Experiences teaching guided reading in the primary classroom




Dailyde, Paul

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This project, which is informed by narrative inquiry, examines one teacher’s experiences as he navigated the pedagogical challenges of teaching guided reading in an early Primary grade after years of teaching English Language Arts (ELA) in a Middle year’s context. A review of the literature examines salient factors in the consideration of the guided reading approach including: reading assessment; levelling texts; grouping students; instruction away from the teacher; and teacher factors associated with guided reading instruction. It concludes with a description of an alternative to traditional guided reading based on side-by-side, rather than small group, instruction. Considerations of personal, contextual, and theoretical factors impacted his practice and the students’ reading experiences. The combination of changing educational contexts, shifting from a Grade 6 to a Grade 2/3 classroom with children from a lower socio-economic background, had a significant outcome on the teacher’s initial attempts to establish guided reading. A critical examination of the literature during his M Ed program, combined with the personal journaling of his emergent teaching experiences, and the discovery of an evidence-based alternative to its traditional form, led the teacher to an effective and highly successful method of supporting guided reading through side-to-side instruction with his Primary students.



guided reading, language, literacy, primary teaching