The official guided reading program was designed by two college professors with classroom teaching experience but has evolved to mean providing a child support while encouraging them to read more challenging texts, according to Steve Hart, a professor of literacy, early, bilingual and special education at Fresno State.

“The idea is that the teacher serves as a coach, or a support, during the actual reading process, providing students feedback and prompts at the moment of need,” he said. “So rather than having the student just reading and then taking a test and then we look at their results …. guided reading is really designed to be at the point of need, and the teachers, they’re

The vast majority of ELL students in the district are Hispanic.

The program was called Focus on Early Literacy.

The following school year, 2015-2016, the district’s overall score jumped to 61%, and the low-income Hispanic student group also rose by 10 percentage points to 41%.

Scores continued to increase steadily, and as of 2018-2019, 66.39% of students were reading at or above proficiency, including 58% in the low-income Hispanic subgroup.

It took a lot of training on the part of teachers to implement new strategies, Iturralde said. Most of that focuses on a concept called guided reading, where a teacher supports students reading more challenging texts. Teachers and administrators say Kingsburg Charter is more likely to be successful because of its “cohort-style” schools, which benefits students and teachers.

“Our principal really wanted to make sure that we understood it, and we were shifting gears to help these students and make them strong readers,” she said.

“So we would have training days, I would say, probably once a trimester, so at least three or four times a year.” The training wasn’t just for teachers either, Lee said.

Administrators and paraprofessionals were also taught “how to use supplemental resources to enhance what was happening in our guided reading groups.”

For example, students answering “who, what, when, where, and why” questions before reading are practicing comprehension strategies.

Read the full article about guided reading programs by Ashleigh Panoo at The 74.