It was about late November when we first started our Guided Reading groups. I pulled small groups of kids to a spot on the floor, took them on a picture walk, and then they started "reading" the book. I put "reading" in quotes because for most of the kids, the idea was just to play with reading. They were getting the big idea of what a reading group felt like. We practiced holding the book, finding the cover, identifying the author, and learned how to use a whisper voice when we read.
Over the course of the past few weeks, kids have really grown as readers. They now know how to track their print (pointing to the words as they read), and they recognize that practicing their sight words has really helped them to be able to read their books too! There has been so much joy in this process! They are reading along and one student might shout, "Awww. That puppy is SO cute!" Another student perks up when they realize that they can read ALL of the words on the page! It's certainly an exciting time.
Our Guided Reading time is an instructional block that allows me the time to guide the child as he or she is reading. Most of the students in our class are at Level A. (I use the Fountas and Pinnell reading leveling system.) We will be working through different levels of books, with level D books being our end goal for Kindergarten. Students will be bringing a book home each evening to practice. Please have them return the book the next day so they can get a new one. Getting to a Level D by the end of kindergarten is a big task, especially in a half day kindergarten program, so it will be very important that they practice at home too!