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Guided Reading Resources

Page history last edited by Amy Williams 10 years, 7 months ago Saved with comment

Guided reading is an instructional process that supports students in focusing their attention on one important aspect of a text at a time.  Over time this process leads to increased student independence in reading and ability to understand texts of greater and greater length and difficulty.


Many teachers are familiar with a before/during/after, or anchor/read/apply, structure for guided reading lessons.


Before or Anchor

Teachers help students relate what they know about the world or other texts to the text about to be read.  They select a couple of key vocabulary words or concepts and help students think about and discuss these concepts and how they might apply in the next text.


Teachers then set a purpose for student reading in the form "Read so that you can..."  Here are some sample purposes for different readings:

• Read so that you can tell us in 10 words or less what this story is about. 

• Read so that you can put these events in the order they occurred in the story. 

• Read to (a stopping place), so that you can predict how you think the story will end.

• Read so that you can explain two characteristics of mammals.


During or Read

Students then read, or are supported in reading, the text.  For example, students may listen to the teacher read aloud.  Students might read half the text, stopping to discuss their understanding of the purpose, and then finish reading.  Students might engage in partner reading with a fellow student. 


After or Apply

As soon as students finish reading, the teacher helps them restate the purpose for reading.  Often teachers have to state the purpose for the student(s) when this process is initiated, because students are unfamiliar with this process of engaging their brains for a specific reason during reading.  After a few weeks, students are usually quite successful at restating the purpose. 


The teacher then guides the students in achieving the purpose (e.g., explaining in 10 words or less what the story was, making up a title for the story, predicting what will happen next...).


In the process, the teacher provides specific instructional feedback and guides student thinking about the process by helping students look back in text to confirm thoughts or resolve questions and asking questions like:

• How did you know that?

• What makes you think that?

• Where does it say that in the text?


You can find out more about guided reading from:

Pat Cunningham's website at Wake Forest University;

Cheryl Sigmon's Guided Reading the Four-Blocks Way explanation; or

Susan Roberts' Guided Reading resources page.


A wonderful resource with lots of specific lesson plan structures is Guided Reading the Four-Blocks Way, available for $.01 used from Amazon + postage.

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