Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Reading Groups and some freebies

I feel like I've been searching the whole time I've been teaching for the best ways to do guided reading or small group reading. Last year I felt like I had a pretty good handle on it because I would read with students individually. This year, I'm striving again to figure out what I want this part of my day to look like. I read a couple of interesting blog posts last week about what guided reading really was and how it had no place in the common core. I then read a response to that on another blog. (I'm sorry that I have no idea which blogs it was I was reading. I do most of my blog reading on my phone which is kind of a pain) This got me thinking. I have been planning on posting about my reading groups for a few weeks now and I was planning on calling it guided reading. I'm not really sure it's guided reading in the definition sense. I'm reading with students and working on word skills or comprehension skills depending on the day and the group. I haven't mastered the scheduling part of this or the planning part of this. I feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants on most days. I have an idea of where all my students are and what they need to work on. I make notes as I'm reading and working with them. But I don't sit down when I do my lesson plans and plan out small group lessons. I probably should. I'd really like to but I just can't get a handle on things this year. I have felt like I'm behind since day one.

Anyway, I had a few things I did want to share that I'm doing that are working well. One is these dry erase circles I bought at big lots over the summer. I put them on my reading group table and the kids love writing on them.

It makes doing word work and responding to a story really easy. Here's a couple of pictures of my students responding to a story.
Another thing that I'm enjoying is these notebooks that I made. I don't remember whose blog I saw this idea on this summer but it was genius. I have four notebooks (usually this is enough for everyone to have one.) In the notebook there are pencil pouches with dry erase markers, sentence strip dry erase boards from target, fluency practice, sight word practice and my word work activities. It is so nice to have everything at my fingertips and to be able to add to it.
I made the fluency pages that focus on our phonics and spelling pattern for the week. I offered them as freebie a while back. I am offering the next unit this post (at the end). These are based on the spelling pattern for treasures for first grade and this is unit 2. I also have some sight word phrases I got from Sally at Elementary Matters this summer. The last page is my making words activities from my falling for words pack on Teachers Pay Teachers. Which if you go check it out right now, it is a flash freebie. You will be able to download it for free until in the morning. (Check that out here.)  
(This item is no longer free. It was a freebie from Oct. 16 at 5:04 to Oct. 17 at 7:14 am)

Here are a couple of pictures from my notebook:

If the flash freebie wasn't enough freebies for you, here's the fluency freebie.

Click here for this freebie.
If you download either one of my freebies, I would love it if you would follow me here and on Teachers Pay Teachers. I would love it even more if you left me some comment and feedback love. What are you doing for reading groups? Are you weighing in on the guided reading has no place in the common core? I would love to hear what's going on in your classroom.

Freebie Fridays


  1. Thanks so much for the small group activities. They look fantastic and will REALLY help with my small group planning!

  2. I'm not sure why some are saying that guided reading isn't appropriate now with the Common Core around. I say keep using best practices and make them as Common Core friendly as possible. :)
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  3. Thanks for the freebies. I look forward to trying them with my title reading kids.

  4. Thanks so much for the great freebies. We are still trying to work out our guided reading with my kinders. It seems we have so much to teach in such a small amount of time.

    KinderKids Fun

  5. wow great i have read many articles about this topic and everytime i learn something new i dont think it will ever stop always new info , Thanks for all of your hard work! teddy bears