Program Overview

An easy, four-step process that helps teachers pinpoint students' guided
reading levels and provide in-depth instruction quickly Mouseover the images below for more information.

  • 1
    Reading-Interest Survey (Whole class)
  • 2
    Word-Knowledge Inventory (Whole class)
  • 3
    Comprehension Assessment (Whole class)
  • 4
    Reading Assessment Conference (Individual)
  • Four Steps in Half the Time

    Together, the four steps deliver rich information about students' reading interests and motivation along with their current proficiency in word knowledge, phonics, spelling, fluency, and comprehension.

  • Discover students'
    reading habits and preferences

    This step will help you guide readers' independent book choices and select texts for whole-group read-alouds, shared reading experiences, and guided reading lessons.

  • Pinpoint students'
    phonics strengths and needs

    This step will help you Identify students whose grasp of phonics is below grade level so that further assessment and focused instruction can
    begin immediately.

  • Understand students'
    higher-level thinking

    This step will help you evaluate students' higher-level thinking skills, quickly identifying whose comprehension is below grade level and need immediate support. For K–2, this is administered as
    a read-aloud assessment.

  • Determine students'
    instructional level

    This step will help you pinpoint each student's instructional reading level and understand his or her reading behaviors and ability to comprehend so that you can identify the skills and strategies to target during guided
    reading lessons.


Jan Richardson

Jan Richardson, Ph.D., is an educational consultant based in Wisconsin who has trained thousands of teachers and works with schools and districts to ensure that every student succeeds in reading. Jan's work is informed by her experience as a reading specialist, a Reading Recovery teacher leader, a staff developer, and a teacher of every grade–K–12.

Maria Walther

Maria Walther, Ed.D., is a first-grade teacher in the Chicago area and an expert in early literacy. As an adjunct professor in the Judson University Masters in Literacy program, Maria shares her passion for teaching young literacy learners with other professionals.

For Next Step Guided Reading Assessment users

Online resources for Next Step Guided Reading Assessment can now be accessed through the Scholastic Digital Manager.

Next step Guided Reading Assessment pages

Welcome to the Next Step Guided Reading Assessment e-sampler, where you can explore the components of the first guided reading system designed from the ground up to meet today’s rigorous standards. Master teachers Jan Richardson, Ph.D. and Maria Walther Ed.D. developed this simple, yet powerful assessment to help teachers:

  • Get to Know Students as Readers
  • Connect Assessment Data to Reading Instruction
  • Plan and Teach Guided Reading Lessons