Teachers from Suwannee Primary School (SPS) had the opportunity to take part in a guided reading professional development on October 10. 

SPS Assistant Principal Lisa Garrison says, “When students leave SPS to go on to second grade, they should be able to read. Our teachers face the challenge of teaching reading as well as having to meet the diverse reading needs of every student.”

This year, SPS is offering an opportunity for teachers to be involved in professional development that involves a book study, make and take workshops, and collaboration with other teachers to encourage the implementation of guided reading. 

According to Garrison, guided reading takes place in a small group setting and provides differentiated teaching that supports students in the development of reading proficiency. The small group model allows children to be taught in a way that is intended to be more focused on their specific needs, accelerating their progress. In this meeting, the teachers listed the characteristics of a pre-A reader, created activities to use to teach the alphabetic principle, collaborated on ways to differentiate and extend those activities, and shared other best practices they use in their classrooms.

The book used in this study is "The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading" by Jan Richardson. SPS Academic Coach, Kelly Driggers, and the District Reading Coordinator, Kelli Williams, are providing this voluntary professional development throughout the year. Garrison says, “SPS teachers are very excited about this opportunity and it is great to see it implemented in the classrooms.”