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Guided Reading Lesson Reflections

Rolanda S. Hardy

July 24, 2017

Trinity Washington University

EDTE 421- Professor Terlop


Guided Reading Lesson Reflections

Self-reflections are essential components to early childhood education. Learning a new

skill, in this case guided reading, would require a significant amount of reflection as I determine

the best practices for this group. Throughout this process, I have reflected on my strengths and

areas that need improvement related to planning and conducting guided reading lessons with a

small group. Each days reflection includes two glows (aspects that went well) and two grows

(areas of improvement).

Lesson 1: Fun in the Water

The first lesson plan was created with the book Fun in the Water. This book was chosen

based on students displayed phonological awareness skills. I also considered the results of a

sight word assessment.

Day 1

Day 1 of the first lesson lasted past the suggested twenty-minute time allotment. When I

noticed this, I took another look at the lesson plan to determine how I was going over the time.

What I realized is that the one lesson plan template is divided into two days. I had done activities

for day one and two in one session. While I commend myself for being ready and engaging students

in something that was new to both of us (a glow), improvement is still needed. Therefore, a grow

that I have is to ensure I understand the flow of the lesson before I attempt to implement it.

Nevertheless, I had the materials organized pretty well this lesson. Everything that I need

was within arms reach. The next time I conduct a guided reading lesson, however, I will label the

materials for activities by number so that I do not have to continue to refer to the lesson plan to

know what is next. This will improve the flow of the lesson, help to keep students engaged, and

honor the time limit.


Day 2

When I reflect on glows and grows for this lesson, engagement first comes to mind. When

using nonfiction books, the students called the book boring and equated it to a grown up book.

While Bradley was very interested, Oscar and Ben needed more pulling in. As they made their

comments on the unattractiveness of the story, I was unsure how to respond. Now that the lesson

is over, I feel that I should reintroduce or talk about stories that are nonfiction to draw the students

in again. I am proud of myself for utilizing some of the language that Professor Terlop used in her

demonstration of a guided reading lesson. For example, she directed us to find pages by page

number, a skill that I was not sure my young learners were ready for. But they did very well with

this. I was pleasantly surprised.

An issue raised from the students sitting in such close proximity. I used a smaller table and

it did not work out well. Students were racing with each other during independent reading, and

they were distracted by the others reading. For instance, I heard Bradley read the word you

correctly numerous times; yet, when he listed to his peers, he began saying I as they were. The

teaching points section was much stronger this lesson. Students were prompted to identify words

by looking at the first letter and considering sentence structure. This is another strategy I took away

from Ms. Terlop.

Lesson 2: The Big Cat

Several students in my class own cats in their home. In addition, they enjoy listening to a

story on Storyline Online entitled Me and My Cat. This story should prompt more discussion

and assist in the development of comprehension skills.


Day 1

According to Richardson (2016), educators must choose a new sight word that was in the

book (p. 78). I chose a book that did not include new sight words from the sight word list in

Appendix F of the textbook. The Big Cat was chosen as to motivate and engage students in reading.

Because reading is new to them, and I was pulling them away from their centers/activities, I wanted

to provide a text they found interesting or could connect with. Essentially, I prioritized engagement

over sight word lists. This was important to me after Lesson ones day two session proved focus

and participation would be a challenge. In addition to allowing observations to influence future

lessons, I also conducted an efficient picture walk. The students participated well in our discussion

of the pictures and they made some excellent remarks as they studied each picture.

Unfortunately, I did not have enough magnetic letters for the students to be able to do the

making words activity independently. Instead of using the magnetic letters, I used post-it notes.

I remember Professor Terlop saying the magnetic letters are good for the students to use because

they allow students to feel the lines and curves of the letters. For future lessons, I need to work on

collecting all of the materials I would need to complete these lessons in a way that maximizes

student learning. Another grow I have for myself is that I need to be cautious that my involvement

in their reading does not impede independence (Richardson, 2016, p. 75). The Jan Richardson

approach is very different than my usual approach to teaching new skills. I generally walk students

through their very first encounter, and promote independence as I reduce my involvement. This

approach requires independence on the first lesson, which is something I have to get used to and

train myself to do.


Day 2

A grow for this guided reading session is to continue to work on the read with prompting

portion of the lesson plan. Richardson (2016) provides a tip that if you notice two students reading

the same page, have one student go to the previous page and read it to you (p. 75). I reread this

quote from the book after the lesson as I was unsure what to do about students who try to follow

others or mimic them. Changing the table I use for guided reading may help as well. Using a larger

space could prevent students from watching each other so closely. Another grow I have for myself

is that I have been taking a running record on one student while the others are reading familiar

books (Richardson, 2016, p. 103). I feel confident in my ability to complete running records and

mark student errors or behaviors while reading aloud.

Oscar has been having a difficult time focusing on the lesson. I think I may have to change

some of the activities to include gross motor components. This could help Oscar but also the other

students who are easily distracted by him. I also need to work on analyzing problem areas. Oscar

does not seem to be progressing along with his guided reading group members. In these cases,

Richardson (2016) states that teachers should reflect on your teaching, analyze assessments, and

develop a plan for acceleration (p. 95). I should complete a problem-solving chart for Oscar to

see which skills he needs to develop in order to experience success. Each successful experience

may motivate him to exhibit increased persistence and display more effort during lessons.

Lesson 3: In and Out

Day 1

This guided reading group has a very hands-on working approach. They enjoy

manipulating materials. This makes the mix and fix activity appealing to them. For the picture sort

section of the lesson plan, I decided to use pieces from matching picture puzzles. Prior to this

lesson, I was going to get rid of these puzzles, as I believed them to be beneath my students

developmental level. They are beyond matching puzzles, and are completing interlocking puzzles.

I consider a glow from this lesson to be my intentionality in planning this experience, along with

the purposeful selection of materials. Appropriateness of pictures was cross-checked with picture

sorting handouts that were distributed during this course. The b and d struggle for many kids

can be exasperating (Richardson, 2016, p. 53). With this in mind, I chose to conduct the picture

sort with these letters. I taught the students that b has a belly and d has a diaper, which they

are still in the process of internalizing. I also consider my incorporation of reading strategies such

as the Eagle eye to be a glow. With each lesson, I find myself using more strategies that I have

learned in this EDTE 421 course.

Up until now, I had not noticed that I had been reviewing sight words incorrectly.

According to Richardson (2016), I should choose three sight words for students to write (p. 69).

Students have been identifying by sight as I first understood this review to be an assessment of

students ability to recognize these words. In the future, I need to incorporate writing during this

portion of the lesson to model proper handwriting. In conjunction with increased handwriting, I

also need to learn the proper way that students should form letters. I am not familiar with

Fundations and feel that I should familiarize myself with this programs letter formation techniques

before formally teaching students the incorrect way to write.

Day 2

Richardson (2016) advises against having students read the book chorally or round-robin.

This limits the amount of text they read and impedes independence (p. 75). For this particular

lesson, I used a strategy of working together because I wanted to allow the students to model for

each other. One student uses one-to-one matching consistently, while the other checks the pictures

for clues very well. One student, Oscar, needs continuous reminders to pay attention to print. He

memorizes the pattern and just says the words. When he encounters words that do not follow the

pattern, as the end of this book, he has a difficult time decoding or sounding them out.

After todays lesson, I realize that I need to work on the teaching points for emergent

readers section of the guided reading plan. During independent reading, the students should not

read together. However, during quick teaching points, I can have students chorally read one page

and frame each word with their index fingers. This will demonstrate voice-to-print match (p. 77).

It took a few practice runs of the guided reading lessons to fully understand the process. I now

understand that the independent reading is where I observe students. Then I select a goal to

demonstrate during teaching points based on my observations.

I have noticed that the students are inconsistently identifying the word the, despite

encountering it daily. So, to improve the effectiveness of this lesson, I need to use handwriting

when reviewing sight words. Although I am unsure of the proper way to instruct students to write,

I am aware that writing aids in memorization.

Overall, I was most comfortable this lesson. The lesson flowed and I did not need to refer

to the lesson plan. Any breaks in the lesson occurred because an administrator come over to speak

to me. All of the students were engaged and we had fun this time. I loved that the students laughed

and enjoyed themselves. Understanding which teaching points need to be used and what I am

looking for allowed me to effortlessly remind students to use their fingers to point to words and to

create spaces between their words.



Richardson, J. (2016). The next step forward in guided reading: an assess-decide-guide

framework for supporting every reader. New York, NY: Scholastic.

Schickedanz, J. A., & Collins, M. F. (2013). So much more than the ABCs: the early phases of

reading and writing. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young