Hey there friends,
Building a positive classroom community is my number one goal every year and I’m sure it’s one of your top priorities, too. I also like to work smarter, not harder. You too? Ha. We’ll this is one of the reasons I absolutely love Guided Reading with a Purpose. I can teach the themes and social skills I want to incorporate into my classroom while still hitting the literacy standards. Since a positive classroom is my #1 goal I have put together 5 guided reading activities to build classroom community.
Guided Reading Focus: Retell
I don’t know about you, but I could never understand why my students often struggle with retelling a story. It’s a skill our kids start working on in Kindergarten, but need to consistently review and practice retelling – especially on that dang middle section! I decided that like other skills, we can’t just assume they have them down.
I needed to address this skill that is seen so much in our literacy standards and yet still focus on the foundation of my classroom which is setting up that positive classroom community so I decided to focus a week entirely on retell and building a positive classroom community.
Throughout this unit, students examine the beginning, middle and end of the story in detail, making sure to review all the important story elements such as character, setting, problem and solution.
I chose 5 mentor texts with the theme of friendship to help build classroom community, focusing on how to be a good friend and how to make new friends. These are both important topics to our young students and when building a positive classroom community. When the problems are relatable and relevant our students’ recall will increase. Remember – when you are teaching a new skill, it is so important to make sure the text topic and level are appropriate for your students.
5 Guided Reading Activities to Build Classroom Community
#1. “Enemy Pie”
This mentor text is a wonderfully fun text about making new friends in unique ways and the importance of truly getting to know someone.
This mentor text is about a unique friendship between ”people” who are completely different. It also focuses on how we can support our friends.
This mentor text is about growth mindset and supporting our friends when they need it.
This mentor text is a fabulous story about taking the time to get to know those people around you and the impact you can have in someone’s life by simply offering your friendship and attention.
This mentor text is a hilarious story about a dinosaur trying to learn the basics of being a good friend to her new classmates.
Click any of the images to check out these resources in my TeachersPayTeachers store. Click any of the book titles above to go to purchase these books on Amazon using my affiliate link. (As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.)
Suggestions For Using These Guided Reading Resources
With this guided reading unit, I suggest exploring the problem and solution more in-depth to help the students make solid connections to the mentor text. We can then say the problem or main event is our middle. The important events that lead up to that is our beginning and how it was solved, or the resolution, is our end.
Bulletin Board & Anchor Charts
Here is an example of how I set up my bulletin board with included anchor charts. I only leave these up on the week we are focusing on the comprehension skill. I have seen increased interaction with anchor charts when they are only up when necessary.
Posters & Story Element Cards
All the mentor posters, story element cards and guided reading materials are included in the Guided Reading with a Purpose Classroom Community and Friendship Bundle to help you focus more on your student success vs. creating examples and other materials.
You can choose to write out the elements in the moment or you use the ready-made cards included in this set. A fun tip is to have the cards turned over and flip them to check to see if the students’ answers were correct.
More Guided Reading with a Purpose Resources
Retell is something our kids do often, but sometimes those frequently used skills need some bulking up and that is exactly why I created this week’s Guided Reading with a Purpose all about building a positive classroom community focusing on retell.
If you want to check out this week in Guided Reading with a Purpose, just click below to explore it in my store. You can also read more about this guided reading curriculum HERE in a previous blog post.
As always, I hope you have an amazing week and please reach out if you have any questions, suggestions or just want to connect.