Effects of guided reading group structure on comprehension

The purpose of this short-term study was to examine the influence the structure of the guided reading group (small group or whole class) had on comprehension ·within a third grade classroom. Guided reading was defined as a whole (entire classroom, approximately 20 students) or small group ( 4-7 students) structure in which the teacher helped guide the students through a piece of literature. The classroom teacher/researcher presented stories from the district-adopted anthology to the entire class (consisting of 18 students). The teacher conducted weekly guided reading lessons using the stories from the anthology, alternating weeks between whole group and small group settings. Following the guided reading lesson and reading of the story, each student completed a story element graphic organizer of the piece ofliterature, highlighting the setting, characters, problem and solution of the story. The teacher then administered the comprehension test provided by the anthology publishers. Students were also given a survey during the investigation that allowed each subject to evaluate his/her experience with each of the guided reading formats. While the entire class (or all 18 students) took part in the guided reading lessons and assessments, only the data collected on the six participants was included for the purposes of this study. Six subjects, four males and two females, reading "at Guided Reading 5 grade level" as determined by the John's Individual Reading Inventory (200 1) were randomly selected from the group of students fitting this criteria. Data results showed a slight preference for the small group guided reading structure as opposed to the whole class guided reading structure. Two of the six participants performed better on the assessments when involved with the small group guided reading lesson. One participant performed better when involved in the whole group guided reading lesson. Two participants performed equally as well when involved in both the small group and whole group guided reading lessons.