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Whole Class Guided Reading – What You Need To Know

Reading is the most important thing a child can do at school, and to enjoy it makes it even more magical. There has been a shift from the classic carousel guided reading to whole-class guided reading in recent years, due to a better learning experience for the students. 

So, What Is Whole-Class Guided Reading?

Whole-class guided reading involves one informative book, one passionate and engaging teacher and a class of excited students. 

Instead of reading with separate groups of students, teachers are opting for a whole class approach, as it has proven to be more effective for student development. 

The teacher and/or students chose one book to focus on for a selective period, this book is then read aloud by the class and stimulating activities are completed based on the chapters read. 

person holding opened book

Benefits of Guided Reading

Reading has always been a strong factor in influencing a child’s development and influence in education. Whole-class guiding reading creates a positive environment and experience while reading, which results in these benefits:

– Whole-class guided reading is extremely engaging for the students and creates a team effort.

– It improves fluency in students.

– Encountering new words and vocabulary 

– Children can experience beautiful books deemed beyond their ability

– Enhances imagination and observation skills

– Empathy is developed as the create connections with the people in the stories

– Improves critical thinking and creativity 

– Improves reading experience creating a positive relationship with reading

Whole-Class Guided Reading Strategies

So teachers can adopt different styles to whole-class guided reading. One strategy is to “control the game”. It relies on a teacher asking students to read aloud in turn in an unpredictable order, while the rest of the class follows the text. Its method behind the chaos is to allow the teacher to adjust reading duration and difficulty and choose “the best man for the job”. 

While this strategy keeps the children engaged, it doesn’t allow students to challenge their reading ability, thus improving their vocabulary growth.

The second strategy involves the teacher going around the class in an orderly, systematic way. This reduces anxiety in the class and challenges everyone to expand their knowledge. However, there is a danger of children being disengaged after they have read their section, so it is essential to keep an eye on the engagement of the class. 

Whole-Class Guided Reading Activities

It is important to remember that children are different, and every school is different, so you need to find a strategy that suits your children and schedule, so they gain the maximum benefits for this activity. 

An example below is how one school participates in whole-class guided reading: 

9 am – 9:30 am every single day, this time is set aside to carry out reading activities.  

On Monday and Tuesday, they look at 12 words of vocabulary to expand the students’ knowledge and understanding that will be in the chapter they will be reading.

How does this work?

The teacher displays the 12 words on the screen and then the children have to use their dictionary to get the definition. The twist, it is a race. 

On Wednesday, it is reading time! Sit back, and bring the book to life. Get the students reading out the text with enthusiasm, alternatively (depending on the advancement of your class, the teacher may read out the chapter). A fun activity is to get them to put their hand up when they hear a word from the vocabulary activity. 

On Thursday, the children write a summary of the chapter that was just read. 

Finally, on Friday, all questions are answered surrounding the chapter. 

Reading is a magical experience, and creating positive feelings with reading, has a profound effect on the child’s association with reading. 

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