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Small Group Instruction in the Primary Grades (K-2)


Small Group Instruction in the Primary Grades (K-2) Marcia Uretsky CACD, Tufts University July, 2008 Workshop Goals What is Essential About Small Group Instruction? – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Small Group Instruction in the Primary Grades (K-2)

Small Group Instruction in the Primary Grades
  • Marcia Uretsky
  • CACD, Tufts University
  • July, 2008

Workshop Goals
  • What is Essential About Small Group Instruction?
  • Types of Small Group Instruction
  • Step by Step Guide to Planning Small Group
  • Selecting and Introducing Texts to Support
  • Systems for Organizing Small Groups
  • Common Traps to Avoid

The Architecture of Readers Workshop
  • Focus Lesson -Interactive Read Aloud
  • (Whole Class) -Shared Reading
  • Read and Confer -Independent Reading
  • (Individual and -Small Group Reading
  • Small Group)
  • Group Share/ -Share
  • Wrap-up -Reinforce
  • (Whole Class) -Celebrate
  • -Discuss

What Is Essential About Small Group Instruction?
  • Flexible grouping
  • Assessment Drives Instruction
  • Matching Books to Readers
  • Explicit Modeling and Guidance
  • Purposeful Book Introductions
  • Reading Silently
  • Teacher as Coach

Reading Rates Richard Allington reminds us
What are the Goals of Small Group Instruction?
  • Students develop a repertoire of strategies
  • Students learn to self-correct
  • Students learn to read for meaning
  • Students build stamina for reading longer texts

Types of Small Group Instruction
  • Strategy Groups
  • Guided Reading Groups
  • Literature Circles
  • Guided Shared Reading for Kindergarteners

Who, What, When, Where, Why, How???
  • Who belongs in the group?
  • What do I teach THAT group?
  • When do I do this? What are the other kids doing?
  • Where do I hold the group?
  • Why would you pull a small group?
  • How do I teach it.

While conferring, you notice that students have a
similar need.
  • Four domains of reading to develop
  • Decoding
  • Comprehension
  • Fluency
  • Motivation/Identity

Follow Sharon Taberski as she moves from
conference notes to small group instruction.
  • Think about
  • Who are the students.
  • What do they need to learn? What are the other
    kids doing?
  • When will she teach them?
  • Where will she teach them? How are materials
  • Why pull them as a small group?
  • How did she teach them?

Strategy Groups
  • Purpose- learn a particular strategy
  • Texts- instructional level, highlight strategy,
    short text
  • Instruction- focus lesson structure
  • Time- short period (2- 5 days)

(No Transcript)
Why Form a Strategy Group?
  • Repeat days focus lesson with small group.
  • Teach a skill identified from assessment and
    reading conferences
  • Retelling language
  • Fluency
  • Independently self-correct
  • Flexibly apply strategies

Guided Reading Groups
  • Purpose- guide students to merge strategies
    through text
  • Texts- instructional level, engage reader, varied
  • Instruction- teacher guides students through
    text knowing when to scaffold and when to release
  • Time- for length of text
  • Emergent readers more likely grouped by level.

Step-by-Step Guide for Teaching a Guided Reading
(No Transcript)
View a Guided Reading Group
  • This video captures an early reader guided
    reading group.
  • Watch for.
  • Before, During, After components of lesson
  • How did teacher scaffold initial read?
  • How teacher prompted students to problem solve?

Why Form a Guided Reading Group?
  • Emergent students need early literacy skills best
    taught in leveled text
  • Develop an active reading stance
  • Develop stamina
  • Read a new genre
  • Lift the quality of text

Literature Circles
  • Purpose- lift the quality of thinking about text
    through discussion
  • Texts- instructional level, various texts,
    provocative texts that provoke discussion
  • Instruction- students read a common text come
    together for discussion. Group time is spent
    discussing text. Follows Interactive Read Aloud
  • Time- for duration of text. Group meets after
    assigned reading is completed.
  • In primary grades teacher plays active role to
    teach discussion moves and language.

Literature Circles in Primary Grades
  • Introduce concept of Literature Circle to group.
  • Introduce the text and read a small portion
    to/with students.
  • Begin to develop a theory or question.
  • Students read next section independently /
  • Students come back to develop theory or answer
  • Teacher models strong discussion moves and
  • Students read next portion of text independently
    / partner with theory or question in mind.
  • Next Day- Group meets to continue discussion.

Simulation- Literature Circles
  • Fishbowl a literature circle with participants.
  • Notice
  • Teachers role
  • Students role
  • Evidence of teaching and learning (Literacy Goals)

Why Form Literature Circles?
  • Strong readers ready for a challenge.
  • Develop thinking of strong decoders who skim text
    and do not think deeply.
  • Practice discussion skills taught during
    Interactive Read Aloud.
  • Provide safety of small group for students who do
    not participate during Interactive Read Aloud.

Guided-Shared Reading for Beginning Readers (lt
Level A-Level B)
  • Purpose-
  • teach early emergent text skills
  • Engage early emergent students with text
  • Texts- Levels A-B, pattern, engaging, Big Books
    work best
  • Instruction- follows Shared Reading structure
  • Time- until students show early literacy concepts
    and 1-1 speech to print match of familiar text
    (Level B)

Guided-Shared Reading Follows Whole Class Shared
Reading Structure
  • Playful, quick paced
  • Focus on meaning first
  • Peel away at layers of print (Level A-B)
  • Concepts of print
  • Word/letter
  • L?R progression, return sweep
  • First/Last
  • Picture/Letter Match
  • Pattern
  • 1-1 speech print match
  • Comprehension Talk Back to the Book

Simulation Guided-Shared Reading
  • Think about
  • How this looks/sounds different than Guided
    Reading or a Strategy Group.
  • Evidence of teaching?
  • Who would benefit from this instruction?

Why Form a Guided-Shared Reading Group?
  • Students cannot focus during whole class Shared
  • Students do not show interest in books.
  • Students need more practice of emergent skills
    taught in whole class Shared Reading. (The need
    more turns.)
  • Students enter school with limited literacy
  • Students need to develop a collection of familiar
    texts to engage during Independent Reading.

Monthly System for Setting Up Small Group
  • Sept./Oct.- learn about students (confer and
  • End of month- synthesize patterns of need
  • Organize students into groups for next month
  • Begin with one group a day add second group as
    class develops stamina with independent reading
  • Limiting the number of groups leaves time to
    continue conferring

  • NOT ALL students will be in small group every
  • NOT ALL groups meet for ENTIRE month.
  • Confer with students not in small group.
  • Ways to alternate groups
  • Meet with one group each day and then disband.
  • Meet with two different groups on alternating
    days. Give students text to reread and practice.
  • End of month, REPEAT THE CYCLE!

Planning for Strategy Instruction
What are the strategies strong readers use?
What does the focus lesson look like? What text
will I use?
Ongoing Assessment Running Records Conferencing
What strategies do the students need to learn?
How many students need to learn that
strategy? What component of the Balanced Literacy
Model will I teach through?
Planning Small Group Instruction
Sample Small Group Reading Group Plan
Organizing Small Group Instruction
Small Group Planning Sheet Week of
CAUTION!! Watch out for these common traps!!!!
  • The Every Group Every Day Trap
  • The Oops, I Forgot to Teach Trap
  • The 25 Strategies in 1 Lesson Trap
  • The Round Robin Trap
  • The Teaching the Book Trap
  • The High-Middle-Low Tracking Trap

Take Away Messages
  • Small Group Instruction allows for differentiated
  • Small groups are flexibly organized.
  • Small groups are organized by need.
  • The type of small group instruction depends on
    the students needs.
  • The teacher actively teaches or coaches.
  • The teacher balances small group instruction with
    1-1 reading conferences.
  • Be aware of the traps!