Procedures mean nothing without Practice

by becky on October 12, 2011

Hi everyone! Yes, I’m alive. I can’t believe how busy I’ve been over the past week. I don’t know about anyone else out in blog land, but I feel like last week was meeting crazy. Between team meetings, RtI meetings, Leadership meetings, and Special Education meetings, I couldn’t take one.more.meeting. I felt like I made more Guest Teacher Plans than I did lesson plans last week. That said, I’m happy this is a new week. And a short one! Danke, Columbus! 🙂 I’ll be posting later on this week a project I’m hoping to complete with my class based on our reading story, Stealing Beauty.

In fun news, I’m starting *finally* Guided Reading this week in my class. The past several weeks have been spent going over procedures, expectations, and what Guided Reading will look and sound like in my class. Of course, every year I tweak how I do things, but this year, I really have adopted the “less is more” mantra. I will occasionally incorporate cute and fun “center” type activities, but I really have downsized how much extra work I have put into my activities. I wanted to share some Anchor charts and Buddy Reading goodies I hope you can find useful.

One of my centers this year will be Buddy Reading. I know a lot of you have used Buddy Reading, but for some reason, I have always been afraid of this. I know, that’s silly. I think it’s because there are so many ways for the kids to be off task during this activity that I was afraid to give up control. I’ve decided to put on my big girl pants, and give it a try. I feel good with my plan and I hope as the year goes on, it will be a successful center during my Guided Reading block. To start, I asked my students if they like to read with a friend. Most said yes, but there were some that told me they rather read alone. I know I’ll have to address this later on in the year, but for now, I’m encouraging all my students to participate. (***side-note** I have a LARGE amount of high anxiety students in my classroom, and I can understand why reading with a partner could cause them worry. I do however, believe that you cannot overcome your fears if you never face them. So we will all “try” and I’ll pay attention to if it’s worthwhile for all my students or if just for some.) Okay, I’m getting off topic.

To introduce Buddy Reading or Read to Someone in D5 language, I discussed the three ways we might read with someone else:

1- Check for Understanding (1 book: take turns reading and asking questions)

2- I read, You Read (1 book: repeat what your partner read (for fluency)

3- Read two different books (2 books- take turns checking for understanding.

Then I had the class help me brainstorm what it would look like and sound like in our classroom. They had WONDERFUL ideas and enthusiasm. Here is our anchor chart.

Then, I showed them what our Nonfiction

and Fiction Question marks

I copied these on colored cardstock, laminated, and cut them out for each student. They are guides to “help” them when they are questioning their partners during Buddy Reading. I’m hoping during the year, as they get comfortable with answering these and other questions with their Buddy, they will be able to “respond to reading” after they Buddy Read with their partner. For the record, I couldn’t believe how hard it was to find good questioning cards for nonfiction. Which is why I ended up making my own. It’s surprising since most intermediate classrooms are encouraged to use more nonfiction than fiction mentor texts with their students. Go figure. Then, we practiced. I had them practice strategy 1: – Check for Understanding (1 book: take turns reading and asking questions). I set the timer:

And, then, after they practiced, we did a Plus/Delta of what they did well, and what they need to improve on. Thank you, Baldridge!

The next day, we reviewed what “Real vs. Fake” reading looks/sounds like. I saw a great anchor chart on Pinterest and made one of my own. Again, my class impressed me with all the “tricks” they knew when it came to “fake” reading. 😉 Here is a final copy of what we came up with:

 They didn’t actually get to practice with me in the room. Instead, (since I had a meeting, lol) they practiced with my Guest Teacher… the Principal. I told the class, “he” will be observing if you are following our expectations for “Real” reading and “he” will let me know who was and was not doing their job. Lol, they were bug-eyed and solemn. It was priceless. Well, good news, “he” said they all did great. Not too bad for a Friday afternoon! 🙂

If you are interested in the anchor chart headers or Fiction and Nonfiction Question Marks, click the picture below, and they are all yours!!! 🙂

Hope everyone has a great week! I’ll be back soon!


{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

SuzyQ October 15, 2011 at 3:03 am

Thanks for a great download. I am with you on the ‘less is more’ mantra. I am trying harder to stop and smell the roses this year rather than rush through something just to ‘get it done’. It has taken a long time to come to this realization!


Mahshid October 18, 2011 at 4:48 am

I love these! What program do you use to create your wonderful documents?


becky October 19, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Thanks! I’m happy you like them and can use them! 🙂 I use PrintShop 22 Deluxe version. I started using it when I wanted to create documents like Beth Newingham. Six years later, and I really couldn’t imagine using anything else!!!


Shari August 7, 2012 at 4:11 am

Wow..I LOVE<3 LOVE<3 LOVE <3 these! I have been trying to make them (thanks for the tip on the program you use.!) and found this thanks to pinterest! Thanks for sharing!!!!


Natalie August 7, 2012 at 11:45 pm

I love your Fiction and Non Fiction bookmarks! Would you be willing to share your file? Thank you!


I love your check mark for fiction and non fiction book marks! Would you share the file? Thanks! October 17, 2012 at 2:43 am

I love the check marks as fiction and non fiction bookmarks!


April January 25, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Hi! Love the check for understanding marks! Would you be willing to share your file?


Melissa August 25, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Hi… I’m a third grade teacher from MN and love your buddy reading check marks! Would you be willing to share your fiction and nonfiction check mark files? Thank you!


Becky August 26, 2013 at 12:31 am

Hi Melissa,

If you click on the picture above you can download the file.



Bhupinder Pabla November 16, 2013 at 2:25 am

I love it!!!!!


Lana December 1, 2014 at 11:35 pm

Hi I was wondering if you were selling your buddy reading questions (check marks)? I couldn’t find them on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Lana Kohlman


Rachelle October 9, 2015 at 4:28 pm

This is exactly what I am looking for! I want my 2nd and 3rd graders to read to each other, but I want them to be accountable during this time. I am hoping this will help them to stop and think about what they are reading, and be able to practice their fluency with a friend. I can’t wait to try it out! Thank you so much for sharing!


Melissa Hahn November 18, 2015 at 4:32 pm

HI! I LOVE the check marks! Did you ever consider putting them back to back? I downloaded them and have tried to make it work, but havent had luck! If you have, I’d love to have a copy! These are great for my Read to Someone and Read to self daily five!


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: