What guided reading looks like in grades K–2 classrooms for the readers, your teaching, and the texts you use with students.
Work in the primary classroom focuses on early literacy concepts as well as word and language patterns, allowing children to recognize vocabulary they know, which they will then use as context for interpreting and reading words they don't yet understand. They use meaning cues, structure or syntax cues, and visual information, or print cues provided in the text to process it successfully (Fountas and Pinnell, 1996, p. 5).
Author and literacy expert Irene Fountas and faculty share what guided reading looks like in kindergarten, first-grade, or second-grade classrooms with your students, your teaching, and the texts you use.
In order to use guided reading as am effective instructional approach, a book room filled with multiple copies of texts of different genres, structures, forms, and reading levels is essential.
Twelve Tips for Powerful Teaching in Guided Reading Lessons
by Irene FountasThe following are some guiding principles that may help you get more power in your teaching.Notice the student's precise reading behaviors. Eliminate ineffective behaviors and help the reader do what proficient readers do. Select a text on which the reader can learn how to read better – not too difficult and not too easy. Teach the reader, not the text. Teach the student to read written language, not words. Teach for the student to initiate effective problem-solving actions. Use clear precise language that passes the control to the reader. Only ask the student to do what you know he can do. Don't clutter the teaching with too much talk. Focus on self-monitoring and self-regulating behaviors so the reader becomes independent. Build on examples of successful processing. Teach for fast responding so the reader can process smoothly and efficiently.
The following are some guiding principles that may help you get more power in your teaching.
Each summer, at the Lesley campus in Cambridge, Massachusetts, we offer a five-day graduate level course on the basics of using guided reading in a primary classroom. You may take the course for noncredit, or earn two to three graduate credits for an additional fee and by completing an assignment.
Learn more about Guided Reading in a Comprehensive Early Literacy Program (Grades K–2).
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Fountas, I. & Pinnell, G. (1996). Guided reading: Good first teaching for all children. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann.
Fountas, I.C. & Pinnell, G. (2001). Guiding readers and writers: Teaching comprehension, genre, and content literacy. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann.
Fountas, I. & Pinnell, G. (2006). Teaching for comprehending and fluency: Thinking, talking, and writing about reading. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann.
Pinnell, G.S. & Fountas, I.C. (2011). The continuum of literacy learning, grades preK–8: A guide to teaching. Portsmouth, N.H.: Heinemann.
Fountas, I. & Pinnell, G. (2013). Guided reading: The romance and the reality. Reading Teacher, 66 (4), p. 268–284.
Guided Reading in a Primary Classroom
Guided Reading in an Intermediate or Middle Classroom
Research and Outcomes
Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative
The Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative
Phone: 617.349.8424 or 800.999.1959, ext. 8424
29 Everett Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Read our two blog posts by Irene Fountas regarding text levels:
Text Levels: Tool or Trouble? (October 2013)
More on Text Levels: Confronting the Issues (October 2015)
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