A powerful guided reading lesson at any level has a strategy focus. When I pinpoint the focus, I analyze student assessments and ask myself, “What do these students need to learn next in order to help them become better readers?” Then I select the text with that focus in mind. If my focus is fluency, I’ll select a fiction text with dialogue that doesn’t have many decoding challenges. If, on the other hand, the students need more practice decoding multisyllabic words, I’ll select a slightly harder book with big words students can decode. It’s helpful if the words are already in the students’ listening vocabulary so they can use meaning while they are chunking the words.
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