I have taught for about 11 years and taught guided reading for 10 of the eleven years. When I first started teaching, many teachers were actually still doing whole group reading instruction with novel studies. While I think that novel studies definitely have a place in the reader's workshop, I feel that students must be instructed in small groups to meet their individual needs as well. Working with students with disabilities for the last three years has done nothing but reinforce that belief. It has also made my teaching of reading "bag of tricks" much larger- I had no choice.
When I taught third grade I always felt like I really needed to make sure my students could read and comprehend ALL texts because many teachers feel like in fourth grade "students no longer are learning to read, but reading to learn" (I hate this phrase and philosophy by the way, but I will spare everyone my soapbox! When I heard a principal say it I about fell over).