What is Guided Reading?
Guided reading is an approach where the teacher works with a small group of students who can all read similar levels of texts and demonstrate similar reading behaviors.
The text (developmentally appropriate books called leveled readers) should be easy enough for students to read with a teacher’s support.
The approach recognizes that a wide range of reading abilities exists within any grade level or age group, and that reading at the appropriate levels ensures success.
The teacher monitors and guides the reading of each child as needed.
The text should offer challenges and opportunities for problem solving, but also should be easy enough for students to read with some fluency.
Each session, 15 to 25 minutes, begins with the teacher introducing a book, eliciting prior knowledge, and building background.
Discussion of the book follows, and the child keeps the book to read repeatedly.
Subsequent lessons at the lower levels usually use an entirely new book.

The goal of Guided Reading is for students to become fluent readers who can problem solve strategically and read independently and silently.

Guided Reading History
Guided Reading was pioneered in New Zealand in the 1960s. It was developed by two literacy educators - Myrtle Simpson, an inspector of schools, and Ruth Trevor, the National Adviser on Reading.
Their work formed part of a 1972 N. Z. handbook: Suggestions for Teaching Reading in Primary and Secondary Schools.
Internationally, guided reading is being recognized as a successful approach that can make a real difference to student achievement.
Guided Reading developed in the United States after Tom Wright of the Wright Group secured the rights to The Sunshine series of leveled books from New Zealand.
As Guided Reading has proven to be a successful approach to teach reading, the major basal publishers are publishing Guided Reading programs, or incorporating the approach into their basal programs.

Guided Reading Groups
Guided Reading groups are determined by the teacher’s assessment of individual student needs.
A Guided Reading group could be made up of students of different ages and grade levels. The determining factor is their reading level not their grade level.
To determine groups for Guided Reading, the teacher must be aware of each reader’s progress as determined by individual running record analysis, and teacher observations during reading.
Students are not expected to demonstrate progress in the beginning stages of each level or with each book. Students should have multiple opportunities to read a wide variety of books, both fiction and non-fiction before they progress to the next level.

Guided Reading Books
Leveled books (or little books as they are sometimes called) are used with beginning readers in guided reading, children are matched with books.
Guided reading is used to get the children to explore the meaning in the text, to look at the pictures to predict how/what is happening and how the characters feel. At all levels children are grouped depending on needs and use of strategies are balanced with text difficulty.

Guided Reading Lessons

The teacher will gather a small group of 4 to 6 children that have similar needs and work with them in a book chosen just for this group for approximately 20 minutes through the following sequence.

Introducing the Book
Guided Reading groups of beginning readers generally begin with a book introduction which includes a picture walk. The teacher creates a scaffold for children to read the book and connects the students’ background knowledge and experiences with the text. A statement is made by the teacher of what strategy is the focus of the lesson. The students do not have the book in hand at this time but are focusing their attention on the teacher-held book.

Reading the Book
Goals for reading are set or reviewed (e.g., one-to-one correspondence, using initial letter-sound correspondence). The students then move into a simultaneous and independent oral reading (not choral reading) of the text. As the students read, the teacher responds to each student’s reading, praising and guiding individuals in the use of concepts of print, and reading skills and strategies. Notes on each reader can be gathered at this time that aid in conferencing with the reader and on choosing the next book and specific need for each learner. Many of the students will have read the book several times during this portion of the lesson.

After Reading
During the discussion and mini-language lesson that follows, explicit connections between the text and the students’ lives are made and strategy uses are highlighted. The teacher will ask, "What were you thinking as you read?" During this time, the teacher will focus on a few of the words that troubled the children. Some time with "working with words" will clarify and reinforce some important skills needed for word identification. It is very important that students take time to reflect on themselves as readers and how they are meeting the goals they have set for themselves. Each child might answer; "How will what you learned today help you to read other books?"

Introducing the Lesson
Stating the reason the book was chosen and the purpose of the lesson.
Providing a book introduction.
Giving meaning statement for what the book is about.
Implanting language of the book.
Attending to print with visual support.
Evaluating and connecting children's prior knowledge to the book.
Making a strategy statement.

Reading the Book
Reading individually by the students.

After Reading
Discussing and reflecting on the reading process and problem solving strategies.
"What were you thinking about as you read?"
"How will what you have learned today help you read other books?"

Giving instruction through a mini-language lesson and/or interactive word work.
Providing independent practice/follow-up
Paired Reading
Independent Reading
Cloze with the same story
Written response to reading
Written reflections on reading processing/goals
Comprehension reinforcement through interpretation-art, music or drama.

Basal Programs | Phonics Programs | Guided Reading | Children's Books Talking Books|

Guided Reading Programs

Reading Programs
Reading Resources

Basal Programs | Phonics Programs | Guided Reading | Children's Books Talking Books|

Leveled reading books