What is Guided Reading?

As a special education teacher, I spend most of my small group reading time doing guided reading. Those students who need comprehension work over phonics, this the best way to get students to read at grade level. It does take planning and thinking about where students are going. One thing that has become a great help in planning is my Fountas & Pinnell Guided Reading Questions and Checklist (click on the picture). It has the reading levels A-Z. I use them when I'm planning groups and looking forward to where they are headed. I use it for daily targets and cross them off when students have mastered a skill. Click on the picture to go to my store.

Guided reading is a procedure that enables the teacher to observe, teach and support a small group of children as they develop an understanding of the reading processes and put into practice their literacy skills. The group reads a book which has been carefully selected based on students' strengths and needs. The teacher facilitates discussion and guides and directs the readers. Groups are formed according to children’s needs and the purpose of the session.

Essential Components of Guided Reading

1. Explicit small group instruction
2. Text matches student’s reading instructional levels and are selected by the teacher
3. Teacher introduces a new book
4. Each child reads the whole text and applies known strategies (the goal is for the student to eventually read the book silently and independently)
5. Teacher assists students in developing self-extending strategies (strategies that the student knows and continues to extend or improve on and apply in different situations)
6. Children are grouped and regrouped based on ongoing assessment of students reading level and strategy growth

Objectives:

• To teach reading strategies while engaging in meaningful reading and writing
• To model strategy use that will facilitate students becoming self-extending readers
• To teach letter/sound relationships within the context of a text as well as with alphabet drill
• To practice fluent reading
• To utilize daily running records as a monitor of student progress, data-driven acceleration within flexible groups, and cue and strategy use
• To scaffold strategy use by readers that allows for “cutting edge” growth
• To provide a supportive, successful reading time that allows students to perceive themselves as readers and writers

Traditional vs. Guided Reading Groups: What’s the Difference?
Traditional Guided Reading

o Groups remain stable in a composition; progress through the same phase at the same rate
o Groups are based on general ability
o One kind of grouping prevails
o Students progress through a fixed sequence of books and skills
o Introduction focuses on new vocabulary
o Selections are usually read once or twice
o Skills practice follows reading
o Focus is on the lesson, not the student
o Teachers follow prepared “script” from a teacher’s guide
o Questions are generally limited to factual recall
o Teacher verifies meaning
o Students take turns reading orally
o Students respond to story in workbooks or on prepared worksheets
o Readers are dependent on teacher direction and support
o Students are tested on skills and literal recall at the end of each story unit
o Evaluation based on progress through a set group of materials and tests
o Groups are dynamic, flexible and change on a regular basis
o Groups are based on strengths in the reading process and the appropriate level of text difficulty
o Groupings for other purposes are used
o Books are chosen at the appropriate level for each group; there is no prescribed sequence and books may overlap but generally are not the same for every group
o Difference in sequence of books is expected
o Introduction focuses on meaning with some attention to new and interesting vocabulary
o Many frequently used words but vocabulary is not artificially controlled
o Selections reread several times for fluency and problem solving
o Skills practice is embedded in shared reading skills; teaching directly related to text
o Questions develop higher order thinking skills and strategic reading
o Teacher and student interact with the text to construct meaning
o Students read entire text silently or with a partner
o Focus is on understanding meaning and the strategies used to construct it
o Students respond to story though personal and authentic activities
o Students read independently and confidently
o Assessment is ongoing and embedded in instruction
o Assessment is based on daily observation and systematic individual assessment

Guided Reading Lessons with Experimental Readers
Experimental Reader

Before Reading

Lesson focus: From ongoing assessment in previous lesson ask:
• What knowledge and understandings do students already have about reading?
• What strategies are students using to read?
• What attitudes do students have about reading?
• What do students need to know next?
• What reading behaviors need to be reinforced?

Select an appropriate book or text to match the purpose of the lesson. The purpose could be to introduce or develop further understanding of a story, a topic, a theme, an author, language patterns, or conventions, or a particular reading strategy.

Introduction

• Set purpose for reading by discussing title and main idea
• Provide any essential knowledge that will assist their understanding of new concept or vocabulary
• Link prior knowledge and experience
• Talk through the story looking at pictures and asking students to make predictions
• Engage students by asking critical thinking questions as they “walk and talk” through the pictures
• Call attention to frequently used words of new vocabulary

During Reading

Read the Text

• Read the text together (e.g. choral, echo, or shadow reading)
• Model, prompt, and reinforce the use of reading strategies
• If appropriate, set a focus question and ask students to whisper read a section of the text (1-2 pages)
• Discuss the story by first answering the focus question
• Elicit further discussion by asking students to ask some of their own questions
• Continue this format to read the remainder of the text
• Revisit the text to confirm or revise predictions
• Talk about strategies used to gain understanding, e.g. how did you work that out?

After Reading

Reflect

• Model and elicit a brief group retell to foster comprehension through prompts, use of text, and illustrations
Respond-- skills & strategy lesson
• Teach skill/ strategy lesson based on assessment and individual observation obtained from reading of text
• Confirm and adjust predictions as a group
• Engage student in self- assessment
• Practice and reinforce high frequency word in second reading
• Reinforce reading strategies
• Reread one or more times to promote fluency

Extend

• Elicit response in a variety of ways: discussion, question and answer, etc.
• Offer opportunities for students to respond through writing, drawing, painting, dramatizing, etc.

Revisit: Encourage students to:

• Reread/practice familiar text
• Reread as a group or independently
• Reread independently at home to a parent

Assessment

• Running records should be done weekly on seen text for which instruction was provided
Guided Reading Lessons with Early Readers and Transitional Readers

Early Readers Transitional Reader

Before Reading

Lesson focus: From ongoing assessment in previous lesson ask:
• What knowledge and understandings do students already have about reading?
• What strategies are students using to read?
• What attitudes do students have about reading?
• What do students need to know next?
• What reading behaviors need to be reinforced?
Select appropriate book or text to match the purpose of the lesson. The purpose could be to introduce or to develop further understanding of a story, a topic, a theme, an author, language patterns, or conventions, or a particular reading strategy.

Introduction:

• Set purpose for reading by having students read the title, author, look at illustrations and predict main idea
• Link prior knowledge and experience
• Provide any essential knowledge that will assist their understanding of new material concepts or vocabulary
• Engage students by asking critical thinking questions and guiding them to pose their own critical questions

During Reading

Read the text:

• set a focus question and ask students to whisper read or read silently a section of the text (gradually increase the length of the portion read)
• Elicit other questions from students
• Expect students to begin using reading strategies with less guidance
• Confirm or revise predictions
• Reread one or more times to promote fluency
• Talk about strategies used to gain understanding, e.g. how did you work that out?
• Encourage students to complete the reading of the text independently

After Reading

Reflect:

• Guide students to retell story including beginning, middle, end, characters, sequence of events, main idea, and supporting details without support of text or pictures
• Model summarization and making inferences using narrative and expository text
• Model summarizations, inference making, compare/contrast, cause effect, problem/solution using narrative and expository text

Respond-Skill/Strategy:

• Teach skill/strategy lesson based on assessment and individual need obtained from ongoing assessment. Check for understanding by asking students to support answers based on text
• Discuss reading strategies
• Engage in discussion and student in self-assessment
• Revisit prediction and critical thinking questions
• Discuss different student interpretations of text

Extend

• Elicit responses in a variety of ways: discussion, journal entry, illustration, diary, story maps, written summaries, plot profiles, literacy letters, reports writing, project work, drama
• Retelling, either from the original text or with variation (e.g., change the point of view, change the form, change a character, or change the ending)
• Lead the students in shared responses. Shared responses provide a real audience for responses and encourage a high standard of presentation.

Revisit

• Provide students with multiple opportunities to read independently in school and or at home
Assessment
• Monitor student comprehension and strategies weekly through miscue analysis, written responses, individual cloze activities, story maps, plot profiles, oral reports or student self-as.


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About Me

Welcome to my all thing special education blog. I'm Ms. Whiteley. I teach in the beautiful Mile High state--Colorado. This is my 13th year teaching in an rural K-6 Elementary school as a Exceptional Needs Teachers. As Exceptional Needs National Board Certified Teacher, I believe that ALL students can learn and be successful. When I'm not in school, I love to take my two Italian Greyhounds hiking 14ers and reaching for the stars. Thanks for Hopping By.
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