“Teaching…can be likened to a conversation in which you listen to the speaker carefully before you reply.”
— Marie Clay
The During and After portion of Guided Reading allows us to teach children while they read engaging and meaningful texts.
Young children do not automatically transfer what they learn throughout their lessons into actual reading (not unlike adults learning a new skill!). Therefore, we guide them in learning and applying appropriate skills and strategies as they read real stories.
Our objective is to foster independent problem solving. That means teaching children to read for meaning with a focus on understanding the text, and to build their confidence so that they don’t disengage or sit and wait for the teacher when they are stuck. It means teaching them to be strategic: to integrate all the available information as they read (meaning, structure, and visual); to monitor if their reading is correct or not; and to be flexible by having a range of ways to problem solve if their first attempts are not successful. Since high frequency word automaticity and serial order (controlling left to right directionality) are challenges some children having difficulty face, we also pay particular attention to these areas of concern during reading.
For struggling readers to catch up with their peers, we can’t waste a minute! We need to target their specific needs and teach directly into them. The notes and running records we take during reading are vital to allowing us to analyze students’ needs and plan our lessons to meet them.
For teachers who are not familiar with the specific skills and strategies appropriate to teach at various reading levels, we suggest using the first Guided Reading Module on this website before this one. See also Suggested Readings.