My guided reading groups have gone through a series of changes to get to where they are today. I have to say that I am pretty happy with how they have evolved. A great part of my happiness has to do with the fact that the amazing DeeDee Wills & Deanna Jump have created a fantastic guided reading product. Their Guided Reading Small Group bundle is what I use to teach my differentiated groups. (Check it out HERE.) I also use the activities from my Monthly Literacy Stations bundle. (Check it out HERE.) I have four guided reading groups of 3 - 4 students each, meeting with each group twice weekly. I do wish I could meet with them more than twice weekly, but our schedule is so crazy that's all we can fit in.
Planning for my groups is so easy with the Guided Reading Small Groups sets ~ I keep all the materials needed for each level in a binder & just pull out the things I need for each group. As I said earlier, I include activities from my Literacy Stations bundle that fit with the lessons &each group's needs. For this group I've included a fun Crack the Code activity & CVCe activity from my Basket of Long Vowels set (see it HERE). We used it today & the kids loved it! They had fun figuring out the mystery word by naming the first letter of each picture name.
To keep myself on track I have created this simple planning sheet. I complete one sheet for each group - the top half is the first time we meet & the bottom half is for the second time we meet each week. To keep track of student progress I use a simple check mark system as we do each activity. There is a section for quick comments. Kiddos who need more extensive comments are noted in their individual folders. Grab an updated, editable copy of this form HERE.
I am lucky to have a small class of 15 Kinders, so my guided reading groups only have 3 - 4 kids each. Using running records & classroom data I was able to place them into four leveled groups. Each group has its own basket. In the baskets I place all the materials I will need to teach each group. (It is evident from this picture that I like wooden clothespins ~ I use them every day!) Some of the cards are from Deedee Wills' Small Group Sets (check it out HERE).
To keep everything handy I have a three drawer unit to my right that holds things like white boards, tap lights (for tapping out syllables & phonemes), word & letter cards, whisper phones, etc. The group baskets are sitting on a stack of magnetic letter cookie sheets. The pails in the green basket hold things like extra clothespins, my "office" supplies, and witch fingers for pointing to words. The yellow basket holds student supplies.
Here is one of the cookie sheets in use.They are from Dollar Tree & are the perfect size to use at our table. I used Sharpie to write the letters on them to make putting the letters back after use easier. The cards are from my January Literacy Stations. We use the cookie sheets at the start of every guided reading group. Depending upon the group's needs we may work on letter naming or sounds, spelling CVC words, or sight words. (I keep extra letters in one of the drawers shown above if we need more than one of a certain letter in a word.)
While I'm meeting with my groups the other students work in pairs at our literacy stations. Click HERE to read about some of the activities the kids do at our stations.