Learning is a much broader category than education.

– David Perkins, Making Learning Whole

Why a Teacher’s Beliefs Matter: Using A Theory of Learning to Explore Instructional Decisions

This article first appeared in the Fall 2022 issue of the Journal of Reading Recovery. The Journal of Reading Recovery is a peer-reviewed journal published by the Reading Recovery Council of North America as a service to both Council members and those interested in early intervention for beginning readers. “Show us what to do with the low kids.” [...]

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Why Revisiting Shared Reading Texts Matters for Emergent and Early Learners

This article first appeared on the Reading Recovery Council of North America website. “Ms. Candia, Ms. Candia, did you know there’s ‘and’ in Jack and Jill? Do you hear it, Ms. Candia? Jack ‘and’ Jill—do you hear it?”This exciting outburst from Cameron, a student in Trish Candia’s kindergarten classroom, came one day during early Spring in the [...]

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Teaching Decisions That Bring the Conditions of Learning to Life

Introduction Teachers are in the business of learning. We set up our classrooms, assess our students, and create our lessons. We select books, form reading groups, and teach students in those groups regularly. We create complex daily schedules packed with readers’ (and writers’) workshops, guided reading blocks, and independent reading time. We think aloud, make sure to cover all [...]

Leveled Books for Guided Reading—What’s in a Number?

Thinking Critically About Text Complexity When Selecting Leveled Books for Guided Reading...There’s no way around it—when selecting leveled books for guided reading instruction, sooner or later you’re going to have to consider levels. Leveled books aren't a new concept. Grade level, Lexile level, DRA level, Fountas and Pinnell level — all of these “readabilities” exist to support teachers as they scaffold students [...]

Building Literacy with Paired Texts—Limitless Benefits for Learners

Building literacy with paired texts is an exciting concept in guided reading instruction. Through intentional pairing of texts, teachers present students with opportunities to develop literacy in considerable ways. The students: Develop greater comprehension on a topicAs students read paired texts, they explore similar concepts and vocabulary for greater understanding of the ideas that surround a topic. A nonfiction text [...]

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Grouping Students for Guided Reading—The Importance of Observing Students Beforehand

Teacher Observation is Key in Grouping Students for Guided ReadingGrouping students for guided reading first requires that teachers ‘know their students.’ Teachers assess their students, using the tools they know—letter/sound checks, a fluency passage, a benchmarking kit. Yet somehow, when teachers put the students together, the grouping just doesn’t seem to be quite ‘right.’ Something is missing—and the missing piece [...]

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Guided Reading and Balanced Literacy—Recognizing the Need for Guided Instruction

The Importance of Finding a Place for Guided Reading in a Balanced Literacy Classroom Guided reading and balanced literacy are big ideas in literacy instruction today.   The function of different approaches in a balanced curriculum offers teachers opportunities to illustrate literacy for learners along a continuum of gradual release of responsibility. Reading to, with, and by children and [...]

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Activities that Extend Guided Reading—Build Comprehension and More with These Suggestions

Increase Independence with Activities that Extend Guided Reading There are several ways in which activities that extend guided reading increase the powerful learning that comes through guided reading instruction. First, the very best activity to extend guided reading into independent work is to make the book available to students to read after the small group instruction has concluded.  As [...]

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Raising Achievement among English Language Learners with Guided Reading

Three Considerations for Raising Achievement among English Language Learners with Guided ReadingWorking with English Language learners in guided reading presents one of the best opportunities for raising achievement among these students. Keep these three key things in mind to make guided reading an effective part of an ELL’s learning day:English Language learners shouldn’t be locked into lower levels during guided reading. [...]

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Building Fluency During Guided Reading

What Guided Reading Practices Contribute to Fluency? Building fluency during guided reading is essential for developing readers. Fluency is often defined by reading rate, but also includes pausing, phrasing, stress, and intonation, all of which are related to meaning. There are several ways fluency is built during guided reading. As teachers work with students in guided reading, understanding the [...]

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Guided Reading and Academic Vocabulary: Words to Learn By

Guided Reading Time Is Prime Time for the Acquisition of Academic VocabularyGuided reading presents a unique opportunity for students to learn academic vocabulary if the guided reading books are written about engaging topics in ways that make academic vocabulary interesting and accessible. Students love learning “big” or “fancy” terminology for things and they will use academic vocabulary confidently if those [...]

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High-Frequency Words in Guided Reading: Words by Sight

When It Comes to High-Frequency Words, Context Is Key in Guided Reading Texts!The use of high-frequency words in guided reading texts offers young readers the opportunity to learn these words as part of a wider reading process. When developing readers learn these words, such as he, she, you, I, ask, is, but, the, have, and good in context, they learn to recognize these words by sight. This [...]

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Shared Reading and Guided Reading: Learning in Context

In Shared Reading, Students Learn What They Later Apply in Guided ReadingShared reading and guided reading lie alongside each other within a gradual release of responsibility model of instruction.  One of the key ways guided reading instruction differs from other small reading groups is through this relationship to shared reading instruction. Along with read aloud (sometimes referred to as Instructional [...]

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Close Reading and Guided Reading

Close Reading Can Be Powerful Within the Context of Guided ReadingClose reading and guided reading can exist in the same instructional environment.  By reading closely in guided reading, a reader is encouraged to apply all their known understandings about how texts work to figure out meanings the text brings into existence.  When close reading of a text is viewed as comprehending [...]

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Guided Reading and Reading Strategies

Learn to Let Students Apply Reading Strategies During Guided ReadingGuided reading is a small group opportunity to support readers as they apply known reading strategies. David Hornsby, in A Closer Look at Guided Reading (2000), describes guided reading as a time when “the teacher helps the children use strategies they already know so that they are able to read an unfamiliar text independently, with success.” [...]

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Managing Guided Reading Groups with “Warm” Running Records

What Difference Would a “Warm” Running Record Make in Your Guided Reading Groups?Managing guided reading groups often generates a multitude of questions about flexibility: How do I know which children go in which group? Which books do I use in a particular level? How do I know when my students are ready for the next level? One tool often used in [...]

Managing Guided Reading Groups with “Warm” Running Records

What Difference Would a “Warm” Running Record Make in Your Guided Reading Groups?Managing guided reading groups often generates a multitude of questions about flexibility: How do I know which children go in which group? Which books do I use at a particular level? How do I know when my students are ready for the next level?One tool often used in answering [...]

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