Guided reading is a small group opportunity to support readers as they apply known reading strategies. David Hornsby, in A Closer Look at Guided Reading (2000), describes guided reading as a time when “the teacher helps the children use strategies they already know so that they are able to read an unfamiliar text independently, with success.” Those reading strategies have been modeled and demonstrated during whole class read-aloud and shared reading. During guided reading, the intentional use of wait time by the teacher encourages the use of reading strategies. When children are developing as readers, the use of reading strategies is slower and less automatic, meaning students require more time for processing. Teachers who wait when students make an error, rather than immediately giving a correct word or automatically prompting a strategy to try, provide students the opportunity to self-monitor and self-correct. This is when learning to be a strategic reader occurs.
- Talking about the letters and sounds that make up words helps improve reading and writing skills. On a recent visit to a foundation-level classrooom, author and teacher Kerrie Shanahan discovers students confidently using technical terms such as phonemes, digraphs and syllables. This experience is a reminder of how young students are able to understand and appropriately use technical terms to support their learning.
- Recalling her personal experience of losing meaning while reading and the strategies she used to get it back, literacy researcher Alison Davis argues that students need specific classroom instruction to help them access a range of comprehension strategies and lay the foundations for a lifetime of successful reading.