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21st Century Community Learning Centers

Guided Oral Reading

Reading fluency is one of several critical components of reading comprehension. Fluent readers are able to read with speed, accuracy and appropriate expression. Guided oral reading is one strategy for providing students opportunities to practice fluent reading. 

Guided reading is best accomplished with reading passages of 50-200 words. These may be pages from any textbook or library book. However, it is important that the reading material be easy enough for the student to read with few or no errors.  A good rule of thumb is that the student makes no more than one error every 20 words (this means the student is reading with an accuracy rate of about 95 percent). It’s easy reading that makes reading easy! 


  1. An adult or peer coach reads the selection aloud, modeling fluent and expressive reading. 
  2. The student then rereads the passage, practicing and rehearsing for fluency. The coach provides error correction and feedback during the reread. Watch a coach providing correction and feedback for a Repeated Reading
  3. Types of reading errors student may make: 
    • Mispronunciations: Saying the wrong word
      • Example: The bike was brown. 
      • Student: The bike was blue. 
    • Omissions: Leaving out a word or words 
      • Example: That tall tree is an oak.
      • Student: That tree is an oak. 
    • Additions: Saying a word or words that do not appear 
      • Example: The little girl has a cookie.
      • Student: The little girl has a chocolate cookie. 
    • Hesitations: Pausing longer than four seconds  
      • Example: The boy was fishing at the lake.
      • Student: The boy was /f/…./fi/…… 
  4. When a student makes one of these errors, the coach should allow the student to read to the end of the sentence allowing for self-corrections. A self-correction is when the student makes an error but realizes the mistake — either immediately, after they have read a few more words or as they reach the end of the sentence — and corrects the error spontaneously. If the student does not self-correct, the coach should point to the error, pronounce the word correctly and have the student repeat the word. Next, the student should reread the entire sentence with the correct word.  
    Do not guide the student in "sounding out" the word or figuring out the word in any other way! The purpose of this activity is to provide practice reading fluently. Instead, the coach should simply model for the student, reading the entire sentence while emphasizing the word that the student is having difficulty with.
  5. The student reads the passage aloud again one to two times, working toward improving rate, accuracy and expression.  
  6. After these rehearsals, the student reads the passage back to the “coach” who offers feedback and encouragement. Having the “coach” listen to the student allows for immediate guidance to improve performance. Feedback that is immediate helps the student improve and perfect fluency of the text. Examples of coaching comments: 
  • "You read the words correctly Sean, but you read so fast that it was hard for me to understand what you were reading."
  • "LaKeshia, the way you made each character sound different in this dialogue was fantastic!"
  • "I really like how you paused between sentences. This gave me a chance to think about the author’s message. Now think about finding places to pause for just a second more inside longer sentences."
  • "I loved how you made your voice strong and loud in this section, Mateo. It really told me that this part of the passage was important."
  • "Try slowing down here and making your voice a bit softer."

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