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Assessment of Pupils’ Reading Strengths and Areas for Development
When assessing reading, care should be taken to create opportunities for pupils to show both word recognition and language comprehension skills c.f. the axes of the Simple View of Reading.
Ideas for assessing language comprehension without testing can be found in “Assessing Reading – Materials to Support the Teaching, Learning and Assessment of Reading” published by Herts for Learning.
Use the Simple View of Reading grid to sort pupils.
Group pupils that have similar development needs – this will allow for focussed direct teaching of the required skills.
In classes with a wide range of ability it may be necessary to organise sub-groups within groups.
The independent activities that go on during the Guided Reading slot depend largely on the maturity and independence of the children. Generally the tasks should encourage interaction with books and texts, both professionally published and those produced by the children. Don't forget to include non-fiction.
A balanced Guided Reading session also provides opportunities for pupils to engage with and respond to texts. Objectives in the renewed Literacy framework provide age related expectations for each year group. During independent Guided Reading time, word capture and text marking activities can engage and support word recognition skills, and the use of response journals and follow-up activities focus and develop comprehension skills.
Ideas for activities which support engagement with text can be found in “Assessing Reading – Materials to Support the Teaching, Learning and Assessment of Reading” mentioned above. Also, it is planned to add Response Journal prompts to this website in the near future.
Word recognition development should focus on phonics in the first instance. Younger children will be involved in a rigorous phonics programme and Guided Reading sessions provide opportunities for them to use their skills. Older pupils may have gaps in their phonic knowledge and Guided Reading sessions provide opportunities for direct teaching to close the gaps.
Language comprehension development progresses from literal to inference and deduction to evaluation. Good reading comprehension starts with good listening comprehension and requires the teaching of additional linguistic skills: vocabulary knowledge, grammatical skills and awareness of idioms and figurative language. This progression is supported by structuring Guided Reading sessions with an equal balance between decoding text and talking around what has been read. Direct teaching of vocabulary in context enhances listening and reading comprehension.
Guided Reading Update from the Simple View of Reading and the Renewed Framework for Literacy