You can read between sessions, without ruining your appetite.
As an adult reader, I often come across words which are new to me. I have developed a broad range of predictive and deductive skills which allow some access, but, if all else fails there’s the dictionary. The journey to reading was, for me, painless and beyond a few childhood memories of the books which I read, like Janet and John and Biggles, I don’t remember really learning to read.
As a teacher, hearing children read was individualised, with some children being heard up to five times each week.
However, if there are five guided reading sessions a week, to ensure all children have this contact, totalling 100 minutes per week;
- What is happening for the other 97% of reading time?
- What are children reading between the sessions to ensure that they are making continuous progress?
- How do teachers make sure that beyond the guidance, the skills that have been the focus of that session are being regularly practiced?
- Is the guided book actively part of the time between sessions?
For many children, there is a great need to read more regularly than the once a week guided group, which for them might need to be supplemented with further sessions. The presence of additional classroom adults can support this.
All groups in a reading session where one group is likely to be working solely with a teacher need to know what is expected of them during the time, so discrete challenges need to be articulated. It should never be one quiet group and a free for all.
In one sense it offers the teacher an opportunity to hear reading. Unless specific guidance follows, that might be all that is accomplished. It is essential to look at the whole reading diet and the embedded dynamics, to develop confident, fluent readers.