Reading Groups: What’s in the box?

Reading groups are a tricky thing to get down. You do all of the assessments and then try to match up kids reading ability and word study ability… right? Here is a peek into my world.

I have Three different groups operating with buckets of materials. I do all of my group work on the floor, since it allows me to work with more kids, move around freely and is more comfortable for us all.Group 1: This is my lowest group. I will walk you through the materials in their bucket. The materials change daily, but these are constants.

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This is my ring of speech sounds.

  • Give mouth movements
  • Give nasal sounds
  • Show if the sound is continuous or ends quickly
  • Shows voiced or unvoiced

This helped my student A LOT when we first started the year. It gives a student more indicators or what the phonemes should look, feel and sound like. We drill these if I notice incorrect mouth motions for phonemes. Catch it in speech, and the writing will come.

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These are sound drill cards. The only cards the group is drilled on are the ones they have been taught already. Children who are below where they should be need to be over-taught concepts consistently. This means we drill on a daily basis. On one side is the skill and the other is a “cheat sheet” for the word that goes along with the skill. The students learn to anchor to a word. Sometimes I stop them and ask for another word that follows that pattern/rhime etc…Screen Shot 2018-03-26 at 7.00.48 PM.png

Next, I have a bag of words that follow patterns the group already knows. If I notice a student is having trouble with a certain word, I add it to the bag. Notice it includes several patterns. You may also wonder why my lowest kids are working on patterns that seem very advanced. I believe in teachable moments, and if a group really wants to know something… I teach it. Believe it or not this group knows a lot of things my advanced group doesn’t! ❤ There are around 20 words in my bag, and they change over time based on what I feel the group needs to see again. A good place to start is in their writing. If they are not consistantly spelling words correctly in a pattern they have already learned, it can make a come-back here.

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I do a few more things that rotate on a daily basis, but will introduce a new skill with this paper. This paper is a copy of a trace, copy, cover and overt drill.

  • Teach the rule: ar spells ar in the middle of a word. This teaches the generalization. There ARE exception, and the students LOVE to tell me when they find them.
  • The student will repeat after you “ar spells ar in the middle of a word” I also have them air trace it as they say it with me or write it with their finger on the carpet.
  • The student will trace each ar while saying “ar spells ar in the middle of a word.”
  • The student will copy the next line saying “ar says ar in the middle of a word.”
  • The student will cover the top two lines and write again while saying “ar spells ar in the middle of a word.”
  • Last, the student will close their eyes and write the patters at least three times while repeating the same thing. They love this one!

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Now, the students get to practice the skill in a fully decodable text. I have the students do this over a three day span. Fully decodable means that only previously taught skills, and the new skill will show up.

  • Day 1: Students highlight each word with he ar pattern in it. They will then read the text and apply the skill. I listen and watch the students. I assist when needed.
  • Day 2: Students underline each skill piece. Here, they underlined ar in each word. They then re-read the text while I listen and observe to practice applying the skill.
  • Day 3: Students will circle each word that follows the new skill. Students will re-read the text, and add it to their book-boxes to practice with outside of group if they are fluent with their new skill.

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So, we are done right? NO!

I have a text for each student on their level, so they have the opportunity to encounter a harder text on their DRA level. These are guided books, and I take running records from these. These books are used to observe and assist with reading skills.

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I also have children who do not like to read books, unless I make them. You thought teaching was easy right? So, here is a version of a book I created from a student-supplied idea. I took her sight words and addend them to the book. I also created cards from the words for her to practice in isolation. I will literally do ANYTHING to make reading enjoyable for my kids. Yes, that H should be lowercase. Not yet Mrs.Harris… teachable moment.

Some other things we do:

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I cannot over-emphasize the value of having anchors in your room! Some of them aren’t pretty, but they were spontaneous “I want to know!” moments.

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Hello! I am a general education teacher in a public school system that believes in arming teachers and parents with the tools to make sure EVERY child is successful BEFORE they show signs of failure. Response to intervention should be an indicator NOT failure to respond to general education. <3 Arm yourself with knowledge

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