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Friday, 3 July 2015

Reading Groups


I was asked this week, about procedures for reading groups. 

This is a format you can use to help encourage your students to be engaged in quality, needs-based activities while you guide a focus group (guided reading). 

I have used this basic structure for many years, as early as my university practicum days and I have managed it even with Kindergarten - with fabulous results. The key is to gently and gradually guide them into the structure and routine. Use your knowledge of your own classroom and school community to gauge how best this can be done. 

For example, with a challenging class you may need to start out with just a 10 minute session, and have very easy basic activities for each step. Don't take a focus group initially, instead - be a facilitator and walk the room, helping the students to be engaged. As the groups get more used to the routine, you will be able to extend the time, create more challenging activities and leave the students to work independently. Small steps. Consistency works. I promise. 

Your students need to work through 4 activities. 

The first is reading. Select a text that is familiar to the students as you want them to be independent. The text that they read with you the previous week, for guided reading is perfect. They read this as a group, or in partners, or independently. Choose one that works for your students. 

After reading they do a 'word game'. 

This is intended to be short, sharp and fun! Select words that they need to work on for fluency. My '30 Word Games' resource has 6 standard game formats that you can use with any set of word cards. Teach these 6 formats ready to use for the whole school year. They will become student favourites. 

Once they know these games you will have created an easy way for students to quickly engage in a focused meaningful activity efficiently and without fuss. You may have your own word games that you prefer. 


A game is next. This is where you can motivate your students with a fun, hands-on activity to encourage any area that the group needs to work on. You may use the text or a seasonal theme as a basis. This is great opportunity to work on phonics skills.

Provide a worksheet for independent revision or recording. 
This will help you keep your students engaged so that you can make sure you finish working with your focus-group. Select one from your own collection, or the publishing company that made your student readers may have a worksheet that will help students focus on the parts of the story. My 'Wonder Worksheets' work well for this component also, as you can use them too accompany any book. 



I make a tray for each group that contains everything they will need for the session - no waster time wandering around and interrupting to ask for equipment. 




Label all the tubs, trays and book bins with classroom labels. I have this set in my TpT store that can be used for a variety of purposes. 



Find a poster to help your students remember the structure to their reading groups session HERE in my TpT store!


Thanks so much for stopping by today friends!


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