What is Guided Reading?
Guided reading is a teaching approach designed to meet individual students needs, based on their instructional reading level. Teachers use the Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) to find each student’s instructional and independent reading levels. With this data, teachers form small groups, based on each student’s instructional reading level. Guided reading groups target specific skills, vocabulary, and comprehension strategies to support each child’s reading development. Over time students are introduced to more complex texts and progress is monitored by the teacher to reflect growth in reading. Guided reading groups are fluid; meaning changes are made throughout the year as student’s progress at their own pace.
How is the Benchmark Assessment System (BAS) administered?
The BAS provides a valuable conversation between the teacher and the student about reading comprehension. Students are tested individually and are called to read a book and answer questions about the story. The teacher sits beside the student to notice important reading behaviors and record the student’s errors in a running record. Based on the running record, we can determine an accuracy rate and a fluency score. The child is then asked questions to determine their understanding of the story within the text, about the text and beyond the text. All of this data is valuable to the teacher in getting to know each student as a reader. The BAS is administered on fiction stories twice a year (fall/spring) for students reading on grade level. For students performing below grade level, the BAS is administered again in January on nonfiction texts to monitor progress and determine if intervention is needed.
Fountas and Pinnell progress monitoring chart