Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Courtney Dressler's Guided Literacy

Guided reading with Cathie Peters does a wonderful job of reiterating the important ideas and strategies of guided reading that both the in-class video and discussion introduced. This short clip on YouTube explains that guided reading encourages teachers to work with small groups of students of similar reading levels with materials that are helpful practice. These specified readings help students to better understand and comprehend what they are reading while at the same time allowing the students to expand their knowledge of previously learned reading strategies. Beginning guided reading with a picture walk, both clips allow the students to observe the stories illustrations before reading the text in order to understand key concepts, predict any challenging vocabulary, and make foresee what the plot may encompass. During the guided reading practice, instructors in the two clips make sure to ask open-ended questions that allow the students to explain their understanding of particular themes and events throughout the story. The instructors make sure to address any vocabulary that was stumbled upon with difficulty by using surrounding context along with supporting illustrations. After having read the story, both teachers ask the students to summarize important themes of the story. Whether asking for the main idea or chronological events, students are asked to show their comprehension of what they had just read. Using a “find the word” activity, both teachers are able to practice recognition of sight words through asking the students to find challenging words that they may have added onto their sight word board or list in the classroom.

Overall, the clip did a wonderful job of portraying the positive effects of guided reading in the classroom. Through homogenous grouping, guiding questions strategically given by the teacher, and the reinforcement of reading techniques throughout daily reading, all of the individuals that take part in guided reading seem to truly benefit from it’s practice. Guided reading appears to be extremely useful while building a students confidence and comprehension throughout the preliminary school years and surely contributes to a student’s independent reading success during their future education.

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