Thursday, 13 September 2012

Reading Groups

It has taken me a while to organise my reading group in a way that runs smoothly and I think I have finally sorted it out. At the beginning of the year, many of my students were not independent learners, so if I was working with one group, many of the other students in the class struggled to complete their assigned tasks. I kept changing and modifying my lessons and tasks until I realised that it had to do with the structure of my lesson.
Our lessons run on a whole-part-whole basis that starts with a whole class focus, then has students break off into groups to complete two individual activities, and finally return to the carpet for share time. During our reading session, there is always a group working on an oral language task (especially since 94% of our students are EAL learners), another group on a computer task, next doing a follow-up task, and a guided reading session with the teacher.
Instrumental to my reading group is a task board. Each group knows exactly what task they are working on and during what part of the lesson.

Although I have always used a task board, I have found that creating book boxes for each group that includes all the materials they need for that lesson is also essential.

And the last thing that makes my reading group run smoothly are task cards. I create new task cards every week for each new activity I have planned. If a group is working on oral language, they will have the task card in their book box. So not only do I verbally explain the task to the students, they also have a card in their book box that explains the task.

Here is an example of what you would find in a book box: guided reading books/materials, task cards for the various activities, and any worksheets or handouts that go along with the activity

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