Reading Process Classroom Environment Instructional Decision Making Sample Lessons by Level


Guided Reading

It is through guided reading, … that teachers can show children how to read and can support children as they read. Guided reading leads to independent reading that builds the process; it is the heart of a balanced literacy program.” -Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell

How To Use The Guided Reading Module

This module explores small group guided reading instruction in the primary grades. In a small group setting, children are immersed in meaningful reading as they learn how reading works. Short, focused word work and writing are included in the lessons. This helps children benefit from the relationship between reading and writing and provides immediate application of skills to connected text.

Guided Reading is situated within a balanced literacy agenda. To establish the context for Guided Reading, we suggest viewing the Reading Process, Engagement and Independence: Creating Classroom Environment, and Formative Assessment sections of this module first, and then proceeding to Sample Lessons by Level.

The Sample Lessons by Level are intended to support teachers in meeting the many challenges that both novice and experienced teachers face in teaching Guided Reading. Although the children in a group are reading at about the same book level, their strengths and needs and rates of growth differ. Providing the right support for each child takes knowledge, skill, preparation, close observation and instantaneous decision-making. Therefore the sample lessons show how the focus in teaching guided reading shifts as beginning readers grow in their understanding and application of the reading process. Guiding questions are provided for reflection on the video clips. For many of the lesson segments, the teachers have also provided commentary on the goals and intentions of their teaching moves and language.

Please note that the book levels listed are Reading Recovery (RR) levels. Consult “Book and Reader Characteristics” under each module for correlations of these levels with Fountas and Pinnell Guided Reading (F&P) and Developmental Reading Assessment (DRA).

We would like to thank the following teachers from Anderson School District Five who are featured in the videos:

  • Patsy McGregor at Homeland Park Primary (Levels 1-2)
  • Amy Sanderson at Centerville Elementary School (Levels 3-5 and 10-12)
  • Karen Branch at McLees Elementary School (Levels 6-9 and 13-16)
  • Angela Rardon at Nevitt Forest Elementary School (Levels 17-20).

We would also like to acknowledge the support of Cindy Martin, Director of Elementary and Early Childhood Programs for Anderson Five; and Jean Ridley, Reading Recovery Teacher Leader in Anderson Five. And most of all, we thank the children in the guided reading groups and their parents whose support made their participation in this project possible.