I love working with small groups in my classroom. If I could figure out a way to work with small groups all day long, it would be amazing. I feel like this portion of my day is so important. I really get to know my students strengths and weaknesses, and I’m able to really focus on their exact needs. So, what are my Guided Reading must haves?
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1. Dry Erase Boards, Markers, and Erasers
These are an absolute must have! I use dry erase boards for so much during small groups. We stretch through words, manipulate sounds, practice sight words, and so much more. This year I used vinyl circles on my small group table that we use as dry erase areas as well. I always stock up on tons of dry erase markers and erasers every year, because we use them for so many things.
Highlighters make everything more fun. We use these to go back into our text and highlight our answers. (You can use highlighter tape in your books.) The students highlight vocabulary words, phonics skill words, and answers to comprehension questions.
The passage above is from my Guided Reading packets. These differentiated passages are perfect for teaching students to go back into the text.
These Five Step Fluency passages above are great for going back and highlighting with word work activities.
Any time you can find something to add a little fun element into reading practice, take advantage of it. My students love using these finger light pointers while they read.
Witch fingers are also a big hit, and they are really easy to find this time of year.
4. Fun Dice
I am in love with these comprehension dice that I bought off of Amazon. They are so easy to pull out and use with any books that we are reading.
Number dice can be used for reading activities as well.
- Give the students a word and have them show you on the dice how many sounds they hear in the word.
- Have the students roll the dice and come up with a word that has that many sounds or syllables.
- Give the students a word. Have them roll the dice. They have to come up with that many rhyming words.
5. Vocabulary Cards
I purchased these Word Teaser Cards a couple years ago and have found them to be so useful when you have a couple extra minutes at the end of a lesson. It’s a great way to add some more vocabulary instruction into your day.
I organize everything into binders. I keep my recording sheets in my small group binder. I’m able to write notes about each lesson and how each student is doing. The notes are very quick and messy, but I can write things that went well, as well as goals for each child. I make sure to do this right away. If I wait, I will forget what I observed.
If you’d like to check out the lessons I use for small group, click on the links below.
What are your guided reading/small group must haves?