What is Guided Reading?
Guided reading is the core of a balanced literacy program. Other components include Word Work, Shared Reading, Independent Reading, Oral Language Development, Shared Writing and Independent Writing.
Guided reading is when teachers support students in reading books at their instructional level, that is, books that students can read with 90% accuracy. Students are grouped according to ability level or according to the strategy being taught. Guided Reading groups should ideally not be bigger than six students per group. In a typical Hutterite school setting, the guided reading groups will most often be smaller than six students. For this reason, we recommend each school's resource library should contain a minimum of three copies of each book in a leveled series.
The students' reading is monitored by using observation and running records to determine further teaching needs. The grouping is flexible: it will change as the needs of the students change.
Guided reading relies on having a bank of books, or resources, that are leveled so that it is possible to take the students from one stage to the next. In general, students are emergent, early or fluent readers.
These readers either cannot read at all – no sight words or letters – or they will know some sight words, letters and/or sounds. Emergent guided reading books are used to teach students letter names and sounds, and high frequency, or sight words and other early reading behaviours.
These readers know more about reading. They will recognize some high frequency words, most or all letter names and sounds, have correct directional movement and will have other early reading behaviours in place.
These readers are those who have a good background in reading, are consolidating their reading skills and strategies, and are starting to read to learn instead of learning to read.
So far, we plan on creating auf den Weg books for emergent, early and some books for early fluent readers. After that, we will continue to use guided reading strategies to teach reading, but use other German texts that are currently available.
Guided Reading information from:
Eggleton, J. (2010). Lighting the Literacy Fire. Aukland: New Zealand.