Guided Reading Recommendation for Workshop Wednesday

Ok…so this is two posts in one day, but it’s a great day to be linking up and this one is too hard not to weigh in on!
I love Guided Reading with the 4th and 5th grades because you are helping your kids become fluent and MATURE readers, so this tends to take on a Literature Circle feel.  
Another opportunity to work with this age of students is in the form of “Anchor Texts.”  Using Anchor Texts with the whole group helps the teacher to better model what goes on inside a fluent and mature reader’s head as they read more complex/sophisticated texts.
This year my teaching partner, the AMAZING LINDA, and I chose Jerry Spinelli’s book, Maniac Magee, as our Anchor Text with our fourthies and were totally floored by how our kiddos responded to this text!
In addition to being a Newberry Award winner, Maniac Magee is also chock full o’ great similes and metaphors.  Spinelli really has a way with words and many of our kiddos try to emulate his style in Writer’s Workshop.  Needless to say, Linda and I get a ton of bang for the buck with this book!
In order to do Anchor Texts well with our kids, we purchase each student his/her own copy of the book.  Not only does the kid own the book, but he/she is encouraged to make “tracks in the snow” by underlining text that appeals to them and making notes in the margins.  Our kids get really involved in reading the book and go much deeper than we ever thought possible.
How does this translate over to Guided Reading?  Well…we don’t allow our kids to write in the copies of the book, but we do encourage them to take those “tracks in the snow” over to their books by making notes on sticky notes and putting them in the book.  The kids love this and stay super-engaged during the process.
I’d love to hear how you use Maniac Magee in your classrooms!  Drop me a line and let me know!
Have a Wonderful Workshop Wednesday!

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