Small Group Guided Reading


The teacher gathers a group of students who, according to assessment, read at a same/similar reading level and/or demonstrate the need for similar reading support. The teacher briefly introduces an instructional text to the students: the content of the text, and some of the structural and vocabulary difficulties that the text presents. The students then read the text independently, with the teacher coaching into their reading and bringing the group back together at the end to share common understandings and name transferable reading strategies.

The teacher selects a text that is at a Lexile and a qualitative complexity level slightly above the reading level of the students in the small group. The teacher plans for a text introduction that scaffolds students’ approach to the text by previewing some of the complex elements, including key concepts, vocabulary and structures.

All students are given an independent copy of the text to read – either on the computer or in a hard-copy form. The teacher may decide whether or not to ask students to complete the quiz for the text, and whether students complete it independently, after they finish reading, or if the quiz will be part of the group’s coming back together, as one way to check for comprehension, or as a way for the teacher to teach into the group’s work with the quizzes. The teacher might then ask students in the group to follow up by reading additional articles at the same reading level.

6th Grade Small Group Guided Reading Using “Arizona Immigration Posse Now on School Patrol”

Text Complexity

Use the reading level of the students to group students reading at a similar instructional level. Select the Lexile level for slightly above the students’ level, as this will be a chance to guide them into a more complex text. For example, if students are reading at a 5th grade reading level (based on multiple reading assessments – ELA score, Fountas & Pinnell reading assessment, TCRWP reading assessment, DRA, etc.), you might select the 1050 Lexile as a way to nudge them into the 6-8 grade band. However, if students are reading at a 4th grade reading level, you might select the 920 Lexile version as you do want students to be able to access most of the text themselves.

Text Introduction

Give a similar introduction as described above in the Read Aloud introduction, but in this case, preview more vocabulary. Also, start a small group discussion to introduce the concepts of immigration and school gun violence, as these are central to the article. Read the title of the article out loud and think through it with the group, in a similar fashion as described in the Read Aloud.

Students read the text: Ask the students to read the text independently. As they read, coach into their work: ask them questions to prompt for key details and central ideas. When you notice misunderstandings, model re-reading with fluency, and stopping to make sure the details make sense to you. Then prompt the student to try another section. Move from student to student so that you get to all students in the group.

Share and naming of strategies: At the end, share out central ideas and key details from the article, and name some ways that students monitored for comprehension and got back on track when they were misunderstanding a section.

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