it for 2-3 minutes to help build automaticity.

I have always been a fan of matching letters to an alphabet chart. I have been known to do this everyday with my lowest kids. You can find this alphabet chart HERE. Jan provides several activities specific to the alphabet chart. I like asking students to find the letter that you here at the beginning of ______ (insert word from alphabet chart).

I really like the idea of asking students to lay out the letters in their bag and simply naming them. Fast and easy, yet so beneficial.



Jan recommends doing 1 sound activity a day to teach phonological awareness.


Clapping syllables is great for building phonological awareness. At first, you will clap with students, but the goal is for them to do it on their own. You can find this syllable activity here.


Hearing rhymes is also important. In the beginning, you will say two words, such as pig and wig. Students will repeat the words then give you a thumbs up if they rhyme.


 Segmenting words into onset and rime will help students to distinguish the ending sounds. You can find these activities here.


Sorting pictures is another way to work on sounds. I start with picture cards and put the letter cards away. In the beginning, I will just layout 3 picture cards, two with the same sound and one that is different. I slowly name the pictures, then ask student which two start the same. 


Once you are ready to introduce letters, Jan suggests starting with two consonants. Pick ones that are meaningful to the students in your group, such as the letter in their first name. You can find both of these activities here.



 Jan talks about doing a picture walk with a book. I know some teachers skip this, but it is CRUCIAL (in my opinion). First, your supporting students vocabulary. Second,you are helping build confidence by previewing the story. After you preview the book, Jan says to do shared reading of the book. Essentially, you corral read with your students. Finally, you work on concepts about print. I like to have students find a letter in their name and find a sight word we have worked on. Other concepts include first and last word, one and two letters, punctuation, and upper/lower case letters



For your Pre-A students, you will focus on share the pen. I like to dictate a sentence related to the book we are reading. Students draw a line for each word (was this in the old book? I have not been doing this!) Use the alphabet chart to help write letters that they here or know. Select one or two letters for letter formation. Cut up the sentence and have students rebuild it.




I created this Pre-A Guided Reading unit. It includes the activities I featured in this post, plus many, many more. I will be adding black and white pages by the end of the week to meet your printing needs. You can buy now, and get the updated version FREE. This unit will remain on sale for 50% off for the remainder of the book study. Enjoy!

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Before I go, I want to remind you to enter our Kinder Tribe Giveaway. You could win a gift card to TPT valued at $100!!! Enjoy!!!



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Kinder Tribe Book Study: The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading Chapter 1


Hello KinderTribe friends! Heather here from Learning with Mrs. Langley and I am thrilled to introduce a new opportunity for some summer reading and professional development. The Kinder Tribe authors have come together to review The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading by Jan Richardson. Over the next few weeks we will review a chapter and spark some conversation about what steps to take to start or improve guided reading in your classroom.  Here is the schedule: 

June 5: Chapter 1-Guided Reading Essentials
June 12: Chapter 2- The Pre A Reader
June 19:  Chapter 3- The Emergent Reader
June 26:  Chapter 4 -The Early Reader
July 3:  Chapter 5- The Transitional Reader
July 10:  Chapter 6- The Fluent Reader
July 17:  Chapter 7- Comprehension

I am going to get the ball rolling with Chapter One: Guided Reading Essentials. Even if you feel like you have a good handle on what guided reading is and you are just looking for ways to revamp your existing routine, don't skip this chapter. It really lays out the ground work for the rest of the book.
What is guided reading?  "Guiding reading is small-group differentiated instruction that supports students in developing reading proficiency" (pg. 13 Jan Richardson)

The main components of guided reading are pretty simple. They include:
  • small group instruction
  • slightly challenging text
  • targeted teaching
There is always room for improvement but I think I have a pretty good handle on the small group instruction (see how I group HERE) and targeted teaching. However, I never really feel confident in picking the right leveled readers so I am excited to expand my knowledge in that area...and like I said, there is always room for improvement! 

Richardson also points out that guided reading is just part of a balanced reading program. In addition to meeting with small groups students should be experiencing literacy in many different ways. Read-alouds, shared reading, and independent reading are all important pieces to the puzzle. 

Teaching independence "As you prepare your students for guided reading, you will need to establish firm routines for working independently or in small groups." (pg. 16 Richardson). 

Amen! It's all about independence in our classroom from the very first minute we walk through the door. Procedures, procedures, procedures is my mantra for the first few (actually about 6) weeks of school. Richardson has a great layout of how she teaches routines on page 17 of the book. I love how it is broken down!  

So many ideas! There are so many amazing ideas in this chapter to get you going with literacy activities like buddy reading, writing, word work, and listening to reading. There are some (new to me) ideas listed that I am going to try and add to our Daily 5 choices.

Common Questions Each chapter has a section at the end for common questions asked by teachers. I love when authors add these in because I usually have had one or two of the same questions while reading. It's like instant gratification straight from the author! 

Videos Probably the BEST part of this book if you are a visual learner like I am. There are links to videos throughout the book that show Richardson in action modeling the teaching techniques. Amazing right?

So here are a few questions that I have after reading this chapter: 

What elements of guided reading do you already have established in your classroom?  Do you have small groups already working effectively? What do you want to work on? 


Interested in reading this book? Get it HERE and read along with us. We will follow up on a new chapter every Monday. Here is the schedule: 

 Follow KinderTribe on FB for even more great conversations with kinder teachers just like you!

Thanks for stopping by Kinder Tribe today. Here is a little planning page FREEBIE for you if you are wanting to get started with guided reading in the coming year! I made it editable so you can type the names right in. Thanks friends! 
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