Teaching Guided Writing in Kindergarten
Guided writing is one of those things that we know we should be doing in our early and emergent guided reading groups, but finding resources that teach us how to teach guided writing can be difficult. At least, that was the case for me!
This post is going to be short and sweet, and hopefully give you some helpful ideas for how you can easily implement guided writing today!
In kindergarten, my guided reading lessons are almost always 2-day lessons. Guided writing happens on day 2, right after my students re-read the text we introduced the day before.
For guided reading levels A-C, I dictate the sentence. The lesson plan you see above is for level A readers, and the sentences will get longer as students go up in levels. A good rule of thumb is:
-Level A sentences should be 3-5 words long.
-Level B sentences should be 5-7 words long.
-Level C sentences should be 7-9 words long.
I plan the dictated sentence to be similar to the pattern in the book, because that usually also includes the sight word we are working on. As students go up in levels, the sentences will become less like the book’s pattern.
Guided Writing for Kindergarten
I have used many different things for guided writing books, but I think this is my favorite! I bought the blank books from the Target Dollar Spot and cut them in half with our paper cutter. They’re the perfect size for levels A-C. Once my students go past that, i’ll use the full size books.
The only downside to these is that they do not have a ton of pages, but if I make a new book for students each time they go up 1 or 2 levels, they’re the perfect length!
Teaching Guided Writing in Guided Reading
When I dictate the sentence to students, I usually let them pick the last word. For example, if they character did multiple things at the park, I let them choose if they want to write swing or slide or climb.
I use a marker or highlighter to draw a line for each word as I say the sentence. Then I point to each line as I say the sentence. Then I have the student point to each line as they say the sentence.
When teaching guided writing, you want to be as explicit as possible in helping students understand that one word goes on each line. This will also be a big help to them as they’re trying to recall the sentence as they write. They can go back to re-read and tap each line.
Guided Writing in Kindergarten
Then your students will write! I may prompt them, but I want this to be as independent as possible. I would expect them to write sight words correctly, and I allow them to use the word wall as a resource. For new words, I expect them to write down the sounds they hear.
For level A readers, this usually means that they will only be writing the beginning sound; however, you could definitely push them for more if you know they can do it. For level B readers, I would expect them to have the beginning and ending sound, and for level C readers, I would expect them to have most heard sounds.
Please note that I do not correct this in front of students. I write the words underneath for my own reference later.
Teaching Guided Writing Whole Group
This isn’t the best picture, but you can see the guided writing be did whole group with my Bats nonfiction unit. Generally for guided writing I will not spell any words for my students, but since we were learning about bats, that word was available for us to reference.
We thought of the sentences together and then I drew the lines. I had one student at a time come up to write the words and we re-read the sentence in between writing each word. They helped me stretch out the last word (I had one little guy who knew the word eat already 😉 ).
When we finished all of the sentences, students took turns using the pointer to point to each word as we read the sentences. We read them in silly voices, cowboy voices, robot voices, whatever way we could to build fluency!
Teaching Guided Writing in Kindergarten
I hope these tips were helpful to you! My goal is to always give you ideas that you can start implementing in your classroom today! If you have any more questions about teaching guided writing in kindergarten, let me know down below and I will do my best to answer them!