Guided reading is an approach to literacy instruction where students with similar reading capabilities are grouped together and given leveled texts designed to improve their fluency, comprehension, and text evaluation.
While the teacher is available to provide basic support and ask questions that stimulate discussion, each student is given the opportunity to read the text on their own by using skills previously learned during whole-group shared reading time.
Guided reading is a crucial part of every student’s evolution as a reader because it provides the direct attention, targeted application, and careful leveling that readers need to ensure he or she masters critical literacy skills that make reading easier and more enjoyable.
It might seem like a simple approach – pick a leveled text and guide a group of students through reading it – but guided reading requires a few very specific measures to help readers reach their fullest potential.
What does guided reading look like?
- Students are grouped with peers
- The teacher introduces the book
- Students read the text independently
- The group reviews the text
- Revisit the material
As we take a deeper dive into each step of the guided reading process, we will uncover how Key Links Literacy—a balanced literacy program designed to help turn good readers into great thinkers—provides teachers with explicit instruction and support to ensure that guided every guided reading lesson is as effective and robust as it can be.
Step 1: Students are grouped with peers
It’s important for students to be grouped with others who are reading similar levels of text. And the smaller the group, the more focused and personalized the instruction can be. But just because instruction is delivered in a small-group format doesn’t mean that the approach is full-proof.
Key Links Literacy ensures that guided reading groups are effective and captivating by providing authentic stories with rigorous, yet supportive, instruction that helps students evaluate, critique, apply, and retain what they read.
Step 2: The teacher introduces the book
Before setting students free to read the book independently, it is important for the instructor to introduce students to the story. This allows them to make predictions about the text using prior knowledge and builds anticipation for the story itself.
Key Links Literacy guided reading books takes this up a notch by including a “Preview” section of every fiction and nonfiction title. The “Preview” sections in each guided reader help clarify words that students will encounter and allow them to make predictions based on the illustrations.
Step 3: Students read the text independently
As students read the text to themselves, they have the opportunity to work on fluency, word work, comprehension strategies, close reading, using text evidence, understanding the author’s purpose, and identifying the elements of writing.
Key Links Literacy Guided Readers are specially crafted with captivating fiction and informational texts that keep readers engaged and provide robust practice in each of the critical literacy skills students need to achieve reading mastery.
Step 4: The group reviews the text
After the students have read the material, it is crucial that they engage in meaningful discussion about the story. Peer discussion helps students to think critically and develop important comprehension of the text.
With Key Links Literacy’s unique ThinkLinks Panels, this process is simple and effective because every book is chock full of rigorous questions, explicit instruction in reading skills and strategies, and prompts that encourage collaborative discussion.
Step 5: Revisit the material
As guided reading groups revisit the story, they continue to build on each literacy skill they have learned. This continues through every stage as texts gradually increase in complexity and new literacy goals are met.
Key Links Literacy guided reading books are organized over 212 titles across 13 stages – from emergent to fluent. And every story is crafted to captivate students and keep them excited as they revisit the book to reinforce new reading skills.
With Key Links Literacy guided reading books, students of any reading stage can establish the skills necessary to become not only a good reader but also a great thinker.
Key Links Literacy
Ultimately, our goal as a publisher is to help children find a genuine love for reading through positive, inspiring (and that means balanced) literacy experiences.