Mobile-only Menu


Quick Navigation to IPSD Sites

Guided Reading


"The ultimate goal of guided reading is to help children learn how to use independent reading strategies successfully."
-- Fountas and Su Pinnell, 1996

Indian Prairie School District #204 encourages the use of varied approaches for reading instruction. In addition to whole group instruction and literature circles, Many of our teachers also teach in Guided Reading Groups, based on the philosophies of Irene C. Fountas and Gay Su Pinell.
The following reading strategies are the basis of Guided Reading. Parents and teachers may utilize them when reading with children.
  • Tell the child to look at the picture. You may tell the child the word is something that can be seen in the picture, if that is the case. 
  • Tell the child to look for chunks in the word, such as it in sit, at in mat, or and and ing in standing.
  • Ask the child to get his/her mouth ready to say the word by shaping the mouth for the beginning letter. 
  • Ask the child if the word looks like another word s/he knows. Does bed look like red?, for example. 
  • Ask the child to go on and read to the end of the sentence. Often by reading the other words in context, the child can figure out the unknown word.
If the child says the wrong word while reading, ask questions like:
  • Does it make sense?
  • Does it sound right?
  • Does it look right?

Current Terms and Definitions

Current Terms and Definitions Used In Teaching Reading 

Read Aloud - Reading aloud to students in order to foster the love of reading and to expose students to a variety of vocabulary, language patterns, story structures, genre and authors. The text may be at a higher readability level than the level of the students because a proficient reader is reading.
Shared Reading - Text is enlarged so students have visual access to the text. The text used may be in the form of a big book, overhead transparency or multiple copies of a text. The teacher models what a skilled reader does with text (print concepts, strategies, comprehension, text features, etc.). Students engage with the text over a series of repeated readings for a variety of purposes.
Guided Reading - Students work in small groups and are matched to text by their instructional level. Students read the text with coaching by the teacher to develop print concepts, use of cueing systems and use of reading strategies. The teacher is also observing and assessing students to make decisions for appropriate text selection and teaching points.

Independent Reading - Students read text independently to build fluency, for information, and to apply strategies learned in read aloud, shared and guided reading in text at their independent level.
Letter - Sound Recognition - Refers to the names and sounds of alphabet letters, and the relationship between the two. Knowledge of the names of the alphabet letters is a reliable predictor of beginning reading achievement. A child's ability to use letter/sound relationships is crucial in reading and writing.

Cues - The goal of beginning reading is for children to use all the cues "in concert" to help them comprehend what is being read.
  • Semantic Cues -- use of prior knowledge, pictures and story
  • Syntactic Cues -- use of oral language, grammatical patterns and knowledge of book language
  • Graphophonic Cues -- use of alphabet knowledge and letter-sound recognition
Metacognition - Refers to the ability of the reader to monitor his or her own reading comprehension and use of reading strategies accordingly. These strategies (how, when and where to use information) are important because they lead to independence.
Onsets and Rimes - The onset is the letter or letter cluster that precedes the vowel in a monosyllabic word. The rime is the vowel and any subsequent consonants. Example: w ing, th ing

Orthographic Analogies - Refers to word families that can be generated from knowing onsets and rimes. Using orthographic analogies, students quickly increase their reading and writing vocabularies. Example: If a child knows the word man, they could use a rime analogy to read or write any word that rhymes (tan, fan, can, an).

Phonemes - Refers to the smallest units of sound in a word. Example: the word pig has three phonemes /p/ /i/ /g/. Phonemes are important to beginning readers and writers. When young writers approximate spelling, they are segmenting the word by phonemes and then writing the corresponding letters.

Phonological/Phonemic Awareness - Refers to a variety of tasks related to the sounds of language. The ability to perform phonological tasks greatly assists with both reading and writing acquisition. These tasks have different levels of difficulty. Examples of phonological tasks are:
  • distinguish words that rhyme from words that do not rhyme
  • match sound to sound
  • segment words into sounds
  • blend sounds into words
  • approximate spelling

Phonics - Focus on the teaching of sound-spelling relationships to arrive at an approximate pronunciation of a word. It is one part of effective word identification instruction that establishes the function of print, builds familiarity with letters/sounds and uses writing and spelling to reinforce word recognition skills and strategies.

Strategies - "In-the-head" processes used to integrate new information with what is already known. Operations that allow the learner to use, apply, transform, relate, interpret, reproduce and re-form information for communication. (Clay, 1991)

Adapted from the following sources:
  • A Blueprint for Literacy Success, Sandra Iverson
  • Guided Reading: Good First Teaching for All Children, Irene Fountas and Gay Su Pinnell
  • Hillsborough County's Elementary Language Arts and Reading Frameworks



Commonly Accessed Links and Info for Students, Parents and Community