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March 12, 2021

Guided Reading: 6 Ways to Improve Literacy Skills

Literacy is arguably THE essential building block in learning, no matter what subject is being taught. If a student can’t understand what variable they need to solve for in a word problem or how the steps of photosynthesis work, they aren’t “getting it.” That’s why the Common Core standards call for improving literacy across all disciplines, not just the humanities.

Guided reading is an important strategy in improving literacy skills. Students gain confidence reading texts that are accessible to them at their level, but still present some challenges. Readers work through these challenges with guidance from their teacher or even peers, improving fluency and comprehension as they go.

We’ve gathered some great resources on guided reading to help you implement this strategy in your classroom.


  • Guided Reading with Jenna demonstrates how teachers can efficiently assess students’ learning by meeting with students in small groups and asking questions about a text.


  • Not sure how to pick the best books for your students? Metrics like Lexile scores can help.
  • Scholastic also has some criteria to consider when choosing texts for guided reading, as well as a vast array of leveled books and teaching materials.


  • ReadWriteThink lays out a great step-by-step strategy for implementing guided reading in the classroom that includes lesson plans and suggestions for how to conduct the small group sessions.
  • Austin ISD’s guide has sample lesson plans, including templates you can fill out and use for your classes.
  • Dr. Jan Richardson is a highly-regarded literacy consultant who wrote “The Next Step in Guided Reading.” Her website offers a number of resources on guided reading, including lesson plan templates, strategies for teachers, and scaffolding materials for students.

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