Differentiating Word Work in Guided Reading Groups

Word work can be a challenge to plan for when meeting with a variety of leveled reading groups. I try to use the same resources for my lower leveled groups and just switch up the actual activities being done for each group to meet their needs. Check out what I've done for my PreA-C leveled groups with a simple set of CVC word and picture cards!

These activities are all quick and can be done several days in a row so that different students end up choosing different cards each time. We just spend a few minutes doing these activities before doing our new stories. They are a great way to get students to warm up to reading each day!

Have a great day!

Readers are Leaders...in Guided Reading Groups

I started something new this year to take a step back during my guided reading groups. I wanted my readers to take charge of the group, instead of me always leading them along. And let me tell you...it has been wonderful!

I began a "Reading Leader of the Week" format. Each week one little reader is our leader. I wanted my readers to realize the importance of reading (readers are leaders!) and to take more ownership of their guided reading time. I realized I was always doing the talking when doing a picture walk, strategy suggestions, comprehension questions, etc and decided to change that. 

The reader leader is in charge of running our group- he/she gets materials for the group, leads the picture walk (while sitting in my chair which is just so special to a little kid in it of itself!), provides a strategy suggestion to use when reading difficult words and asks comprehension questions.

I use this little bucket full of random things that were in my classroom for Our Reading Strategies. I believe most of the items are from Oriental Trading Company. After leading the picture walk, the reading leader chooses one thing from the bucket and shares how to use that strategy. This is probably the most exciting part of being the reading leader because really those little toys are just fun! 

Here's a closer look at our reading strategies we've been focusing on in the groups. I will change this doc throughout the year as we progress to using other strategies. The reading leader and the other kids in the group absolutely LOVE getting to share a different suggested strategy each day!

On the whiteboard behind our guided reading table, I have two charts hanging up. One explains what a reading leader does. At the beginning of each week we review as a group what the reading leader will be doing. The second chart has each of my students' names from each group so the students all know the rotation and know when it is their week. Oh boy do ALL my little readers get SO excited when they know their week is coming up. It is so cute!

I also have my reading leader asking questions about the text. Some of my reading leaders do not need my help at all. Others I guide them to meaningful questions through question stems, student made word question cards or simply reading questions to ask. I also include answer stems so that the readers answering the question are using good vocabulary and common language. By including the question stems, I ensure that my reading leader is asking higher order thinking questions. I highly recommend letting your readers take over- you'd be surprised just how good your friends are at asking questions- no matter their ability level!

If the Reading Strategies poster, What do Reading Leaders Do? poster and the group chart are something you can use, please download this freebie (or click the image below)! All you need to do is write in the names of the students in your group (it is not editable). Enjoy!

You can also take a closer look at my explanation of how I do this all in this short video!

Have a great day!

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