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Literacy Tip of the Week: Week of April 14th

posted Apr 14, 2019, 8:24 PM by Courtney Richardson
Prompting during reading is the heart of a guided reading lesson. It is essentially a personal reading conference with the goal of improving each student’s processing system. A teacher recently asked me, “What’s the best way to plan for the prompting part of the lesson?” Here are the five top prompts and when to use them:
1. Monitor for meaning – If a student ignores an error that disturbs the meaning of the sentence, say, Are you right? Does that make sense?
2. Monitor for visual information – If a student says a word that makes sense (e.g. run for ran) but doesn’t notice the error, say, Does that look right? Check here. Place your pencil tip on the part of the word the student is ignoring.
3. Decoding – If the student notices the error, but struggles to correct it, teach an appropriate word-solving strategy. You might say, Find a part you know. Cover the ending and see if that helps you. Can you think of a word you know that looks like that?
4. Fluency – If the student reads accurately but slowly, it’s time to prompt for fluency and phrasing. First, make sure the student is reading without pointing to each word. Pointing will slow a reader down. Second, work on expression. You might have to model how the character would say it. Third, slide your finger from left to right to cover the words as the student reads. This pushes the student’s eye forward at a faster pace.
5. Comprehension – Comprehension is the goal of every guided reading lesson. Ask a question about the text. Use prompts that check for literal comprehension (What happened on this page?) or deeper thinking (Why did he or she do that? What are you thinking?). 
If you find there is nothing to teach, the book is probably too easy. Choose a harder book for the next lesson. Remember, there should be something to teach in every guided reading lesson.