Lisa (comment #12),
You asked some great questions that I will attempt to answer below.
First you asked, "When the IDR kids finish their work, and if you don't take their reading group, what work do they do for the rest of the IDR time? If you don't see a student's reading group that day, do they read for 40 min?"
I do not meet with every student every day. Students who do not meet with me are reading for the entire 40 minutes, which is great! They are spending the time not "just reading" but applying the reading strategy that I taught that day during the min-lesson(and of course strategies from previous lessons as well). If there is a specific IDR task, they may be writing in their reading binder or on sticky notes in their books. If they finish the IDR task, they continue reading their book. Too often, teachers pull students for guided reading groups nearly every day, and those students do not have time to really engage in a book of their own choosing for a sustained period of time.
Your second question was, "After a GR group, do you give a follow up reading or writing assignment for the group to do independently? If yes, when is that completed?"
I try to keep my guided reading "work" confined to the lesson and not send them off with additional "work" (like a worksheet. The follow-up "work" is applying the strategy that I taught to a book that they are reading in their book box. I try to use guided reading and strategy lessons to reinforce skills I am also teaching during mini-lessons so that students can use and apply those strategies during their independent reading. There are times when I will meet with a group to continue reading a text that we started the last time that I met with them, but I typically try to pick shorter texts for guided reading groups so that I can focus on and model specific skills.
Your final question was, "If you take a GR group as soon as IDR starts, when that group is finished, do they do GR work or the mini lesson work? Which is your priority?"
Like I mentioned above, I try to avoid assigning a great deal of "work" following a GR lesson. I may have them do work during the lesson, but then I expect them to use what they learn in the GR lesson when they return to their book nook to read books from their own book box for the rest of the time. They also still try to complete the IDR task related to the mini-lesson, so assigning an additional written task after the GR lesson really detracts from their actual reading.
I hope I've provided you with some insight as to how guided reading works in my reading workshop!
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