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Instructional Techniques

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Reading Strategies is a label commonly used to refer to both the strategies used by students to get meaning from text and the strategies used by teachers to structure and deliver instruction. Merry Bee uses the label ‘instructional techniques’ for those instructional strategies the teacher uses and ‘reading strategies’ for those strategies the student uses in reading.
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Guided Reading


Guiding the reading of students has been a role of teachers as long as there have been teachers and books. Guided Reading as an instructional technique with specific descriptive elements grew out of the work of Cunningham’s Four Blocks Literacy Model and the seminal book by Fountas & Pinnell, Guided Reading: Good First Teaching for All Children.

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Guided Reading is appropriate for any level although most often associated with the beginning reader. Descriptive elements of the Guided Reading instructional technique include:

  • A Guided Reading group is a small group of students who are at the same level &/or use similar processing.
  • The teacher selects and introduces a book (or segment) that students have not previously seen that is at their instructional level (read with 90-94% accuracy). Identifying appropriately leveled books/materials is a key preparatory step to Guided Reading.
  • All students in the group read to themselves at once, soft read ‘mumble’ or silent read (not taking turns).
  • Students respond in reflective discussion as a group.
  • The teacher conducts a teacher-led mini lesson for focused exploration: (eg.: phonic concept, vocabulary, story structure)
  • Books are set aside to reserve for student rereading. In many classrooms, the student takes the book home for rereading with a family member.
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Links to resources
  • Guided Reading as one of the blocks in the Four Blocks Literacy Model is explained by Dorothy Hall, one of the developers of the model for grades 1-3.
  • Guided Reading In The Primary Classroom. Second grade teacher and consultant Mary Kreul gives an overview of the Guided Reading technique and steps for a guided reading lesson.
  • Jeanne Morris Guided Reading is a collection of information prepared as inservice materials by Jeanne Morris, second grade teacher and staff development trainer.
  • Learning Media Guided Reading begins with a general overview, then user can select primary or intermediate for a more detailed description.
  • Montgomery County Schools Guided Reading, from the MCPS Department of Academic Programs Early Literacy Guide, 1999 (Maryland). Q&A format gives detailed explanation of Guided Reading K-3.
  • Ms. Ross Guided Reading is a first grade teacher's explanation of her use of guided reading, and associated literacy centers, in the Pocono Mountain School District, Cresco, Pennsylvania.
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page last updated: 4/12/05
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