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Responsive Guided Reading. Jennifer Berne & Sophie Degener With support from International Reading Association Gertrude Whipple grant National-Louis University. Where Does Guided Reading Fit into the Balanced Literacy Program?. Shared reading Guided reading Independent reading Read aloud

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responsive guided reading

Responsive Guided Reading

Jennifer Berne & Sophie Degener

With support from International Reading Association Gertrude Whipple grant

National-Louis University

where does guided reading fit into the balanced literacy program
Where Does Guided Reading Fit into the Balanced Literacy Program?
  • Shared reading
  • Guided reading
  • Independent reading
  • Read aloud
  • Word work
  • Writing
shared reading
Shared Reading
  • Whole class instruction
  • Time for introducing or reinforcing skills or strategies
    • Vocabulary strategies
    • Comprehension strategies
    • Decoding skills
  • Teacher does the reading; can

use challenging texts

  • Teacher explains and models
  • Students observe and interact

with teacher support

guided reading
Guided Reading
  • Small group instruction in homogeneous groups
  • Time for students to practice, with support, what they have learned during shared reading
  • Student reads instructional

level texts and teacher provides

support as needed

  • Rest of the class is working


independent reading
Independent Reading
  • Students read independent level texts on their own, though teacher may conference with students during this time
  • Time for students to practice skills

and strategies learned during

shared reading and reinforced

during guided reading

read aloud
Read Aloud
  • Teacher reads while students listen.
  • Goal is to encourage enjoyment of literature
  • Learning occurs through exposure to

vocabulary, talk about book,

introduction to new structures,

but enjoyment/engagement is

the emphasis

word work
Word Work
  • Vocabulary, spelling, decoding multisyllabic words, prefixes, suffixes, etc.
  • Can be learned in large group, small group, or in centers
  • Process writing and other kinds of writing
  • Can also be whole group (mini-lessons), small group, and independent work.
characteristics of rgrgs
Characteristics of RGRGs

A predictable, transparent structure

Students understand how RGRG’s operate, and they operate in the same specific ways every time.

characteristics of rgrgs1
Characteristics of RGRGs

The teacher waits for students to miscue before determining the cue or instruction

There is minimal planning associated with these groups. Children get customized instruction that, for the most part, cannot be anticipated.

characteristics of rgrgs2
Characteristics of RGRGs

The books selected for RGRGs are selected for level, not high interest or theme

The content of the book is subordinated, in this teaching context, to the form.

characteristics of rgrgs3
Characteristics of RGRGs

High instructional level is key in efficient use of texts in responsive guided reading groups.

If the child doesn’t miscue or have a comprehension breakdown rather quickly, then instruction is limited.

characteristics of rgrg s
Characteristics of RGRG’s

Responsive guided reading groups should be brief--20 minutes maximum

Longer groups tax the ability of the rest of the class and puts the consistency of the groups at risk.

characteristics of rgrgs4
Characteristics of RGRGs

Responsive Guided Reading groups are most beneficial as sites for practicing that which has been previously introduced, not for introducing new strategies

Instruction that can be done whole group should continue to be done whole group.

structure of rgrgs
Structure of RGRGs
  • Guided reading done everyday (often 2 groups per day)
  • Groups of 4-6 students
  • Group meet 1-3 times per week
  • Group duration should be less than 20 minutes
  • Other children engaged in independent work: centers or independent literacy activities
what matters
What matters
  • Hearing each child read
  • Using correct level text
  • Having them leave with something “In their pocket”
  • Engaging the rest of the class in independent literacy activities
  • Doing it the same way every time
  • Hearing children make errors
  • Teaching reading, not teaching a particular text
what doesn t matter
What doesn’t matter
  • Finishing the text
  • High interest in the text
  • Thematic links to anything
  • Long introductions to the book
responsive guided reading groups for beginning and fluent readers
Responsive Guided Reading Groups for beginning and fluent readers

Beginning Readers

Fluent Readers

Word recognition

Decoding Strategies

Comprehension strategies

Vocabulary strategies

beginning readers most common cues
Beginning readers: Most common cues

*Try again, this time take a running start . . .

*Do you see a little word inside that big word that you might know?

*Does this start/end like a word you do know?

*What happens if I cover up this part, what do you see then?

*Look at the picture, then the first sound, and see if you can guess.

*What word that fits there might make sense?

*Does that look like a word on your word wall?

fluent readers what to listen for
Fluent readers: What to listen for
  • Pace (slow or fast)
  • Monotone diction
  • Reading through punctuation
  • Mispronunciation without self-correction
teacher cheat sheet for fluent readers
Teacher “cheat sheet” for fluent readers
  • Pace of reading
    • Too fast
    • Too slow
  • Expression
    • Present
    • Absent
  • Pausing
    • Stops at punctuation
    • Doesn’t stop at punctuation
  • Self monitors
    • Stops to correct
    • Doesn’t stop to correct
  • Body language
    • Comfortable
    • Not comfortable
how to tell if meaning has broken down
How to tell if meaning has broken down



What just happened?

What do you predict will happen and on what basis are you making that prediction?

What other stories are like this and in what ways?

Can you retell the passage?

What information is being discussed?

What did you just learn about (frogs, Helen Keller, the American West)?

What do you think the next section will cover?

Can you summarize the most important information?

cues for fluent readers
Cues for fluent readers

Attending cues

Meaning cues

Go back and reread

Write or take notes

Connect or ask questions


Read in smaller chunks

Vocabulary strategy

Connect to other knowledge

Do further research

Use text structure

parts and timing
Parts and timing
  • Brief intro (less than 30 seconds).
  • Teacher reads (30 seconds).
  • Children chorally read with teacher (30 seconds).
  • Children are directed to continue to read silently or to whisper read (30 seconds).
  • Teacher circulates to each child listening to them read (2 minutes per child/ 5 children = 10 minutes).
  • Teacher asks children to stop reading (30 seconds).
  • Teacher summarizes the strategy she worked on with each child and asks them to say it back (5 minutes).
  • Teacher calls the next group and repeats 1-7.
brief introduction 30 seconds
Brief Introduction (30 seconds)

Beginning Readers

Fluent Readers

I found this book and I think we will have lots of opportunities to practice figuring out words we don’t know.

This will have lots of sections. Remember to use the section headings to help you along.

teacher reminds students what to do while they wait 30 seconds
Teacher reminds students what to do while they wait. (30 seconds)

Beginning readers

Fluent Readers

While you wait for me, take a look at the text and see if you can figure out the words based on the pictures and/or the sounds. If you cannot figure out all the words, see which you can. Remember I picked this because it was hard, so don’t feel badly about the words you don’t know.

While you wait for me or after I have read with you, make a list of all the words you have trouble understanding. Remember I picked this text because it is hard, so don’t be too worried by all those big words.

teacher circulates 2 mins student
Teacher circulates (2 mins./student)

Beginning Reader

Fluent Reader

I know that is a hard word. Why don’t you see if you can figure out the beginning sound, then look at the picture to see if you know a word that might fit that begins with that sound.

I heard you reading and I see that you could say all those words but your tone made me think you were a little confused, can you tell me what you think just happened?

teacher puts something in students pockets 5 minutes
Teacher puts something in students’ pockets (5 minutes)

Beginning reader

Fluent reader

You told me to try to find a little word in a big word

You told me to look at the picture for a clue

Now for the rest of the week I want you to try to do that every time you see an unknown word.

We used the bold words to try to figure out the main points

We took extra pauses at the punctuation.

Now for the rest of the week I want you to try to do that every time you have trouble understanding what you read.

a new group is called one way to think about this
A new group is called(one way to think about this)
  • 25 students: 5 groups of 5
    • Monday: Groups 1 and 2
    • Tuesday: Groups 3 and 4
    • Wednesday: Groups 5 and 1
    • Thursday: Groups 2 and 3
    • Friday: Groups 4 or 5 and 1
what is great
What is great
  • Minimal planning
  • Hearing each child each week
  • Ad hoc teaching
what is a challenge
What is a challenge
  • Fighting the urge to change the practice
  • Occupying the other students
  • Text selection
modeling note these parts
Modeling:Note these parts
  • Brief intro
  • Teacher reading
  • Group reading
  • Individual reading
  • Wrap up
  • Take away