Learning to read with the Guided Reading method
Guided reading is a technique teachers employ to teach children to read using texts at their individual instructional reading levels. Guided reading is done in small groups in which students are all reading copies of the same book. The composition of the groups is fluid, and may change as the students’ abilities change. The main objective is to help students develop reading strategies that they can go on to use independently.
Guided reading teaches processes that result in proficient reading. For example, instead of learning about a specific book’s word meanings, students will learn to use a skill such as cross checking, which uses both letter/sound cues and also thinking about what would make sense in the meaning of the story. Some other strategies that are taught in guided reading instruction are use of context clues, letter/sound knowledge, syntax and word structure knowledge. Children will gradually use these skills more independently to become fluent readers.
Books that have previously been read in small groups will always be available for students to reread independently. With all these supports in place, children will grow to become confident, fluent and motivated readers.