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Linking Evidence to Reading Response in First Grade

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills are discouraged by the random and idiosyncratic responses to reading they are seeing among first graders. They implement a series of lessons to help students move to evidence-based reading responses.

Reading The Crossover: Fourth-Grade Reading Group

Gigi McAllister leads a group of boys who are just starting the novel in verse The Crossover in her fourth-grade classroom.

Evidence Claims in a Middle School Small Group

Christy Ruth-Levine leads a small group of eighth graders as they explore how to include textual evidence in their literary analysis essays.

Russell Freedman Book Clubs

Mark Levine finds Russell Freedman book clubs are a great way for his middle school students to deepen understanding of history and empathize with young people who lived through previous eras.

Guided Reading Run Amok

Shari Frost helps a teacher who has guided reading groups that have run amok, and discovers the real culprit is a lack of time for reading and writing in the literacy block.

Enticing Young Readers: First-Grade Group

Bitsy Parks helps first graders early in the year engage with the library by introducing a series with companion stuffed animals to a small group.

Using a Storyboard for Reflection and Comprehension

Christy Rush-Levine shows a group of three students how they can use a storyboard to help track thinking while reading.

Group Meeting: Sharing Resources for Animal Study

Katherine Sokolowski helps her fifth-grade students expand their territory for their animal research projects by sharing information sources and peer connections.

Goals in Small Groups for English Language Learners

Setting small-group goals can be tricky, and the complexity is compounded when you are working with English language learners. Kate Mills explains her goal-setting process with K-3 ELLs, and gives examples of how it works.

Girls’ Book Share in Fifth Grade

Katherine Sokolowski demonstrates how she helps a group of girls in her fifth-grade classroom learn to help each other select books based on previous experiences and tastes.

Gradual Release of Responsibility in Small Groups

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills develop a process of pre-assessment, careful planning, and systematic record keeping to up the value of their small groups.

Better Student-Led Literature Discussions

Gigi McAllister tries student-led discussion groups in her fourth-grade classroom, with disastrous results. She regroups the following year with multiple lessons, anchor charts, and preparation to ensure success.

Lunchtime Author Discussion Groups

Gigl McAllister explains why she hosts optional lunchtime author studies, with practical tips on getting started.

Environment Small Group: Habitat

Katherine Sokolowski leads a small group of fifth graders who have chosen similar topics for their projects in an environmental unit.

Exploring Goals in Fiction

Gigi McAllister meets briefly with a group of fourth graders who are all exploring theme in picture books.

Good Questions for Group Discussions

Gigi McAllister helps a group of fourth graders evaluate questions for fostering good group discussions.

Environmental Group Notes

Katherine Sokolowski meets briefly with a group of fifth-grade girls to go through the notes they are taking for their environmental studies project and talk through next steps.

Fact or Fiction? Discussion

Christy Rush-Levine has her middle school students complete a fun and sophisticated reading activity using Muse magazine to sort through what might be fact or fiction. In this second installment of the video series, students discuss the articles they have read.

Nonfiction Research Group in Fifth Grade

Katherine Sokolowski meets with a group of fifth graders who are all researching the use of nets in fishing and the environmental effects of the process. She works to build connections among classmates as well as research skills.

Making the Most of Small Groups with Jennifer Serravallo (PODCAST)

In this podcast, Jennifer Serravallo shares her “then” and “now” reflections about how guiding groups has evolved in her classroom.

Trying on Books for Reading Groups

Gigi McAllister finds taking time to have students browse texts before forming book clubs makes all the difference in the quality of the discussions.

Purposeful Partners

Tara Barnett and Kate Mills find the young learners in their classroom have mastered the art of turning and talking only with close friends. They provide practical suggestions for expanding the circle of peer response.

Maintaining Momentum As a Writer

Jennifer Richard Jacobson chats with a group of fifth graders about how to generate ideas for writing independently each day.

Owl Research Brainstorming: Partner Work

Andrea Smith’s fourth graders are working on an Owl Research project that integrates reading, writing, talking, listening, and content literacy.

Embracing Meaning Making in Guided Reading Groups

Katie DiCesare finds her guided reading practices are rusty, so she develops some new strategies to improve her work.

Grouping Strategies for Guided Reading

How can you support the "outliers" in classrooms — students with unique needs or profiles who don't neatly fit into any instructional group? Shari Frost offers some strategies.

Second-Grade Reading Group

Heather Rader demonstrates the importance of a varied reading diet to a second-grade group, sharing her own stack of books.

Book Clubs Then and Now: Change Is the Constant

Mary Lee Hahn considers how book clubs have changed over time in her fifth-grade classroom.

Crafting Characters and Scenes

In this discussion with fifth graders about her book Paper Things, author Jennifer Richard Jacobson and the students share strategies and tools for visualizing scenes and characters when they are writing stories.

Owl Research Notes Group

Andrea Smith helps a group of boys take notes during an owl research project.

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