Below is an example of a book review by Joan Masaryk. Joan’s reviews are published in ACRA’s newsletters, which are FREE to all ACRA members.

Professional Book Reviews


By Joan Masaryk


Guided Comprehension

A teaching Model for grades 3-8

Guided Comprehension

A teaching Model for grades 3-8

by Maureen McLaughlin & Mary Beth Allen          

A Review by Joan E. Masaryk


    The Guided Comprehension model is a framework designed to help teachers and students think through reading as a strategy-based process. (page 3)


     Stage one is teacher –directed whole group instruction. Stage two is teacher-directed small group instruction and student-facilitated independent practice. Stage three is teacher facilitated whole –group reflection and goal setting. (page 4)


     Direct-instruction includes explaining the strategy and how it works, providing a good model through demonstration, using a Think-Aloud, offering students multiple opportunities to practice with teacher guidance, providing settings for group, paired and independent practice and affording opportunities to reflect on strategy use. ( page 21 & 22)


     The beauty about this book is that for each strategy there is a complete lesson plan involving the three stages and a variety of direct instruction criteria. There are over 50 exceptional lesson plans for teaching previewing, questioning, making connections, visualizing, knowing how words work, monitoring, summarizing and evaluating.  Each lesson plan includes teacher and student friendly black line masters.  Each lesson plan includes purpose, comprehension strategy use, texts, procedure and additional  educational sources.


    There are a variety of assessments: attitude surveys, interest inventories, literary histories, motivation profiles and a self-perception scale. This treasure-chest of assessments enables the teacher to know the students well and provide the books and strategies that meet student needs.


     The Guided Teaching Model provides for an exciting classroom environment,

supported by a balance of whole group instruction, guided group instruction and independent practice. The lesson plans clarify what teaching looks like in each instructional area. The strategies and assessments are thoroughly presented with in depth classroom examples and demonstrations. The reflections of both teachers and students indicate students are hooked on reading for meaning and teachers are knowledgeable

about their students and the best teaching practices. This book holds the key to success for teachers and their students.