Inquiry Project: Improving Performance Through Guided Reading

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The question that I have chosen for my inquiry project is: How can you improve performance in a first grade classroom with Guided Reading? I am interested in this since I teach first grade. As a first grade teacher I am always looking for ways to improve my class’s performance. Guided reading offers support to the students as they are learning. Rogoff suggested that “adults support children’s learning by structuring the task’s difficulty level, jointly participating in problem solving, focusing the learner’s attention to the task, and motivating the learner.” (Frey & Fisher, 2010, 84).

Guided Reading is a component of a balanced literacy program providing differentiated, small group reading instruction to four to six students with similar strengths and instructional needs or to heterogeneously grouped students (Avalos, Plasencia, Chavez, & Rascon, 2007, 318). Guided Reading recommends for the groups to meet three to five times per week for 20 to 30 minutes. The opportunity to explicitly teach children the skills and comprehension needed and still facilitate acquisition of reading proficiency by the Guided Reading approach is provided to teachers. The first step is for the teacher to select multiple copies of graded leveled books. The teacher then uses these books based on the students’ instructional needs and interests. According to Reutzel and Cooter, graded leveled books are typically categorized to include four levels of children’s reading development: early emergent, emergent, early fluency, and fluency (Avalos, Plasencia, Chavez, & Rascon, 2007, 318). Syntax and organization of language in the leveled books should match most speech of young children. The text should provide a reasonable challenge and an opportuni...

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... “high success” instructional setting that encourages strategy use in successful text (Schilb, 2011). With these benefits the teacher will see improved performance in their classroom.


Avalos, M.A., Plasencia, A., Chavez, C. & Rascon, J. (2007). Modified guided reading: Gateway to English as a second language and literacy learning. The Reading Teacher, 61(4), 318-329.

Frey, N. and Fisher, D, (2010). Identifying instructional moves during guided learning. The Reading Teacher, 64(2), 84-95.

Schilb, A. (2011). Guided Reading. Retrieved from

Cunningham, P.M., Hall, D.P., & Sigmon, C.M. (1999). The teacher’s guide to the four blocks. Greensboro, NC: Carson-Dellosa.

Schwartz, R.M. (2005). Decisions, decisions, responding to primary students during guided reading. The Reading Teacher, 58(5), 436-443.
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