When we begin small group time, they gather their response notebooks and a pencil and meet me at my reading table. I conduct a traditional guided reading lesson with this group. I usually use articles or shorter texts. Our district has adopted the Journey's reading program by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. With that program came shorter guided reading texts that pair with each weeks main basal selection.
My district literacy team firmly believes in the principle of teaching students at their instructional guided reading levels and therefore, do not want us teaching the books that are paired, just because they are paired. We are to choose books that meet student need and instructional level. So, I choose the books that are at each groups instructional level and that focus on comprehension skills that were taught the previous week. For example, if we focused on the skill of main idea and the strategy of inference last week, I'd look to choose a short book that had these as a focus as well at the instructional level of my students. This gives me opportunity to reinforce in a guided group the topics we learned as a whole class the week before. I spend about 20 minutes with this group.
The lesson plan I base my lessons on was created by my district from the teachings of Fountas and Pinnell. You can see it here.
Empty boxes waiting for new supplies.
They sit atop the three bookshelves I have in my room for the classroom library.
I have my students keep their reading items in these magazine boxes I purchased from Ikea. There's five boxes in a pack for about $2, I believe. They're super popular. Last time I went to my Ikea, about 40 miles away, they were completely out of them. Luckily, it's near my parents, so I'll keep checking back when I visit them. I need a couple to replace some that got ruined last year. You can see though, that I'll be able to re-use most of boxes from last year. I just labeled each with student numbers.
Students keep their reading response notebook, literature circle book and any other book from our class library that they are reading in this box. I don't allow students to keep reading books in their desks to keep them from being ruined by larger text books, snacks or water spills. It also makes it quick and easy for students to find what they need for reading time.
How do you organize student materials for small group reading? What type of lessons do you teach during small group reading?