Reading strategy groups are a highly effective way of grouping your students during Guided Reading. Instead of grouping students by ability, you are simply grouping students based on the strategy they need help with. While this way of grouping sounds ideal, there are some problems you may run into if you’ve never grouped this way before. Here are a few tips to help you along the way.
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Tips for Grouping Your Students
Once you have worked with your students enough, you’ll start to learn their strengths and weaknesses that go beyond their reading levels. It is important to recognize if a student is struggling with a particular skill, or if they are just struggling with reading the passage. Here are a few tools you may want to use to help you decide if/when a student should be placed in a strategy group.
- Classroom Reading Assessment – group students that miss similar problems on an assessment.
- Conferring Notes – Skim through your conferring notes and see which students are struggling with the same skill.
- Daily Reading Reviews (pictured below) – Just like an assessment, you can use daily spiral reading reviews to see where students are struggling and group them accordingly. This gives you weekly insights into your students’ progress.
- Reading Level Assessments – As you give reading level assessments (i.e. Fountas & Pinnell, Rigby, etc.), note students who struggle in similar areas of the assessment.
- Informal Assessments
Tips for Teaching Your Strategy Group Lesson
Just like with traditional guided reading groups, I like to take notes during my strategy groups. This helps me remember who still needs help and who has mastered the strategy.