Guided Reading with Your Kiddos

Many schools today implement “The Daily 5″* reading program for elementary students, which breaks an hour of a reading block into 15-20 minute increments. In those increments, students pick from a menu of reading activities. 

Guided reading is one of these menu options. As a parent, you can easily participate in guided reading with your child at home. You’ll be amazed at how much less frustrated they become with tricky words!

The following are a few tips from my own guided reading experience in kindergarten, first, and second grades:


[[ Before Reading ]]

  • Find a word in the book your child might not know.
    • Ask him to find the beginning and ending sounds of that word. Once he identifies the right sounds, repeat what he said out loud, pointing to the letters in the word you’re talking about.
    • Next, slowly say the word’s phonemes (sounds) to him in chunks**. From those sound chunks, he can now piece together the word. (Ex: maybe = may-be).
  • Find words beforehand that have irregular patterns.
    • “Sneaky E” words: the “e” at the end of the word changes the vowel in the middle to a long sound. (ex: woke).
    • Words that have blends such as “ch,” “sh,” and “th” are good to preview together, especially if the blend comes at the end of a word (ex: fish).

[[ While Reading ]]

  • Make sure your child points to each word as he/she reads! It helps immensely.
  • If your child has trouble with a word while reading –
    • First, give her time to figure it out before jumping in.
    • If she’s still stumped, help her with a little phoneme prompting (ex: for jumped, just make the “j” sound and see if she can figure out the rest of the word herself).
    • If that doesn’t help, chunk it!

[[ After Reading ]]

  • Ask your child what happened in the story. You’ll be amazed at what he remembers!
    • If he doesn’t remember the plot, he might need a book that has easier vocabulary.
  • Go back and help your child with just a FEW of the words she stumbled on.
    • Look at those words again briefly together. See if she can sound some out herself.
  • Finish reading time with a quick, familiar book your child is confident about. Always end on a positive note! We’re building readers who love to read.

[[ *If you would like more information on the Daily 5 program, please visit their website. ]]

[[ **Chucking is my favorite CAFE strategy from the Daily 5 program. I use it more than any other strategy! Here’s how to do it:

  • Take, for example, the word “something.” Divide the word into easily identifiable chunks, and cover up part of the word accordingly.
    • For example, first I’ll cover up “thing” so that my student can read “some” and then I’ll cover up “some” and he or she will read “thing.” Students are usually quick to realize – “OH! Some-thing!” ]]