Finding new and exciting ways to keep our kids engaged during guided reading can be a challenge. Doing the same things day in and day out can be exhausting and, let’s face it, boring. I loved switching things up by using these story elements and genres bookmarks. They are easy to use and the kids loved them!
WHAT ARE THEY?
Now you might be asking yourself what makes these bookmarks so special. Not only are they print and go (which saves your sanity), they are also a great springboard to get your students to dive back into the text.
There is a lot of focus on getting students deeper and deeper into a text. We want them to closely read and understand what is being talked about. We want them to make connections, infer, predict, ask questions, and more. These bookmarks can make that entire process a whole lot easier.
HOW CAN THEY BE USED?
You can use the bookmarks in a variety of ways. I found that they worked best for me during guided reading groups. (You can also used them in literature circles and during independent reading times.)
I pulled out the bookmarks at different times throughout the year. I didn’t use them over and over and over and over again because that would create redundancy and boredom. By pulling them out intermittently throughout the year I was able to keep them fresh and exciting. Well as exciting as a reading bookmark can get.
I went through the bookmarks and pulled out the ones I felt fit the needs of my kids. That might differ year to year or group to group. Then I laminated them, hole-punched the corner and put them all onto a ring. That kept them all in one place and the kids could easily flip through what they needed.
Each bookmark has 5 questions printed on them. (In total there are 315 different questions.) I love to give myself options. I want to make sure that I cover a topic in-depth and that I have different questions to pick from. Each group and each child within that group is different. One question might be great for one student, but too easy/hard/unclear for another. Having 5 options per card helped me pick exactly the right question for each student.
Some of the bookmarks also have multiple versions. To keep track of which card I was using, I lettered them under the title.
Each question also has a checkbox. I liked to have students use a wet erase marker to mark off the questions they had done. That also helped me keep track of who had answered what question. I would have them write the date below each question for further clarification.
HOW STUDENTS CAN USE THEM
The cards can be used during your guided reading time or independent reading. I would have my students read a passage from their book during our group time. Then, I would give them a small assignment to answer during their individual time at their seat. That meant answering one question. This was small enough that they could complete it in the 15 minutes, but also helped them go deeper into the text.
I usually had my students write their answers inside their guided reading notebooks, but sometimes they wrote them on the back of the bookmarks.
You can also shrink them down and copy them at 85%. That helps them fit perfectly inside a regular notebook.
Then your students can answer the questions directly onto the next page.
GRADING EACH BOOKMARK
You can grade the answers in several ways. The students can share the answers orally or you can collect the notebooks/papers and read them at a later date. Remember to focus on the content more than the spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Students need to feel safe in answering the question to the best of their abilities.
EDITABLE AND BLANK BOOKMARKS
I mentioned above that I like options. This means that I might be teaching a certain book and have a brilliant question pop into my head to ask the group. I can create my own bookmarks with questions like these using my blank or editable bookmarks.
Try using some form of bookmarks in your room. I promise you won’t regret it!
If you want to use the ones I showed above, click on any picture or click here.
PEACE, LOVE, AND STICKY NOTES,