Sunday, September 17, 2017

Small Group Reading - Intermediate

Are you an intermediate teacher that is not using small group reading instruction in your classroom yet?  It is one of The. Most. Powerful.  instructional strategies you can use to accelerate the progress and overall reading growth of all of your students.  It is so powerful in fact, that even middle and high school teachers are using it now with gusto!  Yet, not all intermediate teachers are using it and we would argue that they should be. Why?  How many times do teachers say…”If I only had more time to meet with my students to work on their individual needs, they’d make more progress.”  Or….”My students’ abilities range from a couple of years below grade level, to a year or more above level.  How am I supposed to teach that?” We hear these things all the time.  Yet there are still so many intermediate teachers teaching whole group, or whole group and conferring only.  Whole group and conferring are great starts, but if you really want to multiply the growth of students, they are not enough. If you really want to multiply your students’ growth, small groups are a must!  Whether you use strategy grouping or traditional small group guided reading, small groups are the way to go.  Not convinced yet?  Here are just a few of the countless reasons to support small group teaching.

Small group teaching enables you:

*To know your students’ exact strengths and weaknesses in reading

*To use flexible grouping to support responsive instruction

*To personalize instruction to the specific needs of each student on a frequent (several  times per week) basis

*To teach students how to work on and through complex texts

*To provide direct, explicit explanations of a strategy that students have not yet mastered

*To provide appropriate scaffolding for your students tailored to their needs

*To provide modeling of thinking strategies, especially tricky higher level critical thinking

*To stretch the thinking and take it deeper for students working beyond grade level  standards

*To teach and model appropriate, meaningful ways to have rich conversations about books  and texts students read

*To provide instruction and modeling of how to respond in written format to texts,  especially for students who have difficulty with written responses (ELL, impoverished  literacy background, etc.)

*To provide instructional level reading materials without embarrassing below grade level  readers

*To develop vocabulary knowledge more thoroughly for your ELL students and students of  impoverished literacy backgrounds

*To provide specific decoding and word work abilities  and other foundational skills for  students below grade level (And don’t forget the intermediate grades CCSS have word  work learning, too.)

*To provide specialized interventions for students who are significantly below grade level

Shall we go on?  There are so many more reasons to use small group instruction, but these are a good start.  Have we convinced you yet?  We hope so.  But just in case we haven’t, here is one more tidbit.  I teach reading interventions to students who are one or more years below grade level.  Every single year without fail, the students that make the MOST progress, are those that come from classrooms in which the teachers use small group teaching.  Plain and simple.  It works!  So won’t you give it a try? 
Don’t know where to begin?  Check out our favorite books for small group teaching.  All are available at Amazon (we are not an affiliate) or the publishers online.

Happy Teaching!

No comments:

Post a Comment