In the Quakertown Community School District, elementary teachers use a Balanced Literacy model of Reading Instruction. Guided Reading is one of the components of a Balanced Reading program.
Guided Reading is any instruction in which the teacher guides one or more students through any aspect of the reading process. In Guided Reading, the teacher builds on what students know, provides reinforcement as well as challenge, and supports and demonstrates strategies to help the reader move forward.
At the primary level, Guided Reading refers to small group reading with teacher scaffolding (prompting) at the student's instructional level. An instructional reading level represents the level students read material that is not too easy, but not too hard. While reading a book at the appropriate instructional level, students will need assistance, but not too much.
At the upper levels, this small group instruction can provide the necessary instruction for comprehension such as the model delineated in Guided Comprehension, by McLaughlin and Allen.
The aim of Guided Reading is to develop independent readers who question, consider alternatives, and make informed choices as they seek meaning. It is during guided reading that the learner is shown how, why, and which strategies to select to ensure meaning is gained. (Margaret Mooney)
"Guided Reading is a teaching approach designed to help individual students learn how to process a variety of increasingly challenging texts with understanding and fluency."
- Fountas and Pinnell