Guided Reading: A Part of (Surely Many) Anecdotes

Today I started pulling my guided reading groups.

FINALLY.

It only took four weeks to test everyone and finally get the ball rolling with actual reading instruction. GRACIOUS.

Anyway, like I said, I pulled reading groups today. Y’all, it feels SO good to be a teacher again. I mean, who knew teaching was actually in a teacher’s job description!? In groups today, we looked at their reading levels and talked about our growth mindset and made sure our book boxes were filled with “just right” books. One of the lower groups that I pulled had me a little nervous; I wanted to be honest with them concerning their reading level (which is around a first grade reading level), but I also didn’t want to demoralize any of the kids. It’s a fine line.

I showed this group of kids their current reading levels and they weren’t very disappointed initially. After a moment of showing them where they are and where we want to be in a year, a kid asked if that was bad.

“Bad?! No! Never! It isn’t bad! It just means we have to work really hard this year, and that’s okay — we just need to stay focused and encourage each other so that we can become stronger readers!”

Then, another girl in the group asked how I was going to help get them there.

This child looked me in the eyes and asked me how I was going to get them to that state of a year’s growth — how I was going to help them become stronger, better, more confident readers. How I was going to help them achieve grade level status.

I explained my plan of action. I told them that we would read together every day, that we would challenge ourselves with our books. I told them that we would write about what we read and form opinions and discuss texts in a meaningful way. As I explained this, their eyes lit up. They weren’t discouraged — they were eager to get to work.

They selected books and were ready to read. I could see how happy they felt. They felt successful. That’s what it’s about, isn’t it? Watching them get excited about learning and facilitating their success so they become lifelong learners?

They trust you. They love you. Don’t we owe them our very best so that they can be their very best?

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