The question that I have chosen for my inquiry project is: How can you improve performance in a first grade classroom with Guided Reading? I am interested in this since I teach first grade. As a first grade teacher I am always looking for ways to improve my class’s performance. Guided reading offers support to the students as they are learning. Rogoff suggested that “adults support children’s learning by structuring the task’s difficulty level, jointly participating in problem solving, focusing the learner’s attention to the task, and motivating the learner.” (Frey & Fisher, 2010, 84).
Guided Reading is a component of a balanced literacy program providing differentiated, small group reading instruction to four to six students with similar strengths and instructional needs or to heterogeneously grouped students (Avalos, Plasencia, Chavez, & Rascon, 2007, 318). Guided Reading recommends for the groups to meet three to five times per week for 20 to 30 minutes. The opportunity to explicitly teach children the skills and comprehension needed and still facilitate acquisition of reading proficiency by the Guided Reading approach is provided to teachers. The first step is for the teacher to select multiple copies of graded leveled books. The teacher then uses these books based on the students’ instructional needs and interests. According to Reutzel and Cooter, graded leveled books are typically categorized to include four levels of children’s reading development: early emergent, emergent, early fluency, and fluency (Avalos, Plasencia, Chavez, & Rascon, 2007, 318). Syntax and organization of language in the leveled books should match most speech of young children. The text should provide a reasonable challenge and an opportunity for success.
All students benefit when teachers use Guided Reading. Individualized instruction, use of books at students’ reading level, opportunity to create and sustain meaning, exposure to language embedded in context, structured lesson format, and the systematic evaluation of students’ progress are benefits of Guided Reading. Active involvement by students is important as they talk about the story, ask questions, and build expectations of the text. Everyone in the group simultaneously reading and receiving support from the teacher and other students is included in active involvement. Students engaged in conversation before and after reading in a social environment implements reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills.
The benefits English language learners (ELLs) receive from Guided Reading are the same as all other students. However, when a modified approach is used ELLs benefit the most. Language learning opportunities gained by ELLs are those that native speakers acquire implicitly. Language and literacy learning opportunities including detailed vocabulary instruction, variables concerning second language (L2) text structure, such as semantics, syntax, and morphology are enhanced and...