• Guided reading is an instructional approach that involves a teacher

    working with a small group of students who demonstrate similar

    reading behaviors and can all read similar levels of texts. The text is easy

    enough for students to read with your skillful support. The text offers

    challenges and opportunities for problem solving, but is easy enough for

    students to read with some fluency. You choose selections that help students

    expand their strategies.


    What is the purpose of guided reading?

    You select books that students can read with about 90 percent accuracy.

    Students can understand and enjoy the story because it’s accessible to them

    through their own strategies, supported by your introduction. They focus on

    meaning but use problem-solving strategies to figure out words they don’t

    know, deal with difficult sentence structure, and understand concepts

    or ideas they have never before encountered in print.


    Why is guided reading important?

    Guided reading gives students the chance to apply the strategies they already

    know to new text. You provide support, but the ultimate goal is independent



    When are children ready for guided reading?

    Developing readers have already gained important understandings about how

    print works. These students know how to monitor their own reading. They

    have the ability to check on themselves or search for possibilities and

    alternatives if they encounter a problem when reading. For these readers, the

    guided reading experience is a powerful way to support the development of

    reading strategies.

    The ultimate goal of guided reading is reading a variety of texts with ease and

    deep understanding. Silent reading means rapid processing of texts with most

    attention on meaning, which is achieved as readers move past beginning

    levels (H, I, J). At all levels, students read orally with fluency and phrasing.


    Matching Books to Readers

    The teacher selects a text for a small group of students who are similar in their

    reading behaviors at a particular point in time. In general, the text is about

    right for students in the group. It is not too easy, yet not too hard, and offers

    a variety of challenges to help readers become flexible problem solvers. You

    should choose Guided Reading Program books for students that:

    • match their knowledge base.

    • are interesting to them.

    • help them take the next step in

    • offer just enough challenge to support learning to read. problem solving while still supporting fluency and meaning.


    Supporting Students’ Reading

    In working with students in guided reading, you constantly balance the

    difficulty of the text with support for students reading the text. You introduce

    the story to the group, support individuals through brief interactions while

    they read, and guide them to talk together afterwards about the words and

    ideas in the text. In this way, you refine text selection and help individual

    readers move forward in developing a reading process.

    Good readers employ a wide range of word-solving strategies, including

    analysis of sound-letter relationships and word parts. They must figure out

    words that are embedded in different kinds of texts. Reading a variety of

    books enables them to go beyond reading individual words to interpreting

    language and its subtle meanings.

    For more specific teaching suggestions, see individual cards for each

    book title.


    Procedure for Guided Reading


    • The teacher works with a small group of students with similar needs.

    • The teacher provides introductions to the text that support children’s later

        attempts at problem solving.

    • Each student reads the whole text or a unified part of the text.

    • Readers figure out new words while reading for meaning.

    • The teacher prompts, encourages, and confirms students’ attempts at

        problem solving.

    • The teacher and student engage in meaningful conversations about

       what they are reading.

    • The teacher and student revisit the text to demonstrate and use a range of

       comprehension strategies.