How many? How often? How to assess? What's the teacher's role? We share flexible and creating strategies for leading groups, and teaching students how to partner and work well with classmates independently. Resources include everything from planning and assessment forms to scores of video examples of groups in action at many grade levels.
The word voila in French literally means “see there.” Linda Karamatic puts time and reflection into creating a binder, or “voila book,” that will ease the bulging writing workshop folders and preserve the best of her second-grade students’ writing.
In this video from Andrea Smith’s 4th grade classroom, students get organized for a small group author study of Andrew Clements.
Jennifer Jones explains how one team of second-grade teachers formed guided reading groups across classrooms to marshal resources and expand their collaboration.
Shari Frost updates her original essay on guided reading with her latest thinking and criteria for placing students in guided reading groups.
Paul Hankins describes the power of pairing high school and elementary students in a partner reading program.
Katie DiCesare becomes reacquainted with an old curricular friend. But in trying reader’s theater again in her primary classroom, she finds ways to streamline the process and foster more independence in students.
The gap between a child learning a phonetic rule and actually being able to apply it is one that often vexes teachers. Clare Landrigan and Tammy Mulligan find systematic planning and routines for focused small-group work help many of their colleagues succeed in their phonics instruction.
In this video of a 1st grade guided writing group, Katie DiCesare works with children to address common issues with spelling and conventions. By grouping the students together, she is able to use her time well in addressing common needs among students.
In this second video in a three-part series, Jennifer Morgan leads her grades 3 and 4 students as they work together in small groups on a science and writing task.
Reading groups are such an ingrained element of our teaching culture that teachers can feel guilty if they choose other instructional methods. In this conversation with fourth-grade teacher Rachel, Joan Moser and Gail Boushey (“The Sisters”) talk about when it makes sense to group students.
We want students to discuss books in thoughtful, sophisticated ways in book clubs, but those skills don’t always come naturally. (Wait – do those skills ever come naturally?) Beth Lawson explains how she confers with individual children in her third-grade classroom to prepare them for independent book clubs with peers.
If you’re considering guided reading groups in your kindergarten classroom, you’ll want to read Mandy Robek’s advice for getting started and keeping track with a simple planning and assessment form.
When does level matter in grouping students for reading instruction?Â Â Franki Sibberson shares her latest thinking and a template to use in organizing groups.
Karen Terlecky brings lessons from her adult book club to her structure of book clubs in her 5th grade classroom. The article includes launching and management tips.
Shari Frost writes about the “Level A Purgatory” many kindergartners and young students endure when teachers assign reading groups too early. Her feature includes other instructional options beyond small groups for early in the year that may be more appropriate for our youngest learners.
Franki Sibberson uses a knitting analogy to reflect upon alternatives to guided reading in the intermediate grades that promote more student independence.
Katie DiCesare comforts a student in tears at the end of the day, and realizes part of the problem may be that she moved the child into a guided writing group too quickly.
Shari Frost questioned the amount of writing going on in many elementary writing centers. She decided to work with a team of literacy coaches and teachers to explore ways to increase writing in classrooms – through better use of centers, or alternative programs. In this follow-up article, Shari presents two different solutions that are working well – one involves introducing writing tools in a more systematic way in centers, and the other is an implementation of a different program entirely for independent work.
In the last installment of this three-part series, Katie DiCesare shows how she translates the findings from individual students into instructional plans when she uses a spelling assessment in her 1st grade classroom.
In this first video in a two-part series, Clare Landrigan meets with a group of fourth graders to talk about reading logs and goals. In this excerpt, Clare uses the analogy of how runners use logs to chart progress and set goals.
In this second video in a two-part series, Clare Landrigan meets with a group of 4th graders to talk about reading logs and goals. In this excerpt, Clare confers with students over their logs and debriefs with their teacher.
Clare Landrigan meets with a group of fifth graders to talk about what’s going well in literacy workshops, and to set individual goals.
In this video from a fifth-grade small group, Clare Landrigan talks with students about making predictions and finding evidence in text.
In this video from Franki Sibberson’s grades 3-4 classroom, boys share books that are similar to ones written by Matt Christopher.
Shari Frost shares the nuts and bolts of setting up open book clubs in your school. These clubs are a great way to expand the reading community, as well as connect school libraries and classrooms.
Kathy Collins gives a detailed definition of how reading centers are connected to the goals of different reading units of study.
Shari Frost finds writing centers are beloved by many teachers and students. There’s only one problem – very little writing appears to be going on in the centers.
In this small group from Courtney Tomfohr's first-grade classroom, students work on their "chunking" skills.
In this small group after a demonstration lesson in a 5th grade classroom, Clare Landrigan talks through strategies for inferring the meaning of new words while reading.
One of the challenges of working with intermediate writers is helping them understand how and when to use dialogue in their writing. In this video of a small-group lesson, Aimee Buckner uses a mentor text and a metaphor to help her 4th grade students understand the value of using dialogue sparingly in their writing.
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