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Guided Reading Strategies for Teachers

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

As a teacher, you have a roomful of students who read at different level with varying strengths and weaknesses. How do you give each student the targeted instruction that he or she needs? Guided reading. In this lesson, we'll explore some strategies to use in small group guided reading.

What is Guided Reading?

Ms. Moore is a literacy specialist at Kennedy Elementary School. She supports teachers as they develop and implement reading and writing curricula. Lately, Ms. Moore has noticed that the teachers at Kennedy are strong when it comes to whole-group instruction, and they are also good at one-on-one conferences with readers. She feels, however, that they struggle when it comes to guided reading, or reading instruction that occurs in small, homogeneous groups to target specific skills. Ms. Moore knows that good guided reading instruction should be assessment-driven; in other words, teachers should choose what skills to teach based on information they have learned about students from formal and informal assessments. She also knows that text selection is a key element of guided reading; teachers will instruct more effectively if they are working with relevant and appropriately leveled books. With these ideas in mind, Ms. Moore develops a list of strategies to help teachers at Kennedy become experts at guided reading.

Decoding Strategies

Some guided reading strategies are well-suited to help students with decoding, the aspect of reading that deals with articulating the words written on a page.

Searching for Patterns

Ms. Moore reminds teachers that guided reading can provide an opportunity to focus on specific sounds such as blends or digraphs by practicing words containing them. Students can also hunt for words with these spellings within selected texts.

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