Showing posts with label Guided Reading. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guided Reading. Show all posts

Saturday, January 21, 2017

CommonLit Added a Guided Reading Mode for Students

CommonLit is a free service that offers a large collection of fiction and nonfiction texts paired to reading questions. You can create a classroom on CommonLit in which you can monitor your students' progress through the texts that you assign to them.

Recently, CommonLit added a new feature that they call Guided Reading Mode. When you enable Guided Reading Mode your students will see questions appear in the margin of the documents. Students have to answer those questions correctly in order for the next section of the document to appear. See the Guided Reading Mode in action in the video embedded below.

Applications for Education
CommonLit has been a favorite resource of mine for a couple of years because of the nature of the thematic questions they provide for thought and discussion. The only trouble was that if students didn't understand the assigned text they would have difficulty participating in conversation about the thematic questions. The new Guided Reading Mode should help more students understand assigned texts and participate in classroom discussions about the thematic questions accompanying assigned texts.

Monday, January 11, 2016

ReadWorks Offers Articles, Question Sets, and Videos About Martin Luther King, Jr.

Next Monday is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. ReadWorks has put together a collection of articles, videos, and question sets for teaching about Martin Luther King, Jr. Like all articles and question sets found on ReadWorks this one is indexed by reading ability. The videos in the collection were provided by History.

Applications for Education
One of the aspects of ReadWorks that I like is that lexile scores are listed for each article along with grade levels and Common Core standards. So if Common Core standards are not relevant to your situation, ReadWorks still makes it easy to find fiction and non-fiction articles that are appropriate for your students.

With a free ReadWorks account you can search for lessons and reading passages by grade level, lexile score, reading skill, subject area, and text type (fiction or non-fiction). In your ReadWorks account you can create digital binders of the lesson plans and reading passages that you want to use.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Actively Learn - Create, Distribute, Assess Reading Activities

Actively Learn was one of my favorite discoveries at the ISTE conference this week. Actively Learn provides teachers with a platform through which they can create, distribute, and assess reading activities.

To get started on Actively Learn first register for an account then create your first classroom within your account. Students join your Actively Learn classroom by entering a class code at After creating your classroom you can begin adding reading assignments to it.

To create an assignment in your Actively Learn classroom you can select from thousands of articles arranged by topic, grade level, reading level, and length. Some articles have comprehension questions built into them while others do not. You can add reading comprehension and or discussion questions to any article that you select from the Actively Learn library. You can also upload your own articles as PDFs.

Once you have selected an article and added questions to it, distribute it to your students through your Actively Learn classroom. Students can read and respond to questions directly within the Actively Learn platform. You can require students to answer questions before the next section of an article is revealed to them. In addition to responding to your questions, students can flag sections of an article with "I don't understand." As the teacher you can see those flags and respond to them in your Actively Learn classroom.

Actively Learn has free and paid plans. The free plan includes unlimited assignments and unlimited access to a gradebook. The paid plans provide more tools for analyzing how students work with text beyond responding to your questions.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Guided Reading in Google Apps for Education

This week I am giving some guest bloggers the opportunity to share their ideas and experiences. This is a post from Trevor Krikst. 

The ability to link various documents within Google Apps makes it ideal for a digital Guided Reading program. Bringing Guided Reading into the Google realm has made it simple for me to consolidate my plans, texts, student work, and assessment into one location. It all begins with the Guided Reading Launch Page, a hub which, through linking, allows quick and easy access to:

  • a weekly schedule 
  • anecdotal assessment documents 
  • an assessment form 
  • digital texts 
  • guided group folders (within which I store tasks, student work, and texts)
Here is the Guided Reading Launch Page:
Click to view full size.
As you can see, the Launch Page contains information found in traditional Guided Reading planning templates, such as group names, student names and the instructional focus for the week. By being a digital document, there is the added convenience of being able to easily adjust groupings by dragging or copy/pasting students from one column to another. The individual anecdotal records, to which each student is linked, move with the names when you restructure your groups in this manner.

With this ongoing observational record, the teacher can make regular anecdotal notes within one document - accessing this document is as simple as clicking on the desired student's name in the Launch Page.

As an alternative to anecdotal records, or in addition to, the Launch Page links to an assessment form.

This form allows the user to capture an abundance of assessment data. Data entry is incredibly quick with the use of drop down menus, which allow you to quickly select a student, a group, and curriculum expectations assessed. The lower portion of the form includes specific expectations from the curriculum for reference purposes.

With two methods of assessment so easily accessible from the Launch Page, I've found myself gathering more assessment data than with my previous, traditional Guided Reading programs. And the use of forms has allowed me to gather very specific and valuable assessment data. The end result is that I have a much clearer picture of individual student strengths and needs, and I am able to change my groupings on a much more frequent basis based on this data.

As more and more technology finds its way into our classroom, the more common it will become to use digital texts. In my classroom, digital texts include:

  • PDF texts 
  • eBooks 
  • online texts & articles 
  • websites 
  • Tweets 
  • student work samples

In summary, here are all the features and conveniences of going Google in Guided Reading with a Launch Page:
Click image to view full size.
All of the documents and forms required to implement your own Guided Reading program in Google Apps are included here for your personal use: Guided Reading in GAFE

Remember to review the included instructions before using the Launch Page in order to determine which files are there for you to use, and which ones you need to create for yourself.

Good luck and get launching!

Trevor Krikst is an elementary teacher at Teston Village Public School in Maple, Ontario. He received his BEd from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. From early on in his career, Trevor recognized the value of integrating technology into classroom learning experience and the resulting increase in student engagement. As Technology Lead Teacher at his school, Trevor created multiple opportunities for the staff and students to explore and learn about various technologies and how to facilitate their integration into the classroom. Most recently he had the opportunity to share his developing expertise in Google Apps at the York Region District School Board’s Google Camp 2.0. Along with friend and colleague Wahid Khan, Trevor recently created and is a regular contributor to, an online hub exploring the vast potential in the nexus where technology and education converge. He can be contacted at, @trevorkrikst or @inquireinspire