Friday, July 17, 2009

Step one: Grouping the students

Guided reading or small group instruction is a chance to work one on one with your students. You are able to reach the struggling readers in this 15-30 minute block. This could be the most important 30 minutes of the day for these students. Make it matter! Assessment is crucial in order to place students in the correct group. Once you have assessed their phonics knowledge you can create small groups. You should never have more than 4-5 students in one group. For example if you have four students who are having trouble with the r controlled vowels such as ar, er and ir...put them together, because you have a starting point for them. The placement is all up to the teacher. I like to put at least one higher reader in with a mix of low students to lead the group. The high student should only be a bit higher so you don't hinder that students developement. I like to use the core phonics test to create my small groups. Remember this small group/ guided reading should be focused and intense phonics, fluency and comprehension instruction. It is hard to determine where students are in fluency and comprehension when comparing them to peers. Phonics concept placement is a good start because you have one common ground.

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