When I was told that I would be responsible for leading reading small groups in my first year of teaching, I was ecstatic. I love working with small groups of students and helping them to grow as readers. However, when the day came and I had my first group of students at my table, I suddenly realized that I had no idea what I was doing. They were all staring at me, waiting for me to give them some direction, and I had no idea where to start. If you’re in the same boat, don’t worry – I’m here to help. Here are some tips for successfully leading reading small groups in your first year of teaching.
How to Start Reading Small Groups
1. Start with a plan. Before you even meet with your first group, it’s important to have a plan in place. Know which skills you want to focus on and which activities will help your students to practice those skills. Having a plan will give you the confidence you need to lead your group and keep things moving forward.
2. Get to know your students. One of the best things about working with small groups is that you have the opportunity to really get to know your students as readers. Take some time before your first meeting to chat with each student about their reading preferences and level. This will help you tailor your instruction to meet their needs and make sure that everyone is engaged.
You can use reading conferences as a way to get to know your students reading habits. I love using these quarterly with my students.
3. Be flexible. Things rarely go according to plan in the classroom, so it’s important to be flexible when leading your small group. If a student isn’t understanding a task or an activity isn’t going well, be prepared to adapt on the fly. Being flexible will help you make the most of every learning opportunity. If you aren’t good at going on the fly – it’s okay. You will get there.
Leading reading small groups can be daunting, especially if you’re new to teaching. But by following these simple tips, you’ll be off to a great start! Remember to start with a plan, get to know your students, and be flexible – and you’ll be leading successful reading small groups in no time at all!