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Guided Reading – What Does It Mean?

Guided reading is reading out loud to an adult, or other proficient readers, with feedback. This is NOT independent silent reading. The key part to the effectiveness in developing skills is to provide ‘guidance’ to the student. Do not confuse this beneficial teaching tool of true guided reading with various independent reading programs some of which are labelled ‘guided reading’. The process of the student reading out loud with correction and instruction is the essential criteria of guided reading that actually help the student learn and improve skills.

In order to achieve a significant beneficial impact on word recognition, fluency and comprehension:

1 The student must read out loud to an adult (or other proficient readers) and

2 The adult must provide correction, feedback and instruction on specific skill development.

The Benefits

Guided reading benefits both good and struggling readers. In contrast, a silent independent reading may not actually improve reading skills for beginning readers. Numerous studies show the best readers read the most and poor readers read the least. However, these studies are all correlational in nature and correlation does not imply causation. It may just be the good readers just choose to spend more time reading. Although it sounds like a good idea to have children read more alone, there is no research evidence that shows independent silent reading actually improves reading skills. Think about it. If a poor reader is just sitting there flipping pages or struggling with the reading and making errors, their skills will not improve, no matter how much time they sit there. In contrast, guided oral reading instruction is proven to help students improve reading skills.

This is NOT saying students should not read on their own, or that there are no benefits for children sitting there looking at books, or that students do not need to read more. Rather, the research clearly demonstrates to improve skills, particularly in learning or remediation stages, the student needs to read out loud with feedback. At more advanced levels, silent reading does improve the higher skills of fluency, vocabulary acquisition and comprehension.

Guided reading has significant beneficial effects on helping students develop reading skills. It is one of the most effective tools not only to improve a student’s fundamental reading skills but also to help the student develop higher level comprehension skills.  With guided reading you can directly help the student:

  • establish the fundamental skills necessary for proficient reading
  • identify weaknesses and strengthen specific skills
  • improve attention to detail
  • build fluency
  • expand vocabulary knowledge
  • develop reading comprehension skills

PLUS guided reading is enjoyable! This is where you sit down with your student and read.  Guided reading offers a wonderful opportunity to share the joy of reading with your child or student.

Continue reading here…

CREDIT: Right Track Reading


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Conducting Guided Reading | Literary Renaissance Foundation

August 7, 2019

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