Guided Reading is an instructional approach that involves the teacher working with a small group of students who demonstrate similar reading behaviours and can read similar levels of texts. The text is easy enough for the children to read with support. In St.Brigid’s the Learning Support Team work with the Class Teacher four days a week teaching Guided Reading to Senior Infants, First Class and Second Class.
Before starting Guided Reading, children are assessed according to their Reading Behaviours,their Knowledge and Skill, the Strategies they use to figure out words, Fluency and Comprehension Skills. In Saint Brigid’s we use the PM Benchmarking kit for assessment.
Children are grouped with others who read in a similar way or at a similar instructional level.The Instructional level is the level where optimum learning takes place. A group can have up to 8 children. Groups will change regularly as the focus of the group changes.
Tips for Parents:
- Encourage your child to read and re read familiar books.
- If they come across a word they don’t know they should:
- Look at initial sound and picture for clues.
- Ask does it make sense?
- Can they pick out a tricky word from the text.
- Write out the tricky word.
- Question them about what they have read. Ask their opinion. Discuss characters.
- Avoid comparing levels of siblings and friends. Children make progress at different rates.
- Handle books with care and return to school every day.
- Remember these books are costly and can be difficult to replace.
- Parents will be asked to pay for any damaged or lost books.
- Do not allow your child to write on any part of the book including the worksheet on the back page.
Key Elements of the Guided Reading Lesson:
Book Introduction : The teacher guides children through the new book and they predict what might happen.
Teach strategies to support independent reading: e.g.looking at initial first letters, word endings, punctuation marks, etc.
Reading of New Book: in Groups or individually, discussing and explaining throughout.
Word Work: Sight Words and word families are taught in the context of the GR book. Using whiteboards or magnetic letters.
Comprehension Skills: Understanding and reflection is promoted through a variety of questions.
Literal questions ask children to recall information directly stated in the text .
Deductive and Inferential Questions ask children to “read between the lines” and go beyond the information given.
Rereading familiar Text: This is done in school and at home. By this time children should be reading their book with ease.
The re -reading of the familiar book is an integral part of Guided Reading reinforcing their new found knowledge, developing fluency and confidence as an independent reader.
Return and Respond to Text: Fluent Readers in First and Second Classes return to the text to discuss characters, form opinions, re write endings, design covers among other independent activities that develop their literacy skills.