What is Guided Reading?

Guided Reading is purposeful small group instruction. It really is the time and place where you can work closely with students on their fluency and comprehension. Let's examine this further!

What is Guided Reading?

Guided reading is reading that is done with the teacher and a small group.  The group are all reading the same text, at their instructional level. The instructional level for reading is different from independent level. It is a level of reading that is a bit higher above where they are reading. You will need to conduct a reading level assessment to determine students reading levels. Check with your school and board to determine which one is available to you.

What do I do during Guided Reading?

As the teacher, you are doing exactly what it states - you are guiding the students.  You have students read a text quietly to themselves, and you ask them to stop at different points. Once students all stop, discuss what has been read. Ask students comprehension questions to check their understanding. Make note of what students say - are they understanding the text or not?
Guided reading is also a great time to check on student fluency.  As students are reading quietly to themselves, ask individual students to “turn up the volume.” This allows you to hear their fluency.  What does their reading sound like? Does it sound like talking? Is it robotic and choppy? Are they having difficulty decoding words?
So, your role as the teacher is two fold - you are guiding students in discussions around comprehension, and you are making notes and assessing their reading.

What do the students do during Guided Reading?

The students are actively reading. They are taking what they have learned in read aloud and in shared reading, and are applying it to guided reading. When the teacher asks a question, they are involved in discussion. The goal is that guided reading will help support comprehension even more, because it provides students an opportunity to analyze and discuss texts closely with peers and a teacher.

What kind of books should I choose?

You can choose any texts that you feel will engage your students. I recommend trying to find books that link into other areas of the curriculum that you are teaching, if you are focusing on non fiction. Look at Social Studies topics, Science topics and health topics.  This is a great way to help build background knowledge prior to students engaging into inquiry. It may also help students to develop inquiry questions based on something they have read. If you are looking at fiction texts, give students choice. Provide each group with a variety of books that they could read, and allow them to choose as a group which book they should read.  Good readers need to be able to select books to read - this will give you valuable insight into your students as readers.

How does I assess Guided Reading?

Guided reading can be assessed in a variety of ways. As students are reading, you mostly will be gathering your assessment by using anecdotal notes.  You will write down what you see and observe as students are reading and discussing books they are reading. At the end of the text, you may have students do a final project.  This will give you an overall assessment of their comprehension.  Remember - this is where you will get a lot of your reading marks on your report card.

For more tips and resources for Guided Reading, click HERE!

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