Guided reading is a HUGE part of my classroom each day. Using DRA scores to level my groups, I spend about 20 minutes with each reading group. We have recently been asked to include running records in each child's portfolio and many teachers expressed their frustration with completing these running records. I decided to explain how I manage reading, taking running records, and writing all in my 20 minute group.
Determine your focus
Find a reading strategy and comprehension strategy. I use decoding animals to teach decoding skills. Next I find my comprehension skill (details, main idea, characters, text features, etc.)
Pick an appropriate text
I use decodable texts, predictable texts or books with our sight words. I'm lucky to work in a school with a book room of leveed texts but I also like to order Bob's Books from scholastic.
I begin with a mini lesson based upon the skill we are working on. I give students highlighting tape to highlight words they struggle to decode and scaffold using the decoding posters. We sometimes also use the tape to highlight sight words. Once we read the text together, I give students whisper phones to read independently then they partner read quietly. At this time, I begin my running record. I pick a student and provide the student with a text at their instructional level. While students are whisper reading, I have time to work with a student. It's important to note that you do not need running records for each student every week. I typically do them about 3 times a marking period for each child.
Respond to reading
Once I'm done with my running record We respond to our reading in writing. I do this in a variety of ways. I use pre-made response sheets or students use writing paper to draw a picture and respond by writing a sentence. Again, this depends on the skill I am teaching. You can download my FREE writing paper HERE and download my guided reading response activities HERE.