Guided Reading Procedure for Improving Unaided Recall & Self-Directed Comprehension

I'd like us to say more about robust teaching/learning with the implicit question always being: how might this proven entity be done better with IT? See other examples of robust prescriptive teaching methods at:





The Guided Reading Procedure*

· Excerpt with permission of authors from: Manzo, U, Manzo, A.V, Thomas M.T. (2009) Content Area Literacy: A Framework for Reading-Based Instruction (5th edition) Wiley



The Guided Reading Procedure (GRP) was developed to demonstrate to under-achieving students that they can greatly increase their reading
comprehension through a metacognitive act of self-determination (Manzo, 1975a),
or strategy control. The GRP does
this by having
students engage in a learning activity that urges them to re-tell what they have read in a great deal of detail.
This requires students to self-monitor their level of attention,
concentration, and commitment.
Strong reinforcement for doing this follows from their seeing and experiencing
the rewards of their improved recollection and comprehension. This outcome is achieved through
built-in redundancy features of a GRP lesson: Facts and ideas in the selection are stated, repeated, and
reviewed in various forms. In this
way, even students who were not willing or able to read a selection initially
acquire a firm grounding in the story or information when it is presented in
these overlapping ways.

In examining the steps of the GRP, notice that it guides students toward greater independence by stressing one of the most pervasive but least acknowledged
secrets of real schooling; namely that, whatever else is said, teachers tend to
value factual reading, notetaking, organizing, and test performance. Notice, too, how steps 4 and 8
especially reinforce metacognitive development and strategy control.

Steps in the Guided Reading Procedure

Step 1 Teacher Preparation

Identify a selection, to be read or listened to, of moderate to high difficulty. This generally means not exceeding 50-250 words for a primary grade class, 600 words for an intermediate class, or
900 words for a middle school class.
Prepare a 10 - 20 item test on the material to be given at the end of
the class period. Recognition type
questions, such as multiple choice, tend to insure early success.

Step 2 Student Preparation

First ask students what they know about the topic, then explain that they are to “Read to remember all that you can, because after you have read, I will
record what you remember on the chalkboard just as you tell it to me.” When literature is being read, this
question can include a phrase asking that students try to remember events in
the story, as well as “all that you felt and thought while reading.” Record these comments in parenthesis alongside
the related plot elements. It is
ok to say “feelings?” and
“thoughts?” periodically to remind students that they can express these.

Step 3 Reading and Recalling

Following silent reading, begin asking for free recalls . Record all information on the chalkboard until students have retold all that they can remember.
Difficulties in remembering and differences in what students do remember
stir excitement and implicit questions for the next steps.

Step 4 Self-Monitoring/Self-Correcting

Instruct students to review the material read and self-correct inconsistencies, and information overlooked in their initial attempts to retell. Note changes and additions on the
chalkboard. (See Box 8.8 for an
illustration of steps 2, 3, & 4).

Step 5 Restructuring

Encourage students to organize their retellings into outline form. Having students record the outline in their notebooks lends a sense of authenticity and purpose to this effort. The outline can be as simple or
elaborate as student ability level permits. Ask guiding questions at this time, such as “What was
discussed first?”; “What details followed?”; “What was brought up next?”; and
“What seems to be the main idea?”
Keep students focused on the outlining task by avoiding questions that
are too specific.

Step 6 Teacher Monitoring and Correction

If it appears that students have overlooked any important ideas, raise focusing questions about these points, such as “What do you suppose is the most
important of the five points made by the author?”; “How do you suppose this
information relates
to what we talked
about last week in the
‘Man and the Moon?‘”

Step 7 Evaluation

Give the test prepared in step 1. A score of 70% to 80% should be required for a “pass”. Students will surprise you by seeing this as a fair “pass”
level due to the extraordinary level of help and empowerment they have
received. They also tend to look
forward to the test as an opportunity to show what they have learned.

Step 8 Introspection

Discuss any insights students may have reached about their own learning processes as a result of the GRP experience. The
insight you want students to reach is that accuracy in comprehension and recall
can be improved simply by an internal “act of will” to do so.

Step 9 Optional But Important Study Step

Several days later, give a second test on the same material. Questions should be the same as those on the original test. Allow students about 15
minutes prior to the test to review material from their notes. This step also
can serve as a “teachable moment” for coaching study skills and memory
techniques of the type presented in the chapter ahead on higher-order thinking
and study skills.


Box 8.8

Detail of Children’s GRP Recalls of Story, Feelings, and Thoughts

Teacher: Tell me about this story.

Student A: The story is about Little Red Riding Hood, and how she met a wolf on her way to Grandmother’s house; Oh yes, in the woods.

Teacher: What feelings or thoughts did you have about the story?

Student A: I wondered why wolves always are the bad guys in stories in books, but they’re the good guys in those stories about real animals that you see on TV.

Student B: Not me; I’m still afraid of them. This story is a lot scarier than the Gunnywolf.

Teacher: What else was important in the story?

Student A: The wolf pretended to be good and helpful at first.

Student B: That’s what makes wolves scary -- they can pretend to be good.


Support for the Guided Reading Procedure

The GRP has been supported by several experimental and field studies testing its use from fourth grade through high school levels. Culver (1975) found it to be as effective as a full DR-TA;
other comparison studies have found it to be significantly more effective
(Ankney & McClurg,1981; Bean & Pardi, 1979; Colwell, Mangano, Childs,
& Case, 1986). There also are
several field accounts of the value of the GRP in the professional literature,
including its use at elementary levels (Gaskins, 1981) and at secondary levels
(Maring & Furman, 1985; Tierney, Readence, & Dishner, 1990). Importantly, the basic paradigm has
struck a sound note with many educators who have used it to develop a variety
of related teaching methods such as in writing (Eanet, 1983; Hayes, 1988),
science (Spiegel, 1980b) and listening (Cunningham, Cunningham, & Arthur
1981; Kelly & Holmes 1979).

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Tags: Coprehension, Improving, building, habits, metacogntion, mind, new, of, recall, unaided


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