Guided Reading: Make It Fun!

Guided reading, especially in upper elementary, is a special time for you to sit with a small group of students and really discuss a book. But how can you make it fun? Read about four easy ways to make guided reading engaging for your students in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade. These strategies are easy to use and will help you and your students enjoy guided reading!If guided reading is an important part of your reading program, your kids will be spending a lot of time at your table.

This means that the time you spend in guided reading has to serve a lot of purposes: growing readers, of course, but not just growing readers at the skill level.

Our goal is to create real readers: people who can and do choose to read.

I’m just going to say it: if guided reading is boring, and kids don’t feel excited, successful, or engaged, then we may be robbing our kids of the joy of reading.
Here are some things to think about to make sure that love fills your guided reading lessons!
1. Fake it till you make it.
Don’t love guided reading? Fake it. If you’re bored or disinterested, your kid are too. Be excited and value the work you’re doing with kids. Joy and humor go a long way to grow readers.
2. Choose texts with kids in mind.
Those handy dandy leveled readers are awfully convenient, but they’re usually not very exciting.

I prefer to go with real, engaging texts that kids might actually enjoy and connect with. Scholastic’s Book Wizard is a great place to hunt for reading levels.

Find a text you’d like to read with your kids, and then search for it here to find the guided reading level. Choose a book that’s high interest for the kids in your group. Starting with a reading interest survey can help. You can find one in Rolling Out Reader’s Workshop.

3. Celebrate!
Guided reading is tough work for kids. They’re exploring strategies at levels that aren’t easy. When kids use a strategy they haven’t before, celebrate! When they reach a new level, celebrate! High fives, stickers, bookmarks, and little cheers are easy ways to show kids they’ve accomplished something and should be proud.
4. Use fun materials.
Depending on the age group and personality types you’re working with, props can liven up your lesson and give kids something to look forward to. Some easy props are fun pointers (swizzle sticks are cheap and cute), and “reading glasses”(nothing too distracting or view-obstructing, of course!) are great for younger readers.
My kids also love using dry-erase boards and markers, and sticky notes in cute shapes! The Dollar Store is a great spot for livening up guided reading.
Honestly, though, you don’t need to buy anything to make guided reading fun. If you bring joy to your work, it will shine through your lessons and your kids will love getting small group attention from you! It could be the happiest part of their day, because they feel special, successful, and engaged!

Be sure to check back every Sunday for these informative posts. I promise you won’t be disappointed. I included lots of information and tips to help you get rolling or to spice up your guided reading!
Getting to Know Your Readers First
What Are the Other Kids Doing?
Organizing Your Guided Reading Binder
Preparing Your Space for Guided Reading
Planning for Guided Reading
How Do I Know What to Teach?
Monitoring Progress in Guided Reading
How to Build Reading Strategies
Guided Reading: Make it Fun!



Grab the All-in-One Guided Reading Materials (over 100 pages of tools, forms, organizational strategies, and more for guided reading K-5).


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