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Scholastic Guided Reading and the Common Core State Standards

Scholastic Guided Reading is a fast track to successful, independent reading, and an indispensible first step in helping achieve the objectives of the Common Core State Standards.

Click the tabs below to read an overview of how Scholastic Guided Reading supports the basic shifts called for by the Common Core.

Text Complexity | Comprehension | Text-Dependent Questions | Academic Vocabulary | Nonfiction

Key Points of the
Common Core State Standards

How Scholastic Guided Reading
Supports the Standards

Build a Staircase for Increasing Text Complexity

The Common Core State Standards highlight the need for students to read and understand a staircase of increasingly complex text in order to develop the skills necessary to be college and career ready.

"To become college and career ready, students must grapple with works of exceptional craft and thought whose range extends across genres, cultures and centuries" (from the Common Core State Standards, p. 35).

Help all students progress through reading levels with confidence

The three components to text complexity include quantitative, qualitative, and reader and task measures. On the quanitative end, the Lexile Range for each grade-level collection meets or exceeds CCSS recommendations. Additionally, each library has been carefully leveled using a qualitative measure system factoring in reader variables such as vocabulary, language complexity, length of text, and theme.

  • Teachers prompt and support students' reading by balancing the difficulty of the text with support for students reading the text.
  • Engaging texts motivate students to read and improve comprehension skills. As teachers work with students in small groups, students are challenged to engage with texts at higher reading levels and greater text complexity.
  • A wide range of texts in the Scholastic Guided Reading programs exposes students to a variety of text types across content areas. As students work with these texts, they build a core foundation of literacy skills essential for growing into stronger readers.

Progressively Develop Reading Comprehension Skills

The Common Core State Standards provide grade level standards that are not isolated, but rather meaningfully connected across grades and subject areas. As such, there is a strong emphasis on building a solid foundation of basic reading skills that will enable students to achieve deeper comprehension in later years.

Differentiate instruction amongst a diverse group of learners at various reading levels

With a classroom of many students at a variety of reading levels, teaching all students to read on grade level is a daunting task. Scholastic Guided Reading programs provide a setting within which teachers can reach every child. With this direct instruction, students build a solid foundation of reading comprehension skills.

  • With the small group instruction model, carefully leveled books give students access to critical knowledge across the content areas and provide a venue in which teachers can scaffold the development of reading comprehension skills for each individual student.
  • English conventions and grammar usage are routinely identified and discussed through a variety of reading, writing, and speaking activities.
  • The Guided Reading model enables students to demonstrate understanding and teachers to target instruction based on real-time feedback. This streamlines communication between teachers and students and makes higher levels of achievement more accessible.

Answer High-Quality, Text-Dependent Questions and Tasks

As new assessments are being developed, it is becoming clear that students will need to be able to cite evidence when offering interpretation and answer high-level thinking questions more rigorously than previously expected. The CCSS have placed a strong emphasis on the ability to identify key ideas and details, understand craft and text structure, and integrate knowledge and ideas across texts.

Lead discussions that engage students as they dive deep into text

Scholastic Guided Reading programs aim to support all readers: challenged, gifted, and those for whom English is a target language. By providing comprehensive teaching materials and model texts, these programs ultimately serve students' growth and development as critical thinkers.

  • Teaching cards highlight instructional features including: Making Connections; Developing Comprehension: Thinking Within, Beyond, and About the Text; Oral Language/Conversation sections and writing exercises.
  • Teachers can prompt students to use information gained from the text and illustrations to demonstrate understanding of the story.
  • The Making Connections section on teaching cards contains suggestions for text-to-text comparisons, which furthers students' ability to ask and answer high-quality, text-dependent questions.

Build Academic and Domain-Specific Vocabulary

The Common Core State Standards are purposefully designed to invite all teachers, no matter what subject area they teach, to make the development of students' literacy skills a priority. Research shows that creating and sustaining a robust vocabulary is a key factor in determining the success of early readers. This shift calls for a more direct focus on the acquisition of academic and domain-specific vocabulary and highlights the need for students to grow a vocabulary base across the disciplines.

"Students establish a base of knowledge across a wide range of subject matter by engaging with works of quality and substance. They become proficient in new areas through research and study" (from the Common Core State Standards, p. 7).

Focus on vocabulary acquisition across text types

Scholastic Guided Reading programs are specifically designed to scaffold vocabulary development. Every book is accompanied by a teaching card that contains a vocabulary section. Content words, essential words, and related words for discussion are listed in this section and provide an easy tool for teachers to use just-in-time.

  • Teachers use strategies to help students determine the meaning of words or phrases as they are used; these strategies include using context clues in sentences, rereading, using sticky notes for future dictionary searches, referring to illustrations, and identifying word parts.
  • Students build content area vocabulary by engaging with a variety of texts- fiction and nonfiction alike.
  • Students engage with authentic texts that help them work with vocabulary in context and enable them to apply newly developed understandings in real time.

Emphasize Extensive Reading of Nonfiction Genres

The CCSS place a major focus on nonfiction genres, beginning at younger grades. This emphasis is based on the understanding that informational texts comprise the bulk of reading skills necessary for college and career readiness. The balance between literature and informational text gradually shifts, so that the ratio is about even by fourth grade, and 70% informational text by the end of high school.

Scholastic Guided Reading programs include a vast array of nonfiction and informational texts

Developing students' nonfiction reading skills can be challenging, which is why the quality of the nonfiction text is critically important to student success. Scholastic Guided Reading programs provide a deep dive into different types of literature and instruction to assist teachers in meeting the demands of this shift.

  • Guided Reading Text Types encourages students to discover different genres and formats, and links classroom content to real-world, informational texts.
  • Guided Reading Content Areas helps develop content area knowledge while building reading skills, and provides access to a broad and exciting array of authentic informational and nonfiction texts.
  • Guided Reading Nonfiction Focus scaffolds students' abilities to read and understand nonfiction texts in an inviting and engaging way.