Guided reading and writing instruction aims to encourage develop good reading and writing skills. These strategies, although good for all ages of students, are primarily found in the primary grades. In guided reading and writing, the teacher serves as a model, usually in whole group instruction. Then, the students transition to small groups and individuals. The teacher, or the guide, teaches skills that she wants students to include in their own reading and writing.
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Fluency is a major component of guided reading. A fluent reader reads with speed, accuracy and expression. This is often missing from the reading of young readers. In the classroom, students need to hear the teacher read with speed, accuracy and expression. With shared reading, the teacher reads books aloud to the class and serves as an example of a fluent reader. Students can also engage in echo reading and choral reading. With choral reading, the class alternates reading parts to each other. For example, the boys would read one sentence and the girls would read the next sentence. Echo reading is when the teacher reads a sentence first and the class echoes the sentence back to him.
Comprehension is an essential reading objective for all grade levels. Students must be able to understand what they read or they are not successful readers. Comprehension instruction takes place in a whole group or small group setting. Before reading, the teacher can have the students make predictions based on illustrations and background knowledge. Predictions are important because they help set a purpose for reading. Graphic organisers also play a large part in this element of guided reading. Graphic organisers help students learn to organise their thoughts, questions and understandings. These can be used before reading, during reading and after reading.
Vocabulary is a main part of guided reading and guided writing instruction. During guided reading, students need to be introduced to new vocabulary words that occur in the book so they can understand what they read and read it more fluently. These vocabulary words are usually words that students may not have been exposed to or cannot sound out. Students should also be encouraged to add new vocabulary words into their writing. By reading good examples of writing to the class, the teacher can encourage students to have a rich vocabulary in their pieces of writing.
Guided writing aims to teach students appropriate writing mechanics, such as grammar and punctuation. The teacher demonstrates writing by engaging in shared writing with the class. During this time, the teacher and the students work together to write. The teacher can choose to focus on a different skill for each lesson, such as appropriate punctuation or using exciting verbs. After this short lesson, the students are expected to carry over what was taught into their pieces of writing.
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