Small Group Instruction

Our students come to us with a variety of needs. The best way to provide meaningful and targeted instruction is by working in small groups. The chart below explains the similarities and differences between strategy groups and guided reading.

Guiding QuestionsStrategy Groups
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Guided Reading
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What data should we use to group students?mCLASS, running records, informal observations, and reading conferences.mCLASS, running records, informal observations, and reading conferences.
How do we group students?Students are grouped based on similar needs, not necessary the same reading level.Students are grouped based on a similar reading level.
What do students learn?Teachers can model several strategies in one session.Teachers focus on one specific strategy per lesson.
When should I switch groups?Once the students have mastered the skill being taught, the teacher can regroup.Groups stay together for several lessons until the teacher determines that any of the students are ready to move to a different level. Before moving students to another level, the teacher must ensure the students have mastered the reading behaviors for the level being taught.
What books should I select?The teacher should select a text or article (either online or in print) that will support the specific skill being taught. The teacher should select a text based on the student’s instructional level, and ideally the book would support the content being taught.
What is the role of the teacher before meeting with the students?The teacher will pre-select a text to use and plan the lesson based on the students’ needs. The teacher will pre-select a text to use and plan the lesson based on the students’ needs.
What does this look like?The teacher will introduce and model how to use a specific strategy. Next, the students will practice the strategy independently while the teacher listen-in and provides specific feedback. Finally, the students will share how that strategy helps them become better readers.The teacher will introduce the text and new vocabulary words (+ HFW words/sight words in lower levels). The teacher will model a teaching point to the whole group. Next, students will read the text independently while the teacher completes a running record and coaches the student through challenging parts of the text. Finally, they will discuss comprehension questions and complete a writing activity.
Where do I record my small group observations, plans, etc?The teacher should have a reading binder where he/she can keep their lesson plans, attendance and observations. The teacher should have a reading binder where he/she can keep their lesson plans, attendance and observations.

We hope you enjoyed our post!

xoxo,

Claudia & Luz

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