is Guided Reading?
Students l Leveled Texts l What
Others Do l Teacher Resources
reading is a strategy that helps students become good readers. The
teacher provides support for small groups of readers as they learn
to use various reading strategies (context clues, letter and sound
relationships, word structure, and so forth). Although guided reading
has been traditionally associated with primary grades it can be
modified and used successfully in all grade levels. For example,
older students may need to learn new strategies to understand how
to read an information book in a way that is going to give them
access to the information they are seeking.
"In primary grades children are learning to read
and in upper grades they are reading to learn." Anonymous
is its purpose?
the proper books are selected, students are able to read with approximately
90% accuracy. This enables the students to enjoy the story because
there is not an overwhelming amount of "road blocks" that
interfere with comprehension. Students focus on the meaning of the
story and application of various reading strategies to problem solve
when they do hit a road block in their knowledge or reading ability.
By providing small
groups of students the opportunity to learn various reading strategies
with guidance from the teacher, they will possess the skills and
knowledge required to read increasingly more difficult texts on
their own. Independent reading is the GOAL - guided reading provides
the framework to ensure that students are able to apply strategies
to make meaning from print.
do I do it?
the approach to guided reading is going to depend somewhat on your
class size and grade level, the following suggestions can be used
to provide an initial framework.
Students should be divided into small groups (4-6 students). The
younger the students the smaller the groups. (Learn
more about grouping students).
reading lessons are to be about 15-20 minutes in duration.
leveled reading materials must be selected for the group and each
child should have his/her own copy of the literature. Learn
more about reading levels/leveled materials.
The teacher establishes a purpose for reading through prediction
making, vocabulary introduction, or discussing ideas that will
provide the readers with the background knowledge required for
The teacher observes the students as they read the text softly
or silently to themselves. The teacher provides guidance and coaching
to individuals based on her/his observations by providing prompts,
asking questions, and encouraging attempts at reading strategy
Reading: The teacher asks questions to ensure that the text has
been comprehended by the readers and praises their efforts. Further,
the teacher may observe gaps in strategy application and address
these gaps following the reading in a mini-lesson format.
do all the other students do during the guided reading lesson?
When you teach guided reading you are busy observing and instructing
a small group of students. The other students in your class must
be kept engage in a literacy activity while you are with your
GR group. To ensure success of guided reading, be prepared
to invest time upfront teaching your students the procedures you
would like them to follow while you are busy with the GR groups.
Once you are certain that the students can follow the procedures
THEN focus on actually teaching guided reading.
can I adapt it?
are many ways to adapt guided reading to meet the needs of specific
learners. Leveled reading materials, personalized spelling lists,
multilevel literacy centers, and opportunities for independent projects
all contribute to making the program fairly adaptable.
one grade-level text and one easier than grade level to read
each week so that your weaker students have the opportunity
to read with greater ease & confidence
alternative grouping (interest, social, ability)
rereading of selections to increase fluency each time selection
reading partners, parent volunteers, and care partners to
support the struggling readers and challenge the strong readers
reading time to provide more practice time
a parent volunteer reading program (study buddy)
& Evaluation Considerations
ensure students are grouped and regrouped in the proper instructional
groups ongoing observation and assessment is essential.
you are interested in implementing guided reading into your classroom,
please view our teacher
resources page for more in-depth information on the guided reading
approach. This page also contains links to valuable Web sites and