August 10, 2016

Starting Reading Groups in Primary Grades

How soon do you start reading groups?
How many kids are in a group?
When do you meet with them?
These are ALL questions I felt boggling my mind the first few years of teaching.
I KNEW there was a system and I would eventually come across it and it would work!
It just took some time...3 years....with many trials, errors, and eventually successes.
Today I wanted to share with you how I facilitate my reading group rotations and small groups.
But first let me answer those questions from ^^^:
How soon do you start reading groups?
I begin training my kids the 2nd day of school. 
We begin by talking about stamina.
I don't actually start rotating the groups until I have taught each rotation and the expected behaviors. I also have to DRA and find out the level of each student. 
My goal is to start meeting with my groups by the 6th week of school.
How many kids are in a group?
I group them by DRA level, so depending on those, as low as 2 or 3 and as many as 6.
When do you meet with them?
I meet with EVERY group EVERYDAY (Mon-Thur)! 
Let's start off talking about how the students know where to go.
Here is the chart I use to display the rotation cards for each group.

Fundamentals of the Chart:
My reading groups are coded by animals: Giraffes, Cheetahs, Monkeys, Zebras, Lions.
Each (animal) group of students move horizontally across the rotation chart.
Students ALWAYS begin each day at rotation 1 and end the day on rotation 5.
{more explanation in fine print below}
Each paw print that you see on the chart represents a different "center".
I store these "centers" in a tub on a shelf.

Next week, I will take you on a tour and show you what each component on the rotation chart looks like in action!

If you are looking for rotation cards, I recently created mine (after revamping them) into a product that you can purchase in my TpT store. Find them <HERE>

Check back next week for more on kicking off reading groups!

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