Hillcrest Elementary and Music Magnet received an Early Literacy and Language Program (ELLP) grant to implement guided reading as a signature literacy instructional practice this school year! Guided reading is 'small-group reading instruction designed to provide differentiated teaching that supports students in developing reading proficiency'. (Scholastic 2012) The small group model allows children to be taught in a way that is intended to be more focused on their specific needs, accelerating their progress.
Guided Reading will be key component to our Reading Workshop model of literacy instruction. Guided Reading sessions involve our teachers working with a small group of three to five children. Our teachers establish a clear set of lesson objectives to be taught based on the students' similar academic ability, reading levels and instructional needs. A lesson lasts approximately 20 minutes.
While the teacher and a small group of students are immersed in the guided reading lesson, the other scholars in the class are engaged in quality independent or group literacy tasks. This allows the teacher to focus the small group without interruption. This requires that all students develop the stamina to work independently for 30 minute durations and is a beginning of the school year habit that teachers focus on developing in their scholars to ensure that guided reading groups are successful.
Guided Reading is a practice at the primary (grades K-1), intermediate (grades 2-3) and upper (grades 4-5) levels. Each guided reading group meets with the teacher during the week with the students with the greatest need, i.e., non-readers and struggling readers, meeting more frequently with the teacher.