For teachers in the lower grades, this is a popular dilemma . In Kindergarten, formal guided reading usually doesn’t begin until around January. (That shouldn’t be a hard fast rule, though. Some young learners will be ready sooner, and if they are..START!) Taking time to front-load important strategies will make the guided reading lessons more meaningful!
According to author Joan Aldrich Knight, these are the 3 earliest strategies before formal guided reading…
Teach students how print works- left to right and top to bottom. During your read aloud model with your finger. When singing familiar songs, write out the lyrics and follow the print with your finger or a pointer.
Students need practice with pointing under each word and there are plenty of fun ways to do it. You can give them fun things to point with like chopsticks, popsicle sticks with eyeballs, fuzzy balls, or gems glued to the tip, or those witch fingernails that come out around Halloween. You can also make lily pads and use a frog to move from pad to pad. Be creative!
Emergent books are full of sight words. The more words students know, they more fluent they will be once they get started with guided reading.
Building a strong foundation will make your guided reading lessons a breeze!