Guided Reading: Its awesome benefits and easy steps to implement

Guided Reading

Goal in Guided reading is not reading with 100% accuracy; it is using strategies

Jan Riohardson

Reading is a very beneficial activity for children as it helps them to know sounds, words, and language. In addition, it develops literacy, communication, and social skills; sparks imagination stimulates curiosity and improves the functionality of the brain.

Every child should read; either for the pleasure of for information. And as parents, it is our responsibility to develop this habit in them. As Emilie Buchwald has rightly said, “ Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”

What is Guided Reading

Guided Reading
Guided Reading

Guided Reading is an instructional practice or approach where facilitators support a small group of students to apply different strategies while reading. The purpose of these reading sessions is not to teach children how to read a specific book, but to teach reading strategies they can apply to read any book.

Guided Reading: My favorite

Guided Reading is a very good activity to facilitate reading habits in your kids. It benefits all types of readers. In the classroom setting, this activity is mostly done in groups; however, it can be differentiated also. Teachers can set different objectives to help students meet their specific reading needs. In Guided Reading sessions, the teacher’s goal is to assist students to comprehend the content and also to encourage them to apply strategies that will help them to become independent readers.

My Experience

I love doing Guided Reading sessions with my students. It provides me with the opportunity to work with small groups of students at similar levels of development. So, I can observe my little readers while they are reading. I mostly use texts that are matched to each group’s unique needs. During the sessions, I provide instructional supports that help them learn reading strategies and increase their independence in reading. Each session typically lasts for 20 to 30 minutes. Through Guided Reading, I always try to help my students to become confident, fluent, and proficient readers.

Benefits of Guided Reading sessions

Guided Reading develops children’s reading skills. I feel this is one of the most effective tools to improve children’s comprehension as well as fundamental reading skills. The key benefits of Guided reading are as follows:

  • Develops fundamental skills essential to be a confident reader
  • Identifies children’s weaknesses and strengthen specific skills
  • The differentiated approach can cater to the various needs of an inclusive classroom
  • Improves attention power to the details
  • Provides opportunities to apply reading strategies and build fluency
  • Expands vocabulary knowledge
  • Develops reading comprehension skills
  • Promotes reading habit in children

How to implement the session: in steps

Are you quite impressed after knowing the benefits of Guided Reading?

Do you want to implement the session with your kiddos? Do not worry.  Just follow the steps below:

  1. Set your objective first. You can teach the same reading strategies using various leveled texts. I mostly follow the below-mentioned skills and strategies in my Guide Reading sessions.
    • Reading and recognizing sight words
    • Using picture cues
    • Tracking print left to right
    • Making predictions
    • Activating prior knowledge
    • Identifying story elements
    • Retelling the story in sequence
    • Phonetic awareness
    • Trying to recognize the concepts of the text
  2. Select the texts that match the instructional level of the readers.  You can visit and order here different level-wise Guided Reading books.
  3. Plan before, during, and after reading activities. Guided Reading sessions are mainly made up of three parts.
    • Before reading discussion – during this time ask your students to look at the cover and title of the book and predict what the book is about. Here you can guide them to connect the cover page of the book with any of their personal experiences of previous readings.
    • Independent reading discussion – During the reading time please observe them if they can follow the text from left to write. While reading they can use phonics. This is the time when you can teach reading strategies to them depending on the objective of the session.
    • After reading the discussion – After reading you can ask simple questions to them or do some related activities to assess if they have achieved the objective or not. For example, you can ask your students to retell the story in sequence or draw the picture of the character they liked the most, etc.

Materials needed

Being an organized person, I like to keep the below resources with me when I sit for the Guided Reading sessions

  • Pointers – to help students keep track of the text fro left to right
  • Paper and Markers – to write or draw any responses
  • Highlighters – students can use them to highlight sight words or any other key vocabulary
  • Magnetic board and letters – to allow students to spell the sight words and do phonetic activities
  • Pen and reading log – to make note of the session objectives, the title of the books read, students’ progress, etc

I hope reading this post has helped you to have a much clear idea about Guided Reading and now you will be able to do a session with your kids.

If you already have one, please share your experience in the comments section, and don’t forget to hit the like button if you found this post helpful.

Share ideas, spread love 💖

Sarbani D.

Find my previous post here.

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