hacks for Virtual guided reading
Note: If you are in search of the free ebooks for guided reading,
go to the "Free Books" tab, above.
There are a number of challenges that make teaching guided reading tricky in virtual spaces. From access to books, to watching body language, sound issues, there are definitely some hurdles to get over. As we prepare to go back-to-school, one virtual guided reading challenge is prominent: figuring out how to listen in as individual students read without falling into a round-robin routine.
There is a solution that seems pretty simple. In fact, I think it is so simple that it has been hidden in plain sight.
When we are face-to-face during guided reading and listening to individual readers, we want to hear ONLY the reader that is getting our attention, while we conduct a running record or engage in a conversation. Additionally, we don't want the readers who are NOT receiving our attention at that moment to listen in on our exchange with the student in our focus--for their sakes and for the sake of the student who is reading with us.
To limit what we hear from the other students we can, of course, mute their microphones. To limit what they hear, we can simply ask them to turn their volume all the way down! This seemingly obvious solution allows us to stay in the group, rather than send students off into breakout rooms, which is clunky. Staying in the group by having the student you are listening to turn up the volume (while the others turn their volume down) allows you to keep that small-group feel to your virtual guided reading lessons.
By staying in the group together, you can still watch the other students to see that they are engaged with the text. A little motion on the screen, should get the attention of everyone again. You can use a chat box, or even something as simple as a sign with a student's name on it, to let the group know who needs to turn their volume back up so you can read with the next student.
As for access to books, there seem to be a few options.
In the end, shared reading and one-on-one conferring are likely to do more of the heavy-lifting in virtual literacy instruction. However, it is worth trying to figure out how to maintain some small group work for those students who really need it to succeed. Asking the other children to turn down their volume while you work with one child may be one way to make small group instruction work in virtual spaces.
8/15/2020 07:59:53 am
8/15/2020 12:23:35 pm
Thank you for the free guided reading books and the instructional tips. They are very helpful and reassuring.
8/16/2020 11:50:22 am
Thank you for the tip and access to the books :)
11/5/2020 11:50:08 am
Thank you so much for these helpful tips! I have started reading with a small group of first grade students and have struggled with figuring out how to listen to just one student at a time, without distracting everyone, so I have mostly stuck to choral reading. I am going to try your "volume down" approach next week and see how it goes. Thank you, thank you!
11/23/2020 01:09:02 pm
Thank you for all the great tips! With the current circumstances these are all very helpful ideas that will benefit the classroom instruction while not being able to meet in person.
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Dr. Jan Burkins is a full-time writer, consultant, and professional development provider.