I was first introduced to The Daily Five when I student taught in first grade during my USC years. Check out the book whenever you get a chance:
Last year, as a first year teacher, I took a lot of what I learned from veteran teachers to construct my guided reading time. I have to say that the kids learned A LOT and the entire room was quietly engaged, but I felt like something was missing. I did an end-of-the year interview with my students and asked what part of the day they thought was the hardest- almost 80% replied "Guided Reading." That was my *lightbulb* moment to change up this time. This past summer I reread the daily five book and took ideas from there as well as The Next Step in Guided Reading and wah-lah I came up with my current Guided Reading plan.
Due to our packed schedule, we only hit two sessions a day during our Guided Reading period. The students spend 25 minutes in each session. My centers are:
- Read to Self (pick 3 or 4 "good fit" books and read silently at Table 1. Students then answer a few comprehension questions- what did you like, what didn't you like, what was the problem/solution, etc)
- Read with a Partner (students pick a partner in their group and read books quietly in the classroom library)
- Word Work (students have word recognition searches, letters to build spelling words, words to create sentences, and usually various activities to correlate with our mini lessons)
- Work on Writing (students have activities to complete- worksheets, projects, etc. that go along with our mini lessons)
- Guided Reading (students work with the teacher as a group at the reading table)
My groups are made up of 6 students in each group and I have a total of 5 groups, which are labeled Red, Yellow, Green, Blue, and Purple.
I have to say that in the classroom the students and I love our new Guided Reading plan. I've also had many compliments from parents and veteran teachers.
For more information check out The Daily Five Website