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Guided Reading in Kindergarten

Kindergarten teacher Jennifer Goldstein generously offers her guide to the various guided levels commonly seen among kindergartners. She describes the characteristics of the reader and the text for each level, the skills and strategies to focus upon and suggested lessons to help students progress to the next level.
(Terms of Use)

Jennifer Goldstein
A member of the Teachers.Net Community
March 1, 2009

Guided Reading in Kindergarten
A printable version is available here.

Level PA (Phonemic Awareness)

Student Characteristics:

  • Knows few/some letter names and sounds
  • Knows no/few sight words
  • Developing concepts of print
  • Developing concept of a word

Skills/Strategies:

  • Letter identification
  • Letter sounds
  • Rhyming
  • Beginning sounds
  • Sight words

Lesson Ideas:

  • Letter Identification activities (puzzles, letter manipulatives)
  • Letter sound activities (bingo, puzzles, beginning sound books)
  • Picture sorts (rhyming, beginning sounds)
  • Upper/lowercase letter activities (matching)
  • Rhyming activities (bingo, concentration)
  • Sight word activities (flashcards, concentration, bingo)

Level A

Text Characteristics:

  • Repetitive, predictable throughout text
  • Only one sentence pattern throughout book
  • One line of text per page

Student Characteristics

  • Knows many letters/sounds
  • Knows a few sight words
  • Relies heavily on picture for meaning
  • May seem to memorize text

Skills/Strategies:

  • One to one tracking
  • Look at picture for clue
  • Concepts of print

Lesson Ideas:

  • “Magic Potion” (Place a small dab of scented lotion on the tip of the child’s reading finger. Rub it in well, if you can smell it, it’s working. The “magic potion” will make your reading finger touch each word as you read it.)
  • Take a picture walk to preview and activate prior knowledge
  • Cover up the changeable word in pattern and use picture to predict hidden word

Level B

Text Characteristics:

  • Repetitive, predictable
  • Subtle changes in sentence pattern: in/on
    • Ex: The duck is in the pond. v The frog is on the lily pad.
  • Last page may have different sentence.
  • One or two lines of text per page

Student Characteristics

  • Begins to self-monitor while reading
  • Knows most/all letter sounds
  • Begins to sound out cvc words.
  • Tracks with finger with one to one correspondence
  • Knows several to many of the kindergarten sight words
  • Begins to rely on text for meaning

Skills/Strategies

  • Begin to work on self-monitoring
  • Decoding cvc words
  • Tracking
  • Guess & Check predictions

Lesson Ideas

  • “Make & Break” (a.k.a. “Making Words”) using letter tiles or mini Lively Letter cards, focusing on cvc words
  • Cover up all but the first letter in changeable word at end of sentence
    • EX: Can you see the b ?
  • How to tell if you made a mistake when reading. Did you get “that feeling in your belly”.
  • What do you do when you make a mistake

Level C/D

Text Characteristics:

  • Repetitive pattern with longer sentences
  • More variety in sentence patterns
    • Sentences may have two clauses
    • Sentences may alternate between two sentence patterns (question and answer)
  • Includes more sight words

Student Characteristics

  • Knows most/all letter sounds
  • Knows most/all sight words on kindergarten list
  • Sounds out simple words (cvc, cvcc, ccvc)
  • Tracks with finger with one to one correspondence
  • Begins to self-monitor while reading

Skills/Strategies

  • Comprehension Skills
  • Pre-reading strategies
  • Retelling
  • Decoding words cvc, ccvc, cvcc, cvce
  • Self-monitoring
  • Tracking
  • Guess & Check predictions

Lesson Ideas

  • “Make & Break” (a.k.a. “Making Words”) using letter tiles or mini Lively Letter cards, expanding to include words with consonant blends, digraphs.
    • Optional: Have students make their own words and write them down.
  • Continue to practice self-monitoring strategies
  • Cover up all but the first letter in changeable word at end of sentence
    • EX: Can you see the b ?
  • Introduce additional sight words
  • Practice pre-reading strategies
    • accessing prior knowledge
    • take a picture walk
    • predict what the book will be about
    • predict a word you might read in this book
  • Practice retelling stories
  • Answer simple comprehension questions (“w” questions) and practice looking back at the text

Guided Reading in Kindergarten

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