Guided Reading and Other Reading Approaches

 

In Waltham, we use Guided Reading as an approach to teach reading in the mainstream classrooms.

           Guided reading instruction is only one part of the literacy program; the entire program also includes language/word study and writing workshops.  Guided reading instruction involves using leveled reading materials from A (kindergarten) -Z (middle school) to support the reader at each level and working with students in small groups with a common need.   Assessments, such as the Developmental Reading Assessment, running records, and informal reading inventories give a teacher and parents data.  The goal is to develop independent readers by helping them to internalize their strategies and having them reread the same text several times to gain fluency. Other methods include: modeling what good readers do:   predicting, inferring, subtexting, clarifying, visualizing, questioning, summarizing, and noticing nonfiction text features; writing to make meaning of the text; and word study to understand how words work.  Guided reading groups are constantly changing based on need.  A guided reading lesson should focus on just one strategy for several lessons, and until the student has mastered it, and can articulate it.  12 Comprehension Strategies and Strategy Objectives for Teachers can help!

          Guided reading gives students the opportunity to read at their just right level, which means that the books provide them with a moderate challenge.  Before reading, a purpose is established and a connection to the reader’s experience is made. Students working on vocabulary definitions only do so by making connections back to the text.   Readers are grouped with students with similar ability, needs, and strengths. Instruction is tuned to the needs of the particular students. Without teaching at the point of need, many students will not progress. Children will learn how to think about a text, and be able to apply their strategies in other reading situations. Within a guided reading lesson plan is the opportunity to talk about story elements such as character, setting, plot, metaphors, point of view, and vocabulary, etc. The purpose of guided reading is to teach individuals to read increasingly difficult texts with understanding and fluency. 

          Guided reading instruction should be fun and engaging for readers. The idea of guided reading instruction is to allow the reader to become immersed in the story’s elements and in character development. Concentration is focused on comprehension:  vocabulary, sequencing, predicting, inferring, subtexting, fluency, decoding strategies, making connections with characters and events, summarizing, analyzing, critiquing, retelling, using nonfiction text features, and word meanings. In determining which students should be placed in which groups, the teacher uses assessments like the Developmental Reading Assessment, running records, or informal reading inventories. The students are retested sporadically to determine if they should stay in the same group or change groups. 

          According to Gail Boushey and Joan Moser of the CAFE, there are 5 goals to accomplish in guided reading:  CAFE ~ C is for Comprehension, A is for Accuracy, F is for Fluency, and E is for Expanding Vocabulary. Within each goal are strategies to focus on until the student has mastered and internalized them.  ALWAYS have the students articulate the strategies they are using.  I HIGHLY recommend these FREE strategy cards CAFE Strategies.  

The Guided Reading Approach

ReadingTask Emphasized Comprehension – understanding the meaning of the printed words.  Students are directly taught strategies for both decoding and comprehension, with the emphasis on comprehension.
Motivational Approach Increased proficiency in reading and comprehending texts using various strategies.  Books at all levels are inviting and engaging.
Decoding Approach Analytic – emphasis on context clues, structural analysis, and configuration clues and Synthetic – begins with individual speech sounds and builds into words.  Students are taught a variety of strategies to decode. 
Story Content Stories are interesting, and increase in length and difficulty as the levels increase from A-Z.  Students read REAL literature, even in kindergarten.  You can check many of the texts out of your local library.
Vocabulary Selection Words selected to be taught are generally Tier 2 words, which are words that are likely to appear frequently in a wide variety of texts and in the written and oral language of mature language users.
Vocabulary Difficulty Words whose meanings the children are most likely to know are considered easiest, words not in their speaking vocabularies are considered most difficult. In many cases, vocabulary is pre-taught if the words can not be figured out in context.   Words with the most common spelling patterns (CVC, CVCe) are considered easiest, inconsistent and irregular spelling patterns the most difficult.
Mode of Response Whisper and silent reading are emphasized over oral reading.  Lots of book discussions, not interrogation.
Structure and Completeness Considered a complete program, but there is no formal guide.  It is teacher developed.  I would recommend reading the CAFE book, by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser, as well as guided reading books by Fountas and Pinnell. 

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Here are more approaches that some school systems still use. . .

 The Sight Word Approach

This is the old basal readers that we had growing up ~ the big text book with the corresponding workbook.

ReadingTask Emphasized Comprehension – discovering the meaning of printed words.
Motivational Approach Enjoyment of the story content and its relationship to the children’s own lives.
Decoding Approach Analytic – emphasis on context clues, structural analysis, and configuration clues.
Story Content Stories are related by a central group of characters involved in typical childhood experiences.
Vocabulary Selection Words are selected on the basis of their frequency of use by typical children in each age group.
Vocabulary Difficulty Words whose meanings the children are most likely to know are considered easiest, words not in their speaking vocabularies are considered most difficult.
Mode of Response Silent reading emphasized over oral reading; low amount of writing.
Structure and Completeness Usually offered as a complete program, including a detailed teacher’s guide and many supplementary materials.

  The Linguistic Approach

These are predictable stories; patterns can be seen in words and stories.

ReadingTask Emphasized Decoding – discovering language from printed visual stimuli; translating printed words into spoken language.
Motivational Approach Increased proficiency in reading words.
Decoding Approach Analytic – begins with spelling pattern of the whole word; students discover relationships between spelling patterns and speech sounds.
Story Content Stories are related by the spelling pattern of words rather than content.
Vocabulary Selection Words are selected according by their spelling pattern.
Vocabulary Difficulty Words with the most common spelling patterns (CVC, CVCe) are considered easiest, inconsistent and irregular spelling patterns the most difficult.
Mode of Response Heavy emphasis on oral reading; generally low amount of writing.
Structure and Completeness Usually highly structured; marketed as complete reading program.

  The Language-Experience Approach

This is all based on the child’s language.  Preschool, kindergarten, and grade 1 teachers can easily add this to their day.

ReadingTask Emphasized Comprehension – understanding the meaning of the printed word.
Motivational Approach Enjoyment of story creation and story content.
Decoding Approach Analytic – begins with the whole word and gradually works back to letters and syllables; emphasis on context clues, with varied use of other attack skills.
Story Content Stories are written by the students and the basis of their shared personal experiences.
Vocabulary Selection No selection controls; reading vocabulary is based on the students’ spoken vocabulary.
Vocabulary Difficulty Words most common in the children’s speaking vocabulary are considered easiest; those not in the children’s speaking vocabulary are considered most difficult.
Mode of Response Silent reading first, then oral; high amount of writing.
Structure and Completeness Considered a complete program; informal guide only; low amount of structure.

  The Multisensory Approach

This is what is used in special education for the student, after being formally evaluated, is found to need a more intensive program.  The idea behind multisensory reading programs like Wilson or Orton-Gillingham is that the student can see, say, hear, connect, and use muscles for speaking and writing to give his brain 6 opportunities to learn.  Learning becomes faster and easier when several parts of the brain record the same fact.

ReadingTask Emphasized Decoding – discovering language from printed visual stimuli; translating letter symbols into speech sounds.
Motivational Approach Increased proficiency in decoding printed words.
Decoding Approach Synthetic – begins with individual speech sounds and builds into words; strong emphasis on motor feedback.
Story Content Stories are related by the sounds and motor patterns being learned, rather than by content.
Vocabulary Selection Words are selected by their phonic regularity and according to the phonics rules they illustrate.
Vocabulary Difficulty Phonetically-regular words with short-vowel sounds are considered easiest, phonetically-irregular words the most difficult. 
Mode of Response Heavy emphasis on writing and other motor activities; oral reading also an important component.
Structure and Completeness Highly structured program, generally supplementary to other reading programs.

  The Phonics Approach

Often these stories lack any sense, depth, or interest.  How long can you read  about a “fat cat that sat on a mat”?  :)  

ReadingTask Emphasized Decoding – discovering language from printed visual stimuli; translating letter symbols into speech sounds.
Motivational Approach Increased proficiency in decoding printed words.
Decoding Approach Synthetic – begins with individual speech sounds and builds into words.
Story Content Stories are related by the sounds of the words being learned rather than by content.
Vocabulary Selection Words are selected for their phonic regularity and according to the phonics rules they illustrate.
Vocabulary Difficulty Phonetically-regular words with short vowel sounds are considered easiest, phonetically-irregular words the most difficult.
Mode of Response Heavy emphasis on oral reading (some programs require a moderate amount of writing).
Structure and Completeness Varies with the program, from very structures to more teacher -developed.

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COPYRIGHT 08/18/2012.  PLEASE CITE AS FOLLOWS:

Araujo, Judith E., M.Ed., CAGS. “Guided Reading and Other Reading Approaches.” Mrs. Judy Araujo, Reading Specialist. N.p., 18 Aug. 2012. Web. <http://www.mrsjudyaraujo.com/different-approaches-to-teaching-reading/>.

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