Guided practice is a critical stage of the teaching and learning cycle, bringing together learning that has occurred in other stages. The focus is on the composition of text, through directed and informed dialogue where students are guided by an expert ‘other’, usually the teacher.
Field knowledge is reviewed to be certain students have the background knowledge to be able to contribute to the text. Using the metalanguage and knowledge about text structure and language features of the genre examined in the modelling stage, the teacher takes a leading role to guide the jointly constructed text.
Throughout this stage, teachers take a leading role to shape the students’ responses in various ways such as through prompts, questions, paraphrasing, elaborating on responses or thinking aloud (Rossbridge & Rushton, 2015). Important processes of writing such as drafting and editing are also modelled during this phase.
Time taken to co-construct a text will vary according to year level. In the upper years of primary school, a focus on a section or sections of text within a lesson is recommended within one session. This might involve guided practice of an action reaction pattern in a narrative, a particular sequence in an explanation or a section of an information report about animals, for example, habitat. (see Axford, Harders & Wise, 2009).