Guided Reading For Children Learning How to Read
What is guided reading? • Guided reading is skillfully managed small group practice. • Gay Su Pinnell and Irene Fountas have an important reminder for us, however. “Guided reading is only one component of a balanced literacy program.” --1996
In other words, guided reading cannot stand alone as a student’s sole reading instruction. “It cannot be all things.” Calkins, 2001
Guided Reading and the Gradual Release • Guided reading, as described in the professional literature, complements and extends previous whole group teaching and learning opportunities in important ways. • It’s an efficient way to provide a small number of students with guided practice in applying learning to reading new texts. • It offers teachers an opportunity to observe reading behaviors while students do the work of reading. • It is an especially effective strategy for emergent and beginning readers just learning how to take both meaning and print into account and cross-check these two sources of information. • Following this guided practice, students are ready to assume responsibility for applying learning in independent reading. “During guided reading, we want the children to use and practice strategies they already know to tackle text they do not know.” –Hornsby 2000
Simply restated, the purpose for guided reading is not to provide instruction. The purpose is to provide practice with previous instruction.
Variation in Models • Although “guided reading” is an instructional grouping widely used, there are many different models for guided reading. • Aspects of these models differ, but they share the same purpose for guided reading—providing small group practice. • No matter the model, “guided reading” occupies a special place between modeling and independence in the gradual release for teaching reading.
Which model? • It’s important to note that the model of guided reading featured in this PowerPoint is from District 12’s CALL (Comprehensive Approach to Language and Literacy) Framework. • The information that follows is designed to support a consistent, district-wide implementation of this particular model. • When fully implemented, the CALL model for guided reading links with the other elements of our literacy framework in powerful ways to give students the greatest chance at experiencing reading success.
Grouping for Guided Reading • Both scheduled and ongoing assessments help teachers identify students’ strengths and areas for growth. • Then, in this model, using the information above, students of like abilities are grouped together for practice. • The ideal size for a group is five or six students, although with below grade level readers, a smaller group size may be desirable to increase the intensity of instruction.
Forming Groups • A number of factors may be considered in grouping students for guided reading (see questions on the right). • When groups are formed based on multiple factors, selecting a text and planning lessons to match the group’s common needs are much easier. • Which students are similar in their knowledge of concepts of print and early reading strategies? • What are students’ oral language needs? • How strong a core of high frequency words do students have? • How similar are students in their knowledge of letters and sounds? • What do performance assessments (reading of leveled passages) say about students’ knowledge of strategic reading? • What depth of comprehension do students show?
Beyond “Levels” • Think of reading levels as one more factor to consider in grouping readers with similar strengths and areas for growth. • Use all available data on students to form a complete picture of their reading abilities and group accordingly. • For example, two students, one scoring DRA 10 and the other DRA 14, can be grouped together if a body of evidence indicates they are at similar points in their development and have similar needs.
Managing Groups In a typical literacy block, and over the course of a week, you could meet with four guided reading groups within a 45 min. time frame following this plan: Mon. Groups A B C Tues. Groups A B D Wed. Groups A B C Thur. Groups A B D Fri. Groups A B C • Guided reading groups for developing readers last between 10-15 minutes. • While there is no hard and fast rule for the number of groups to see each day, some general principles should guide scheduling: • See the lowest readers most often. • Meet with the highest readers regularly, but less often.
Managing Groups cont’d. • Or, if you have only 45 minutes set aside for guided reading, see only two groups a day (25 min.) and use the balance of time for dedicated independent reading: Mon. Groups A and B Tues. Groups C and D Wed. Groups A and B Thur. Groups C and D Fri. Groups A and B • If you are having trouble finding time for a dedicated independent reading time with conferring and sharing, there is another option. • Many teachers have one hour scheduled for guided reading. • Divide this time. Use a 40 min. to meet with two to three groups. • Use the last 20 min. for a dedicated independent reading time.
Guided reading is important practice, but it should not take the place of independent practice. Why not?
Guided to Independent Practice • Guided reading represents a student’s first attempt to apply strategies independently. • If students don’t have independent reading, when will they have time and opportunity to orchestrate all they are learning? • When will you collect the information needed to plan and differentiate effective whole group instruction?
.Independent reading has a huge impact on reading achievement. It takes time to put it all together, and independent reading gives students that time.
Selecting Text • For guided reading to fulfill its primary purpose—to provide students with practice in problem solving text while the teacher observes strategic reading behaviors—text must be carefully matched to readers. • We cannot rely on text levels to do this work for us. • Levels provided by publishers are inexact. They may be useful in getting us into the right section of the bookroom, but there are other critical considerations that should guide text selection from that point. • Each text must be examined on its own merit.
Same Level, Same Challenge? Level C from Publisher A Level C from Publisher B
What is a Level? • Each of these texts labeled with the same level (C or DRA3) presents very different amounts of challenge. In comparing the two texts, notice differences in: • Predictability of pattern • Number of high frequency words required • Level of picture support (the text on the right had a photo of a child sitting with a cat) • Text features • One group of readers (having scored DRA3) may be ready for these challenges. Another group might not.
Use More than a Level • If you select guided reading books based only on level, you run the risk of choosing text that students cannot be successful with. • The challenges may make the text beyond the reach of students’ individual levels of development. • Let levels be your first but not your only criteria.
Levels as a Range for Reading • Since the characteristics of books identified with the same levels vary so greatly, it’s possible for readers to be successful within a range of levels, or texts, that share common characteristics. • This means that you need not be locked in on one level when you are selecting texts for guided reading. • A reader who reads DRA Level 8 text successfully (with accuracy, fluency, and comprehension), may be able to read texts at Level 6 and at Level 10 equally as well, depending on the text (more to come on that). • This reader is operating within a range of texts that are similar in what they demand of the reader.
How Levels Differ • For more information on the characteristics of levels of text that your students are likely to read, you may refer to a resource provided by Rigby. • In the appendix of Literacy By Design’s Small Group Reading Teacher’s Guide, you will find a continuum of characteristics for levels of text. • It’s useful to know how text changes over time—sometimes in small increments. • When you see how many characteristics there are, you may wonder what has priority.
Priority One • Within the reader’s range, appropriate text for guided reading is instructional level text. • For a text to be considered “instructional level” text, students must already be able to read it—before an introduction or any other support—with 90-94% accuracy. • Even if you have instructional levels from running records or other testing, you must still consider whether a book at that level is at the students’ instructional level.
Why Text Must Be at an Instructional Level • By selecting instructional level text, students have just the right amount of work, or problem solving, to do. • “Text that students can already read with 90-94% accuracy” means that, at the lowest end of the range, no more than 1 in 10 words will require “work.” • When the number of unknown words exceeds 1 in 10, there is so much problem solving required that energy for comprehension is diverted. • After all, meaning making is first and foremost in guided reading, just as it is in all reading.
Factors Beyond “Level” • Remembering that readers can be successful within a range of levels, what else factors into choosing just the right text for guided reading? • Even when a text fits the 90-94% accuracy criteria, there may be other challenges that make solving the remaining 10% of words either easy or difficult. “Matching books to readers depends on three interrelated sets of understandings, all of which are critical to effective teaching: • Knowing the texts. • Knowing the readers. • Understanding the reading process.” • Pinnell and Fountas, 1996
Text Selection Considerations • To determine which of these (easy or difficult) a text will be for the readers you have in mind, ask yourself these questions as you browse the bookroom for potential guided reading texts: • Do students have the background knowledge and/or experience needed to read and understand? • What is the vocabulary load? Is there a new concept that can be supported in an introduction or do new vocabulary and concepts appear on every page? • Is the format of the text supportive (ex. pictures, font, directionality) or too much of a stretch for these readers? • Are these readers ready for the language structure of the text or is the book language too stylistic even with some support in the introduction? • Do students know enough about this genre to be successful or are there too many new text features?
This is important work. “The text used for learning ‘how to read’ must have the right mixture of support and challenge.” --Pinnell and Fountas, 1996
When Text is Too Hard • No one picks the right guided reading text each and every time. • Choosing text is after all, an educated guess. • There will likely be times when the text, even though thoughtfully selected, turns out to be too hard for students to read with accuracy, fluency, and comprehension. • What’s important to remember, is to avoid a steady diet of “too-hard” text. Why? • Signs that text is too hard: • Students “mumble read” hoping you won’t notice that they can’t read the words. • Students wait for others to read a difficult part or read along behind another reader, never really processing any text. • Even when it appears that students can “read” the words (decode), text is too hard when students can’t effectively discuss the text in any depth. Usually fluency is lacking, too.
Consequences of “Too-Hard” Text • Readers read word-by-word, plodding through text, and learn that reading is saying words. • Readers reading word-by-word lose the meaning of the text and begin to believe that reading need not make sense. Self-monitoring is not possible. • Readers are unaware that reading should sound like natural language and are prevented from using their own knowledge of language (syntactic cueing system) to process print. • Readers practice inappropriate reading behaviors. Without syntax and semantic cues, readers must resort to relying on what’s left—visual cues only and this is highly inefficient. • Readers avoid reading because it’s far from the enjoyable experience it should be.
How does this impact students’ view of themselves as readers? Is that an accurate view?
“When we match books to readers, we become more effective teachers. A good match enables young readers to successfully process text.” Pinnell and Fountas, 1996
Components of Guided Reading • In the CALL model of guided reading, there are three essential components. • Each of these components serves an important purpose. • Every guided reading lesson should include these three components:
Part 1: Introductions • “When introducing text to the children, our main purpose is to set them up for success.” --Hornsby, 2000 • “It [book introduction] is a process of drawing the children into the activity before passing control to the children and pushing them gently towards problem-solving the whole first reading of the story for themselves.” --Clay, 1991
Introductions, cont’d. • Crafting a good introduction is a bit like being Goldilocks. • You want to offer just the right amount of support—not too much and not too little. “If you provide too much support, you take away opportunity to learn; if you provide too little support, you fail to provide the scaffolding necessary for independent reading.” --Hornsby, 2000
Introductions, cont’d. “It is too hot to swing,” said Elephant. • You don’t want to do so much work that there is no work left for the students to do. • This includes pre-teaching words: “This book has the word swing in it. Turn to page 6 and find the word swing. Put your finger under it. Get you mouth ready for the sw. Now add –ing—swing.” • This level of support should be unnecessary if 1) the text is at students’ instructional level, 2) there is clear picture support, and 3) the teacher has demonstrated cross-checking in shared reading. • It takes away any opportunity students would have to problem-solve by cross-checking the picture and print to solve swing.
Introductions, cont’d. • A more appropriate introduction for this level of text would include a picture walk with the teacher casually, but deliberately, implanting new vocabulary. • As children notice what’s happening in the pictures, the teacher invites discussion and implants new words that students might not have in their vocabulary. Here is an example: “Look at Elephant and the monkeys now. What are the monkeys doing? (Probe to see if swing is in vocabulary.) Yes, they are swinging. Does Elephant want to swing? Why not?” • In this way, children learn a new word and build understanding surrounding the concept.
Implanting vs. Pre-teaching • In the previous example, the teacher assumed the concept of “swinging” may be new to children but did not assume they could not read the word when given just the right amount of support. • This is how implanting differs from pre-teaching. • Pre-teaching assumes that children cannot access a word without a high level of support similar to that in an intervention model. • When teachers implant language, they are teaching and reinforcing vocabulary. • Then during reading, children use what they know about sounds and letters (print cues) with meaning (picture clues and context of story) to solve a new word independently.
Introductions range from very rich with a high degree of teacher support to lean with very little support. • Always craft an introduction to meet the needs of learners at their current point of development. • This means that sometimes a rich introduction is required when readers are moving into a new range of levels with new challenges. • It also means that the same group of readers may require a leaner introduction as they develop fluency within a particular range of levels. Support in the Introduction What other support can an introduction provide?
Scaffolding Book Introductions for Young Readers Rich Introduction Page by page picture walk with conversation Engage students in responding to illustrations with the same language structure present in the text Implant unusual names, phrases, or words that may not be part of students’ own language Set purpose for reading • Activate or build background knowledge around text’s topic, engaging in discussion before the book is opened • Concrete objects may be used to build understanding around new concepts • Read title and make predictions based on background knowledge and cover • Brief overview
Scaffolding Book Introductions cont’d. Basic Introduction Lean Introduction Activate background knowledge around topic through discussion using new vocabulary Read title Independent picture walk with teacher listening in on self-initiated conversations including predictions Set purpose for reading • Activate or build background knowledge through conversation about topic including new vocabulary or concept • Read title and give brief overview • Picture walk with teacher implanting a new vocabulary word or two, inviting conversation and predictions • Set purpose for reading
For every text and every group of readers, you will be deciding which level of support to provide.
…familiar with new vocabulary and proper names? • …familiar with the sentence structure because they will have a chance to hear it and use it in conversation before being expected to read it? • …thinking about the text because they are talking and sharing related experiences? • …predicting what might happen and setting a purpose for reading? • …left with some work to do? • …excited about reading the text? Checklist for Book Introductions How do you know whether your book introduction will successfully bridge text to reader? After you’ve selected the text and you’ve previewed the book, use this checklist in preparing your introductions. Will students be…
Introductions • Planning a thoughtful introduction takes a bit of time. • The effort is well worth the time because this is truly differentiation for students. • Fluency in both crafting and delivering introductions develops over time.
One Last Point • Before leaving introductions, there is one more important point. • The introduction is only one part of a guided reading lesson. Since a typical, grade-level lesson is about 12 minutes long, the introduction should take no longer than 5 of those minutes. • In planning, if you sense that your introduction would need to be longer than that, it’s likely that the text you’ve chosen has too many challenges. • Choose another text that readers can be successful with given a 5-minute introduction or less.
Part 2: Oral Reading • The second component of a CALL guided reading lesson is simultaneous oral reading. • Right after the introduction, the teacher passes copies of the text to students so that they may begin reading the same text. • Teaching Tip: • Occasionally, students will begin to read chorally. • To support individual processing of print, stagger the start by handing books to readers one at a time and in random order. • Another strategy is to gently prompt one of the “choral readers” to reread a sentence or page thereby separating the reading.
During Oral Reading Student’s Role Teacher’s Role Observe students’ processing, and as much as possible, avoid interrupting reading. Specifically and precisely reinforce what a reader does well: “You noticed ___ didn’t match the print and you fixed it.” Prompt to support problem solving at the point of need: “You said ____. That makes sense, but does this word look right for ___?” • Read while actively thinking about the meaning of the text. • Read in a voice loud enough for the teacher to hear. • Apply previously demonstrated strategies to process the print individually.
Simultaneous vs. Round Robin Reading • Why are students encouraged to read the same text side-by-side and at the same time? • Students have already been set up for success with the introduction. They should be ready to do the work of reading. • This format gives the teacher the greatest opportunity to hear how all students are processing the text. • Most importantly, every student spends every minute reading rather than waiting to read.
Allocating Time • Most of the 12-minute lesson should be spent on this portion of guided reading. • This ensures that children are spending time reading and not getting ready to read. • It also gives you time to listen to each reader so that you can reinforce what the reader is doing well and prompt for what the reader may not be thinking about.
Specific Reinforcement If the child does this… You say this… You made your finger match the words! First you said tiger. That makes sense. A tiger can run. But then you checked the print and made it match! You got your mouth ready for the first sound and then you checked the picture. You cross-checked two things! • Rereads line of print with voice-print match after running out of words the first time. • Substitutes tiger for lion, then stops at the end of the line and returns to self-correct). • Comes to a new word (rain) and makes the first sound /r/, then checks the picture and correctly says rain.
Prompt vs. Reinforcement The child does this… You say this… When you read that, did your finger match? You said…That makes sense, but try that again. Look through the word. I notice you are looking at the letters and getting your mouth ready. What else can help you? • Points to words but runs out of words at the end of the line. • Reads Buffy chases a ladybug for Buffy chased a ladybug. • Stops at a new word (school) and attempts to sound out letter by letter. There is a clear picture of a school.