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Guided Reading

  1. Bilingual Education Program Models

    One Way Dual Language

    A dual language program model in which students are Spanish speaking and are learning English as a second language. Most of the One-Way Dual Language programs in Texas are composed of students whose dominant language is Spanish, thus the “one” in the program name. In other parts of the country some One-Way Dual Language programs are composed of students whose dominant language is English and are learning another language.

    View the full article -  Bilingual education program models from Vivian Pratts by clicking the link below...

    Bilingual Education Models, Okapi Educational Publishing

    Vivian Pratts, Education Consultant


  2. July 26-27 Annual Balanced Literacy Symposium 2019


    Featured Speakers include: Matt de la Peña, Maria Nichols, Drs. Yvonne & David Freeman, Dr. Mary Howard

    Developing literate learners means developing literacy and language. It means classrooms filled with students who read, think, talk, and write together as they immerse in a process of making and conveying meaning.

    This two-day balanced literacy symposium offers educators from around the country an opportunity to think together as they construct, refine, and extend their own professional understandings of literacy and language learning.

    Developing classrooms alive with literacy and language invites all voices and perspectives to the conversation as we value and nurture the literate learners we want in our society.

    As educators work with colleagues and other literacy leaders, they will explore ideas such as:

    • What becomes possible when we create and nurture environments where learners think and talk purposefully about books?
    • What is the literacy work that matters for literate learners and what roles do balanced reading and writing approaches play in this learning?
    • How does instruction focused on meaning align with phonics and spelling instruction in a balanced literacy classroom?
    • How does formative assessment support quality literacy instruction in a time of high-stakes testing and standards?
    • How does this work come together in Spanish-speaking classrooms, and in biliteracy and dual language classrooms?
    • How can literacy leaders support classroom teachers to make the most of a learning environment?


    (Sponsored by Okapi Educational Publishing and San Diego County Office of Education)


    Annual Balanced Literacy Symposium

  3. Guided Reading Success: Recognizing high-frequency words

    The key to success for beginning readers is recognizing high-frequency words

    One of the first hurdles a beginning reader must overcome when learning to read is being able to instantly recognize high-frequency words. The 100 most common high-frequency words make up 65 per cent of all written language. If students are to become confident and fluent readers, they need to recognize these words automatically. So how do students acquire this vocabulary? We know from our own experience in the classroom that beginning readers need to read these high-frequency words over and over again so that they are committed to memory and are instantly recognized. Research supports what our experience shows.

    Recently, I was taking a Guided Reading lesson with a group of eager prep students - Jessica, Tom, Danni and Luke. The group was reading a Level 2 book about a girl exploring a park. The students had no problem holding onto the pattern of the text. And, inspired by the engaging photographs, they had lots to say about what the girl was doing and what they liked to do in a park. We were off to a good start.

    We were re-reading the book when all of a sudden Danni’s eyes lit up. She pointed to the word play in the first sentence. “That says play,” Danni said. Then, she pointed to the word play in the second sentence. “And that says play.” It’s always a joy to witness a young reader make a discovery like this - Danni had worked out that she could recognize a word, that she could actually read! The pleasure I got from this small incident was twofold. I was pleased in my role as her teacher. But I was also pleased because I had had a consulting role in the development of the book she was reading. During the publishing process we paid great attention to the supportive features that would assist students as they learned this foundational vocabulary.

    We wrote books in pairs; each pair of books sharing the same high-frequency words but in different sentence structures and text types. We repeated the high-frequency words many times both within each book, and across several books. We made sure that there was a low ratio of unfamiliar words, and those words were highly supported with pictures, and by the pattern and the context. We introduced the high-frequency words gradually and systematically. It is always a great feeling to see a book do what it should – provide systematic support to beginning readers, as well as interest and excite students.


    Guided Reading Success

    Lyn Reggett is a literacy and publishing consultant currently working in the United States and Australia. Lyn began her teaching career in New Zealand where she taught mainly in elementary schools and became one of the first Reading Recovery Teacher Leaders in New Zealand. In the United States she has worked extensively as a consultant in elementary and middle schools particularly in New York City, Seattle, San Diego and Sacramento. In Australia she continues working as a coach, believing that coaches need to be working actively in classrooms, as well as leading professional development sessions. She has been associated with Eleanor Curtain Publishing since 2009, pursuing her interest in, and passion for literacy teaching and learning. She works as part of a talented and dedicated team to develop and produce high quality books for students. One of the joys of her job is to field test this material in schools, where students enlighten and teach her.

    Lyn joins an outstanding lineup of Presenters at the Third Annual Balanced Literacy Symposium.

    For further information and ticketing, see Balanced Literacy Symposium July 2019 

  4. What does Guided Reading look like at Grades 3-5?

    Guided reading Grades 3-5 contains some of the elements of guided reading in the primary Grades (K-2). When working with students at higher Grades (3-5) the teaching approach needs to take into consideration that the texts will:

    • be longer in length
    • have less familiar content
    • become increasingly difficult.

    The teacher’s role is first to support students in developing the strategies and skills to read these texts. And second to teach the students to transfer their increasing knowledge and understanding to texts they will encounter across the curriculum.

    Establishing the strategy focus

    While the teacher may initially introduce the text and establish the focus, most of the reading the students do will be done independently or with the support of a partner. When the students meet with the teacher for their small group lesson, the teacher’s role is to encourage the students to talk about their thinking and prompt them to respond critically to the text. Students in the group are expected to engage in high level discussions with the teacher acting as a facilitator.

    Help students to synthesize

    A graphic organizer for students to use as they read provides a framework for the students to record and keep track of their thinking. The graphic organizer not only holds the students accountable for their independent work it is also a very useful a tool for the teacher to assess the strategies and skills that have been taught.

    Below is an example of a graphic organizer that could be used for students to track their thinking when comparing and contrasting information within a text.


    Graphic Organizer


    Can students use information they have gathered to form their own opinions about a topic?

  5. Small Group Shared Reading, Grade 1: Vocabulary (Video)

    Join literacy consultant Debra Crouch with a small group of first-graders as they return to the book shared earlier with the whole class--this time for a focused Vocabulary lesson. Lift Off to Literacy is available from Okapi Educational Publishing.

  6. Managing Guided Reading Groups with “Warm” Running Records

    Managing guided reading groups often generates a multitude of questions about flexibility: How do I know which children go in which group? Which books do I use in a particular level? How do I know when my students are ready for the next level?
  7. Guided Reading and Reading Strategies

    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.
  8. Close Reading and Guided Reading

    Close reading and guided reading can exist in the same instructional environment.  By reading closely in guided reading, a reader is encouraged to apply all their known understandings about how texts work to figure out meanings the text brings into existence.  When close reading of a text is viewed as comprehending a text in an intentional manner, it can be powerful within the context of guided reading.
  9. Shared Reading and Guided Reading: Learning in Context

    In Shared Reading, Students Learn What They Later Apply in Guided Reading Shared reading and guided reading lie alongside each other within a gradual release of responsibility model of instruction. One of the key ways guided reading instruction differs from other small reading groups is through this relationship to shared reading instruction.
  10. High-Frequency Words in Guided Reading: Words by Sight

    High-Frequency Words in Guided Reading: Words by Sight
    When It Comes to High Frequency Words, Context Is Key in Guided Reading Texts! The use of high-frequency words in guided reading texts offers young readers multiple opportunities to learn these words as a component of an effective reading process. When developing readers learn high-frequency words in context, their abilities to recognize these words by sight supports them becoming confident, accurate, and fluent readers.

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