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Literacy Tip of the Week: January 12, 2020

posted Jan 13, 2020, 5:13 AM by Steven Richardson

Can whole-class instruction take the place of guided reading?

I totally endorse and encourage whole-class reading instruction, but I don’t think it can take the place of guided reading. There is a seductive efficiency to whole-class instruction that says we can save time by giving every child the same lesson. The reality, however, is that the few children who respond appropriately may be "getting it," but the others are not. Even those who respond correctly during the read aloud may have problems transferring that strategy to a text they read independently. Guided reading is the bridge between whole-class instruction and independent processing. I recommend that teachers model a comprehension strategy with a read aloud or short text during whole-class instruction, and then thread that strategy into guided reading in which the children are doing most of the work -- not the teacher. Whole-class instruction can never achieve the differentiation and scaffolding found in a teacher-led guided reading lesson.

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