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Reading Groups: The clock is ticking...

Happy February! It's the 2nd day of the month so you're hearing from me, Breanna, at A Pinch of Primary. It's February and reading groups are pedal to the metal. Kids are in the routine, books are being read, strategies are being taught, books are going home, and those little kinders are READING. Different levels? Ohhh yes! But seeing those milestones for each individual reader is #Heartwarming.

We follow the Daily 5 model (we only do 4 rotations each day) so my students have their learning time broken down like this:

  • Read to Self/Guided Reading Group
  • Mini-lesson
  • Word Work/Guided Reading Group
  • Mini-lesson
  • Listen to Reading/Guided Reading Group
  • Mini-Lesson
  • Read to Someone/Guided Reading Group
I *try* to meet with 4 groups each day Monday-Thursday. With this pretty jam-packed reading schedule, time is money. My reading groups last about 15ish minutes. 15 minutes sounds like a lot of time until you want to take a picture walk through the new book, preview some new words, give the teacher eye to the student talking and disrupting your group time, read the book, ask questions, etc., etc. You all know the deal. Before you know it BAM time's up and you didn't get to any sight word activities or running records. Now, this might sound very obvious to all of you in this lovely Kinder Tribe, but I had this epiphany that I needed something for my students to work on as they transitioned to guided group time and I could switch over my group materials to the next group's level. It would be so much better than just sitting there waiting on Johnny and June to get to the table so their group could start. 

Each day that my kids come back to my table, they have activities they are to grab and start working on as soon as they sit on their stool. These activities can be anything quick and easy, and I believe they should be LOW PREP. (Can I get an AMEN on low prep?)
Here's some things in my Early Bird Bucket:
  • Sight Word Flashcards
  • CVC Fluency Strips on whiteboards 
  • Sight Word Spinners (differentiated levels)
  • Sight Word/Letter Sound/Letter ID puzzles
The beauty of this is that I can get a quick idea of what a student is struggling with and help them right then and there (and sometimes its before June even makes it to the table LOL) and it is something that doesn't require teaching directions each time they sit down. I believe this also reduces the possibility of behaviors arising because of boredom waiting for June to continue picking up all the magnetic letters she dumped on the rug. It has worked wonders!

How do you like to keep your reading groups efficient? 

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