Guided Reading is a form of Literacy Station Teaching, which takes place in Senior Infants and First Class in Holy Family Junior School, usually after the pupils have benefited from an intensive six-week Literacy Lift Off intervention. Guided reading is small-group reading instruction designed to provide differentiated teaching that supports students in developing reading proficiency. Taking into consideration the pupils’ instructional reading, understanding and comprehension levels, the teacher works with up to six pupils in a group, ensuring that each pupil has a copy of the levelled or banded reader.
A typical Guided Reading Lesson may have up to three teachers in the classroom. A teacher supports the pupils at a New Reading Station, Familiar Reading Station and Oral Language Station. The teacher guides the pupils to become more independent in looking for meaning, using the structure of the language in the books and also visual features (working on words and patterns within words). Comprehension strategies may include predicting, making connections, visualising, questioning, monitoring and summarising. At the fourth station, the pupils are encouraged to work independently on a task set by the class teacher such as responding to the story read, word work, writing based on a particular theme or genre, or free writing. The ultimate aim of Guided Reading in Holy Family Junior School is for our pupils to use these strategies independently and become fluent, skilled and competent readers.