Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Making the Most of Small Groups- Chapter 3 & 4: Grouping and Comprehension

Welcome to week 2 of Making the Most of Small Groups!


This week we are looking at Chapters 3 & 4: Grouping and Comprehension

Let's look at chapter 3 first. When I want to group my students for small groups, how do I start?

That dreaded word.... assessment. Now, some times assessments do give us useful information for our students... it's when they duplicate the assessments and give them a new name. but I digress.... At the beginning of the year I usually do a DRA on my students to find out how my students need to be grouped. You can also group by subject/focus. 

But with Kinder-babies I start off with their DRA levels. Your first freebie is how I track these levels through out the year. Click below:



What are the students doing while I assess? 

Well, you really have 2 options.

Option #1- Give them something new to do.
- A writing and drawing activity.
-Play dough letters or sight words
-Creating art
- Independent reading

Option #2- IF you have support or your students are well trained, have them do their normal routine. I like to assess during centers because the other students don't normally focus in on what the child at my table is doing.


How do I keep up with my groupings?



There are tons of ideas out there! I have a lot of them pinned on my Guided Reading Board. One way is to have a flexible grouping sheet. I've created a pretty one for you to have all ready to go at the beginning of the school year! Just click below:


Chapter 4: Comprehension


I have to say that I L-O-V-E the chapters that Debbie Diller has on the actual focus of lessons. BUT I'd feel like a huge copy cat if I shared lots and lots of her ideas. So instead, I want to show you the most meaningful part that I got out of this chapter:


"Comprehension is understanding."

But.....

"are we teaching decoding or reading?"

Decoding = a student can sound it out or read it

Reading = a student can answer questions about the text that they just read



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