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Literacy Tip of the Week: Week of October 29th

posted Oct 29, 2017, 2:04 PM by Courtney Richardson   [ updated Oct 29, 2017, 2:08 PM ]

Using Next Step Forward in Guided Reading for Whole-Class Focus Lessons

As a reading specialist, I adapted Jan’s lesson plan for whole-class lessons so I could link the focus to our state and county standards. First, I collected about 20 Mentor Texts to match one of the comprehension strategies in Chapter 7 of Next Step Forward in Guided Reading (Richardson, 2016).  I would often use the same mentor text for several days but selected different comprehension strategies. This encouraged children to use flexible thinking skills. The thinking, not the text, was goal of the lesson. I linked the lessons to our state standards as well. You can see an example on pages 21-25 in the NSFGR Study Guide. Using Wemberley Worried by Kevin Henkes, and linking it to several Chapter 7 strategies supported student thinking in a whole group focus lesson. By listing the strategy and the standard, teachers help focus their practice. You can find the blank template for a whole-class lesson on Jan’s resource page. 
An effective way to plan as a team is to make one team meeting a month a ‘make and take’ session. Teachers come with at least two whole-class plans for one of their mentor texts. After each member of the team shares their plans, the lessons are uploaded to a shared folder. Over a period of months, the grade level team will have created a bank of strong, targeted and effective focus lessons that support the standards. 
Using Jan’s adapted lesson plan with mentor texts encourages teachers to work as a team and teach their strategy focus lesson with purpose and clarity. By modeling a strategy in whole class lessons, you will strengthen your students’ thinking and provide echoes throughout the guided reading lessons.
Written by: Ellen Lewis, Next Step Consultant (