Guided Reading Lessons: Plans for Parents and Teachers

Sometimes, the best way to help children improve their reading skills isn't through straightforward, traditional methods. Keep reading to find out how using guided reading may be useful to you as a teacher or parent.

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Teaching Children with Guided Reading Lessons

What's Guided Reading?

Guided reading is a progressive instructional technique used in many elementary classrooms and homes. As its name implies, guided reading involves guiding children through a text rather than just telling them about it. Guided reading lessons should be more focused on the needs of the students than on the text itself. For this reason, select an appropriate book for your child or group of children, and then use the book to help develop the reading skills of your child or class.

Guided reading lessons tend to focus on reading comprehension and include features such as picture walks (looking at a book's illustrations as a way of previewing the story), focused questions and discussions. When developing a guided reading lesson plan, remember to keep the plan flexible and adaptable. In many traditional classrooms, the lesson plan is what students must adapt to. In the case of guided reading, the lesson plan is what adapts to the students or to your child at home.

Guided Reading Techniques in the Classroom and at Home

In guided reading lessons, students are usually divided into small groups. Large groups often don't provide students with the individualized reading lessons each student needs on a personal level. Small groups are flexible and far more open to discussion than large, intimidating groups. Sometimes, you might divide a class according to reading level, but you may also vary the reading levels at times. It depends upon the goal of the lesson.

Guided reading can also be quite useful when helping your own child read at home. When you sit with your child and discuss a text or have your child read aloud, you're conducting a guided reading lesson. Encourage your child to read for fun rather than simply reading for school. It's far more valuable in the long run for children to read for their own enjoyment instead of reading to meet the expectations of others.

Where Can I Find Guided Reading Resources?

Whether you're a parent or a teacher, or both, there are many sites that can help you find guided reading books and lessons. Free sample lessons, often based on classic children's literature, are available at many websites. Another option to consider is using leveled readers sold online, or available at many book and education stores.

If your child or a student needs personal, one-on-one guided reading, hiring a reading tutor can be helpful. There are many private tutors available in most communities. If you're a teacher, this may even be a service that you yourself can provide.

Did you find this useful? If so, please let others know!

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