Personalized Learning

Personalized Learning through Guided Reading and Strategy Groups

As teachers of reading, we need to know what’s going on in the field of reading, beyond our [school’s] prevailing model.  This means we have to continue to educate ourselves about the reading process and learning issues.  We need to be sure our knowledge base about reading is ever-growing and that it leads us to more inquiries in our teaching.    

Kathy Collins, Growing Readers

Rationale: We (Emilie and Jen) came together to personalize our own learning and make it relevant, authentic and immediately applicable to our teaching. As Learning Support teachers, we decided to examine our small group work with readers and our practice of Guided Reading, which lead us to more inquiries in our teaching.  We set the following goals for ourselves in September:

  • Gather materials to run effective reading groups across primary including articles, videos, and organizational materials
  • Test out guided reading strategies with our learning support reading groups
  • Learn more about how inquiry can be incorporated into reading groups

The following four books became the mentor texts for our learning:

imgres  imgres-3  imgres-2  imgres-1

Additionally, we met with Armin Martin from Munich International School to look at inquiry reading strategies which support comprehension.

How are Guided Reading groups / strategy groups personalizing learning?

Every student in the Primary is given a reading assessment by a member of the Learning Support team 2 or 3 times per year.  The teacher uses this information along with MAP scores (upper primary) and classroom work samples / anecdotal evidence to learn about the students as readers and plan for their reading instruction.  If learning support is needed, learning support teachers are brought in to personalize and meet the needs of the identified readers.

This blog post reflects our learning over the last 6 months.  We have gathered and created materials to enhance the language of inquiry through teaching and modeling of Reading Comprehension Strategies in our small groups.  Our Guided Reading materials are organized into Before Reading, During Reading, and After Reading as this follows the structure that emphasizes the importance of consistency in our small group work.  At the end of this post you will find additional materials and videos that we found useful to add to our teaching tool-kit.

The implementation of our learning is on-going in our learning support cycles.  Reflection and action have been an important part of our practice.

Happy Reading!

Emilie and Jen

Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies:


Guided Reading Structure:

Before Reading:

 During Reading:

After Reading:

Useful Record Keeping Documents

Videos of Guided Reading Lessons:

Literature Circles

Bonnie Campbell Hill Literature Circle Handout

Balanced Literacy in the Classroom

Small group work (guided reading groups, literature circles, etc) is an essential component of a Balanced Literacy Framework.  The components are:

  • Reading workshop
  • Writing workshop
  • Shared reading
  • Interactive read-aloud with accountable talk
  • Story time
  • Small-group work
  • Word study
  • Interactive writing

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