Create a List

List Name

Rename this List
Save to
Back to the Top Teaching Blog
August 7, 2018

Guided Reading: Part 2, Benefits of Small Group Instruction

By Shari Carter
Grades PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5

    Both good and struggling readers benefit from guided reading. Whole group instruction has its place in literacy programs, but there are great benefits to students who are given the opportunity to have differentiated, teacher-led instruction in a small group setting. There, the teacher's goal is to assist students in developing an understanding of what they are reading, and also to encourage students to apply strategies they will need to become independent readers.

    Why Is Guided Reading Important?

    Guided reading gives us the opportunity to ensure more reading in school (with instructional support) and provides the following:

    • Daily experience reading a text at a level that supports accuracy and comprehension

    • Experience with a wide variety of genres so that students can develop favorite types of texts

    • Encouragement to read at their independent level as part of the reading workshop

    • Opportunity to talk and write about texts

    Guided reading also provides teachers the perfect opportunity to observe and offer guidance to their students as they read aloud in a small group setting.  

    Assessing and Establishing Groups

    Every child should be evaluated to find their individual instructional level. This can be done through a variety of assessments. Running records are extremely helpful in determining a child's reading level. Taking Running Records is a great resource to learn more about using this form of assessment to establish groups.  

    Screening, monitoring progress, and using diagnostic assessments can also help teachers develop lessons and inform instruction. When groups are made initially, it is important to remember that these groups are not set in stone, they should remain fluid.

    Leveled Texts

    Matching leveled texts to your students' needs can be a daunting task, but don't get overwhelmed! There are lots of ways to get your hands on books to use as you and your students engage in guided reading.

    • Reading Programs: If your reading program provides leveled texts, these will work well for guiding readers in small group. Our school district just adopted a new reading series and I have to tell you that one of the things I was most excited about were all the leveled texts that came with it.
    • The Guided Reading Book List Collection: Right here on Scholastic, you can find a huge collection of titles that fit every single reading level.
    • Scholastic Book Clubs: For years I have offered Scholastic Book Clubs to my students and their families. There are terrific titles to choose from and everyone benefits from ordering. There are a variety of reading levels and interests available and I continuously order for my classroom read-alouds and my leveled library.
    • Scholastic Guided Reading Programs: Scholastic Guided Reading Programs deliver high-quality leveled texts and instruction to help all students become strategic and independent readers who love to read. With more research-based programs available than ever, Scholastic Guided Reading offers books leveled by the Fountas & Pinnell system, so you can effectively meet the needs of all your students.

    • My Favorite Leveled Books: I love Guided Science Readers! In kindergarten, these books rule the roost! They are a big collection of high interest leveled readers that fit perfectly into my guided reading and my leveled library. They are all nonfiction which aligns perfectly with the Common Core State Standards and kids love reading about animals. There is an instant text-to-world connection and they are highly sought after as a result. 

    Management Strategies

    Basically, before you can even begin guided reading, you will need to teach your children how to work independently. If children do not know what is expected of them, or how to work independently, one thing can be assured: you will have LOTS and LOTS of interruptions as you attempt to teach your small groups.

    Do Not Disturb

    Using a signal, sign, or light is a good way to let kids know you are working in a "œDo Not Disturb" zone. When your signal is on, students should wait to approach the table and talk. The only exception I make for interruptions is if the student is injured, sick, or has an issue that just cannot wait.  

    Keep Students Engaged

    When I started guided reading in my classroom, I struggled with what to have all the other kids do while I was meeting with my groups. I found out really fast that my literacy stations needed to be engaging — it couldn't just be busy work. I learned to provide authentic activities that are: open-ended, multi-leveled, involve student choice, have clear and consistent procedures, allow for students to support one another, and embed skills in meaningful contexts. The literacy stations I use in my classroom are:

    Read to Self: In kindergarten, we start off building stamina slowly — at first we shoot for 3-5 minutes.  

     

    Read to Someone: Children may read from one book together or they can both have their own books and take turns reading to one another.  

     

    Listen to Reading: Is a great way to model prosody and expression. Kids love hearing recorded stories because the storyteller is usually SO animated. Listen to Reading also immensely benefits ELL students.

    Word Work: During Word Work time, students are given the opportunity to participate in activities that focus on spelling and vocabulary.  

     

    Work on Writing: My students are allowed to choose their own topics to write about. Make sure to set aside a special time after your literacy block for students to share what they have written.  

    /content/dam/teachers/blogs/shari-carter/migrated-files/author_share_2_listen_with_your_heart_0.jpg

    I hope this post has been helpful and if you need tips for getting guided reading set up in your classroom, please check out, "Guided Reading: Part 1, Getting Set Up."

    For more ideas on how you can help kids read, click on the picture below and take a look at the Kids & Family Reading Report.

    I'd love to hear all about your favorite guided reading tips and strategies. Please take a moment to comment and share your ideas for all to learn from and enjoy. Thank you so much! :)

    Shari :)

     

    Check out my other blog posts!

    Both good and struggling readers benefit from guided reading. Whole group instruction has its place in literacy programs, but there are great benefits to students who are given the opportunity to have differentiated, teacher-led instruction in a small group setting. There, the teacher's goal is to assist students in developing an understanding of what they are reading, and also to encourage students to apply strategies they will need to become independent readers.

    Why Is Guided Reading Important?

    Guided reading gives us the opportunity to ensure more reading in school (with instructional support) and provides the following:

    • Daily experience reading a text at a level that supports accuracy and comprehension

    • Experience with a wide variety of genres so that students can develop favorite types of texts

    • Encouragement to read at their independent level as part of the reading workshop

    • Opportunity to talk and write about texts

    Guided reading also provides teachers the perfect opportunity to observe and offer guidance to their students as they read aloud in a small group setting.  

    Assessing and Establishing Groups

    Every child should be evaluated to find their individual instructional level. This can be done through a variety of assessments. Running records are extremely helpful in determining a child's reading level. Taking Running Records is a great resource to learn more about using this form of assessment to establish groups.  

    Screening, monitoring progress, and using diagnostic assessments can also help teachers develop lessons and inform instruction. When groups are made initially, it is important to remember that these groups are not set in stone, they should remain fluid.

    Leveled Texts

    Matching leveled texts to your students' needs can be a daunting task, but don't get overwhelmed! There are lots of ways to get your hands on books to use as you and your students engage in guided reading.

    • Reading Programs: If your reading program provides leveled texts, these will work well for guiding readers in small group. Our school district just adopted a new reading series and I have to tell you that one of the things I was most excited about were all the leveled texts that came with it.
    • The Guided Reading Book List Collection: Right here on Scholastic, you can find a huge collection of titles that fit every single reading level.
    • Scholastic Book Clubs: For years I have offered Scholastic Book Clubs to my students and their families. There are terrific titles to choose from and everyone benefits from ordering. There are a variety of reading levels and interests available and I continuously order for my classroom read-alouds and my leveled library.
    • Scholastic Guided Reading Programs: Scholastic Guided Reading Programs deliver high-quality leveled texts and instruction to help all students become strategic and independent readers who love to read. With more research-based programs available than ever, Scholastic Guided Reading offers books leveled by the Fountas & Pinnell system, so you can effectively meet the needs of all your students.

    • My Favorite Leveled Books: I love Guided Science Readers! In kindergarten, these books rule the roost! They are a big collection of high interest leveled readers that fit perfectly into my guided reading and my leveled library. They are all nonfiction which aligns perfectly with the Common Core State Standards and kids love reading about animals. There is an instant text-to-world connection and they are highly sought after as a result. 

    Management Strategies

    Basically, before you can even begin guided reading, you will need to teach your children how to work independently. If children do not know what is expected of them, or how to work independently, one thing can be assured: you will have LOTS and LOTS of interruptions as you attempt to teach your small groups.

    Do Not Disturb

    Using a signal, sign, or light is a good way to let kids know you are working in a "œDo Not Disturb" zone. When your signal is on, students should wait to approach the table and talk. The only exception I make for interruptions is if the student is injured, sick, or has an issue that just cannot wait.  

    Keep Students Engaged

    When I started guided reading in my classroom, I struggled with what to have all the other kids do while I was meeting with my groups. I found out really fast that my literacy stations needed to be engaging — it couldn't just be busy work. I learned to provide authentic activities that are: open-ended, multi-leveled, involve student choice, have clear and consistent procedures, allow for students to support one another, and embed skills in meaningful contexts. The literacy stations I use in my classroom are:

    Read to Self: In kindergarten, we start off building stamina slowly — at first we shoot for 3-5 minutes.  

     

    Read to Someone: Children may read from one book together or they can both have their own books and take turns reading to one another.  

     

    Listen to Reading: Is a great way to model prosody and expression. Kids love hearing recorded stories because the storyteller is usually SO animated. Listen to Reading also immensely benefits ELL students.

    Word Work: During Word Work time, students are given the opportunity to participate in activities that focus on spelling and vocabulary.  

     

    Work on Writing: My students are allowed to choose their own topics to write about. Make sure to set aside a special time after your literacy block for students to share what they have written.  

    /content/dam/teachers/blogs/shari-carter/migrated-files/author_share_2_listen_with_your_heart_0.jpg

    I hope this post has been helpful and if you need tips for getting guided reading set up in your classroom, please check out, "Guided Reading: Part 1, Getting Set Up."

    For more ideas on how you can help kids read, click on the picture below and take a look at the Kids & Family Reading Report.

    I'd love to hear all about your favorite guided reading tips and strategies. Please take a moment to comment and share your ideas for all to learn from and enjoy. Thank you so much! :)

    Shari :)

     

    Check out my other blog posts!

Comments

Share your ideas about this article

Shari's Most Recent Posts
Blog Post
5 Tips to Tame First Day Jitters
First day jitters are real! Even I still get them! The first day of school can be scary for some kids, and in kindergarten first day jitters strike parents BIG TIME! But there are also lots of fun and exciting things that come with “back-to-school” time.
By Shari Carter
August 8, 2018
Blog Post
Guided Reading: Part 1, Getting Set Up
A one-size-fits-all model of teaching does not work given the varied range or learners in a typical classroom. Read on for practical tips for differentiated instruction.
By Shari Carter
August 7, 2018
Blog Post
Supporting Students to Become Super Readers
The resources for both teachers and families in Every Child a Super Reader are invaluable. Read on to see how when school and home work together, GREAT things can happen.
By Shari Carter
July 11, 2018
Blog Post
Creating a Culture of Kindness in Your Classroom
Teaching kindness to kids is more important than ever before. Use these ideas and resources to create a culture of kindness with your class that can extend beyond your classroom.
By Shari Carter
July 2, 2018
Blog Post
5 Days of Gingerbread Fun!

The weeks before winter break can become long, so take a little extra time to plan some exciting activities to ensure you and your students are having fun learning this month. Read on for a fun and festive Gingerbread Man unit.

By Shari Carter
December 7, 2016

Susan Cheyney

GRADES: 1-2
About Us