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Literacy Tip of the Week: Week of March 10th

posted Mar 11, 2019, 7:57 PM by Courtney Richardson   [ updated Mar 11, 2019, 7:59 PM ]
Prompting During Guided Reading 
Prompting and conferring are the heart and hardest part of any guided reading lesson. As I approach that part of the lesson (which is my favorite part), I think about five broad areas of processing: Monitoring, Decoding, Fluency, Vocabulary, and Comprehension. My conversation and teaching will definitely target one of those areas. 
Based on your notes from past lessons, you should already have a focus for each student. However, be prepared to shift gears. I have Emergent, Early and Transitional readers softly read a page to me. Then I select my teaching prompt based on their needs. If they made a miscue that wasn’t corrected, I’ll probably say, Are you right? Was there a tricky part? (monitoring). If the student noticed an error but was unable to correct it, I might say, What could you do to fix that? Can you break the word apart? Let’s say the student either read accurately or corrected all of the errors. In that case, I would evaluate his or her fluency. If the reading is slow and choppy, I would likely have the student reread the page while I slide my finger over the print to push the student’s eye at a faster rate. I might even choose to teach expression, intonation, or attention to the punctuation. Vocabulary is usually not a focus for Emergent and Early readers, but it is often a need for Transitional and Fluent readers. I ask myself, “Is there a word the student might not know but could figure out using text clues?” If so, that becomes my teaching point. 
Last on the list, but certainly not least, is comprehension. I can prompt any student for comprehension, but what I say depends on the stage of the reader and his/her level of understanding. I could prompt for literal thinking with, What did you read? What happened at the beginning? If I know the student is already good with retelling, I would focus my prompting on deeper thinking like, What are you thinking about the character now? How has the character changed? What questions are you asking yourself? Compare firefighters who work in the city and those who work in the forest. How are they similar? How are they different?
If you need a cheat sheet for prompting, see my Next Step Forward Teacher’s Companion. This handy flip chart can stand up on your desk and be a ready resource as you take the next step in improving your interaction with your students.