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Literacy Online. Every child literate - a shared responsibility.
Ministry of Education.

Guided reading texts

Ready to Read levelled texts

Ready to Read student texts are crafted and levelled to ensure that students are presented with continual and appropriate challenges. The colour wheel indicates the level of each student text. All of the levels, except Magenta, are further divided into sub-levels to allow for a flatter gradient of text difficulty. A "G" (for guided reading) is placed within one of nine colour segments.

The difficulty of Ready to Read texts increases gradually in vocabulary, text length, complexity of text structure, students' familiarity with the content, and how explicitly the content is stated. This reflects the concept of the zone of proximal development (Vygotsky, 1978), the gap between what a student can do independently and what they can do with help. Teachers select texts and activities with the appropriate level of stretch for their students.

Magenta

Magenta guided reading texts include mostly familiar topics and contexts.

Grey magenta ready to read wheel.

Literacy instruction for a beginning reader starts with a rich framework of being read to, language experience, and shared reading and writing. This continues alongside guided reading instruction – introduced when students have developed some confidence with books, have a sense of story, and are beginning to attend to print.  

As students acquire the relevant foundational skills and knowledge, they need to move on quickly from this level so they can start to build reading processing systems. There is now just one level at Magenta so that students move quickly from these beginning texts to engage with longer narrative texts at Red.

Students do not need to know a particular number of high-frequency words before moving to Red. 

Expected reading behaviours

Students:

  • develop early concepts about print,
  • gain control over one-to-one matching,
  • expect text to make sense and sound right,
  • start to build a reading vocabulary of high-frequency words.

Teacher support materials and audio files

Teacher support materials explain how teachers can use the text to engage students as they develop reading processing strategies, respond to the text, and think critically. 

Magenta TSM and audio are available online.

Red

Grey red ready to read wheel.

Red guided reading texts include very familiar themes and ideas, drawing mainly on New Zealand contexts and settings. They have language that is likely to reflect oral language patterns. All ideas are clearly illustrated.

Expected reading behaviours

Students:

  • are learning to process print,
  • are reading groups of words together in phrases,
  • make meaning by applying their increasing familiarity with print details, their growing knowledge of sentence structures, their expanding reading vocabulary, and their growing ability to use the illustrations.

Teacher support materials and audio files

Teacher support materials explain how teachers can use the text to engage students as they develop reading processing strategies, respond to the text, and think critically. 

Red TSM and audio are available online.

Yellow

Grey yellow ready to read wheel.

Yellow guided reading texts include familiar themes and ideas, drawing on mainly New Zealand contexts and settings. They have language that mostly reflects oral language patterns and include many high-frequency words.

Expected reading behaviours

Students:

  • are developing their ability to search for and use interrelated sources of information,
  • use a wider range of word-solving strategies and comprehension strategies to make or confirm meaning,
  • are phrasing more consistently as they read.

Teacher support materials and audio files

Teacher support materials explain how teachers can use the text to engage students as they develop reading processing strategies, respond to the text, and think critically. 

Yellow TSM and audio are available online.

Blue

Grey blue ready to read wheel.

Blue guided reading texts include some contexts and settings that are likely to be familiar but may be outside the student’s direct experience. Many high-frequency words are evident. Topic or interest words are likely to be in a student’s oral vocabulary and are strongly supported by illustrations and context.

Expected reading behaviours

Students:

  • continue to gain control of the reading process,
  • monitor their own reading, search for and use multiple sources of information, and self-correct errors,
  • recognise many high-frequency words automatically,
  • begin to read some sections of texts silently.

Teacher support materials and audio files

Teacher support materials explain how teachers can use the text to engage students as they develop reading processing strategies, respond to the text, and think critically. 

Blue TSM and audio are available online.

Green

Grey green ready to read wheel.

Green guided reading texts include some contexts and settings that may be outside students’ direct experience but can be easily related to it. Many high-frequency words are evident. Texts include a few words or phrases that may not be in the children’s oral vocabulary but are well supported within the text. Illustrations support and extend the meaning but may not exactly match the words.

Expected reading behaviours

Students:

  • draw on a developing range of problem-solving strategies to approach the challenges they meet as they read,
  • monitor their own reading, search for and use multiple sources of information, and self-correct errors with increasing competence,
  • think critically about what they read,
  • read with phrasing,
  • read some sections of texts silently.

Teacher support materials and audio files

Teacher support materials explain how teachers can use the text to engage students as they develop reading processing strategies, respond to the text, and think critically. 

Green TSM and audio are available online.

Orange

Grey orange ready to read wheel.

Orange guided reading texts include less familiar themes and sometimes settings and contexts that may be outside the students’ prior knowledge but that they can still relate to. There is a mix of explicit and implicit content. Language features include the use of some figurative language and some features of informational texts. Texts are becoming longer with more complex text and sentence structures. Illustrations support the meaning and may suggest new ideas or viewpoints.

Expected reading behaviours

Students:

  • consolidate their reading processing system to make meaning and to consider new ideas and think critically,
  • read with increasing independence and fluency and use multiple sources of information along with their prior knowledge to make meaning and consider new ideas and think critically,
  • draw from visual language features, such as text within illustrations, split illustrations, photographs, and occasional subheadings, to support them to make meaning,
  • often read silently.

Teacher support materials and audio files

Teacher support materials explain how teachers can use the text to engage students as they develop reading processing strategies, respond to the text, and think critically. 

Orange TSM and audio are available online.

Turquoise

Grey turquoise ready to read wheel.

Turquoise guided reading texts include less familiar themes, and although settings and contexts may be outside the students’ prior knowledge, they can still relate to them. There is a mix of explicit and implicit content. There is frequent use of literary language and many language features of informational texts. Texts are becoming longer with more complex text and sentence structures. Illustrations support the meaning and may suggest new ideas or viewpoints.

Expected reading behaviours

Students:

  • understand that texts have purposes and are written for audiences,
  • read with increasing independence and fluency and use multiple sources of information along with their prior knowledge to make meaning, consider new ideas, and think critically,
  • draw from visual language features, such as text within illustrations, split illustrations, photographs, and occasional subheadings, to support them to make meaning,
  • mostly read silently.

Teacher support materials and audio files

Teacher support materials explain how teachers can use the text to engage students as they develop reading processing strategies, respond to the text, and think critically. 

Turquoise TSM and audio are available online.

Purple

Grey purple ready to read wheel.

Ready to Read texts at Purple are complemented by  Junior Journal texts, providing students with a wide range of text types and topics and supporting a range of reading purposes that are increasingly cross-curricular.

Expected reading behaviours

Students:

  • understand that texts have purposes and are written for audiences,
  • confidently use a range of processing and comprehension strategies to make meaning and think critically about longer and more complex texts,
  • monitor their reading and draw on a range of problem-solving strategies when meaning breaks down,
  • usually read silently.

Teacher support materials and audio files

Teacher support materials explain how teachers can use the text to engage students as they develop reading processing strategies, respond to the text, and think critically. 

Purple TSM and audio are available online.

Gold

Grey gold ready to read wheel.

Ready to Read texts at Gold are complemented by  Junior Journal texts, providing students with a wide range of text types and topics and supporting a range of reading purposes that are increasingly cross-curricular.

Expected reading behaviours

Students:

  • understand that texts have purposes and are written for audiences,
  • confidently use a range of processing and comprehension strategies to make meaning and think critically about longer and more complex texts,
  • monitor their reading and draw on a wide range of problem-solving strategies when meaning breaks down,
  • are using texts more often to meet demands across the curriculum,
  • usually read silently.

Teacher support materials and audio files

Teacher support materials explain how teachers can use the text to engage students as they develop reading processing strategies, respond to the text, and think critically. 

Gold TSM and audio are available online.

These texts are provided to all New Zealand primary schools. Additional copies can be ordered from the Ministry of Education resource catalogue.

Contact Down the Back of the Chair online or call 0800 660 662.

Updated on: 04 Oct 2017




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