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Reading groups with 30 students..HOW???

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Reading groups with 30 students..HOW???
Old 05-28-2015, 07:42 PM
 
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So...I think next year I'll have about 30 students. I cannot wrap my head around small group instruction. Even if I had groups of 5 I can't meet with everyone in a week. I've struggled with this ever since class sizesave gotten larger. I've always done small group. How do I make it work. I know some say don't meet with higher groups so long..but they have to show growth too!!!

Anyone have 30 kids and managed to do small group...ideas please!


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Old 05-28-2015, 08:25 PM
 
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I think the way to manage it is to make the groups a bit larger than you'd like probably, and don't meet with every group every day.

With 30, I would probably go for 5 groups of 6. - Low, Low Medium, Medium, High Medium, High. (or L, LM, M, HM, H.) (I realize these are simplistic labels, but for the sake of simplicity...)

Sample schedule with three rotations:
M - L, ML, M
T - L, HM, H
W - L, ML, M
Th - L, HM, H
F - L, ML, M

This schedule is not amazing - it's just something I would probably try. But it would depend on the kids - HOW low is the lowest group, etc? How much time does each level really need?

I would give the two higher groups more independent work that you can check in with when they meet with you. Or, they could work together on something and then check in with you when they meet with you.

If you can fit 4 rotations, it would be even better.

Just throwing out some ideas - I used some of this in 1st with success.
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Old 05-29-2015, 12:23 AM
 
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You could do five groups of six. In my opinion, I would not meet with my highest group once a week. I have tried that before and it seems to hold my higher students back. I wouldn't really worry about it until you see where their reading levels are. Sometimes it helps to figure out groups when you see the reading levels. I hope this helps. I have never had that many in my room yet. Good luck!
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Old 05-29-2015, 06:21 PM
 
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I had 31 this year. It was soooo difficult. However, what can you do? 31 kids in 3rd grade is too many!

1) Parent volunteers!!! This gave kids a chance to read and discuss books far more frequently than if I only relied on myself. They didn't work with my low kids. Only my medium high and high groups. One volunteer did Junior Great Books all year with 1 group.
I typed up general plans...what to discuss, questions to ask, etc. The kids loved going out to read in small groups with parents. I come from an area with solid parent volunteers, who are also educated, so I felt confident in doing this.

2) Something I tried at the end of the year and I plan to tweak it next year. Online book discussion with my high group. Create a google document. I post questions. They read and responded to my questions, each others' comments, etc. They also posted their own questions. summarized chapters, etc. They do this on days when I am not meeting with them. I respond in the evening so they can read my comments, too. I also meet with them 1x per week in person at school. I didn't do it exactly this way, this year, but plan to next year. This year, they were "supposed" to log on at home for homework. Some did, some didn't. I think if I assign it in class, they will be more apt to do so, as it is a requirement while I meet with reading groups.

I hope these ideas help a bit. In the end, we can only do what we are physical capable of doing.

Good luck. Let me know if you try the Google Doc route. I'd love to hear from someone else who attempts it. Or, if you have better ideas on how to utilize an online book club idea, please share!
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Reading Group Options
Old 05-30-2015, 03:36 PM
 
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I have had my classes do a Reading Response Journal that was focused on their independent reading books. They answer one question a week ( or every other) from a list. One year I had them write me a letter and then I wrote one back but that would be really hard with 30 although you can have it for a specific month if you wanted to work on that skill. This can easily be an in class assignment too. If you want I can copy the questions for you. Good luck with 30 students, you will be fine once you get to know them and get the rhythm of the year going.


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Here's something I tried that worked well.
Old 05-30-2015, 04:02 PM
 
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You can break the kids into 5 groups of 6. I don't know how much time you have to do your groups but we have from 8:30 to 11:00 with a recess of 15 minutes during that time. Here's how I broke them up.
8:30 Start working with the first group, while the second group meets on the
floor next to your reading table, reading their book together and
writing words that gave them trouble. Higher groups can also write in
their reading response journals while they meet on the floor next to the
table while you work with the first group at the table. Do word work
and comprehension activities at the table.
8:55 Group on the floor (2nd group) moves to the table to do word work and
comprehension with you while the first group goes to literacy centers.
Group 3 meets on the floor reading the book, writing trouble words,
and writing in reading response journals.
9:20 Group 3 moves to reading table, Group 4 meets on the floor
9:45 Recess
10:05 Group 4 meets at the table, Group 5 meets on the floor
10:30 Group 5 meets at the table.

This way, they're reading the book with your partial supervision, and doing things that they can learn to do independently, and you can still have time to do word work and other things that you need to do with each group.
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Reading Letters
Old 05-30-2015, 04:04 PM
 
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I do the reading letters prinderella mentioned with 28 students. I respond to 6 M-Th and 4 on Friday. With 30, it would just be 6 a day. I did move them over to the chromebooks and I have the students type in an ongoing Google Doc. I type much faster than I write, so this saved some time. Plus, I could answer them wherever and whenever without having to carry physical notebooks around. However, it was doable with the paper journals as well. I did that for the first few months of the year.
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reading groups
Old 05-31-2015, 07:12 AM
 
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I've never had 30, but this year I had 26. There's probably not much chance they will fit neatly into 5 groups of 6. You have to do the best you can to group them. Keep your lower groups smaller if possible, but your stronger readers can be larger groups. Flexibility is key! Your groups will change throughout the year depending on your kids' needs.

This year I had 2 groups of 1 (I usually met with them at the same time, but they read different things). My middle groups fluctuated throughout the year- usually three groups of 4 to 7 and my highest group was 8-10. Yes, too large but it worked. They were, for the most part, good listeners and fairly responsible. I didn't meet with the high group as much and gave them more to do independently. When one student wasn't making good progress, I moved her to a "middle-high" group. Then I got a new student who had spoke little English and so then I had three groups of one.

The other key is to meet with groups for a shorter, more purposeful time. This is something I need to work on! Ten minutes of quality instruction is better than 20 minutes of trying to fit too much in. Choose a specific goal that is just what the group needs. When they aren't meeting as group, they can practice, read independently, with partners, volunteers, listen to books, etc. This is a huge part of their reading work.
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Old 05-31-2015, 09:31 AM
 
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I would like the copy of the questions too? Thats would be terrific!!
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:50 AM
 
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Hello Prinderella,

Can you send me those questions?? I'd love to take look at them.



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Old 05-31-2015, 10:53 AM
 
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Yellowdasisy

I LOVE the idea of Googledocs..can you explain how it works?
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Old 05-31-2015, 11:34 AM
 
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I use Googledocs for our online book discussions. I'm going to adopt yellowdaisy' idea and have others write letters this year. In the past, I used notebooks and quit because I just could not keep up.

Open up a document in Google Docs. Name it. Share with whichever students you want to be a part of that particular book club/discussion.

They receive an e-mail notification and can now access that document whenever they want/need to. Whomever has access to it can type on it/add pics/etc.

It's really as simple as that.

So, this year will create online book discussions on Google Docs with my high groups. That way, I can help develop those higher level thinking/comprehension skills.

With all others, they'll type me a weekly letter on Google Docs. I will write the back. Gradually, more kids will "graduate" to the online Google Docs book discussions.

Thanks for starting this thread! Between all of us, I have a headstart on next year's reading group format!
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Old 05-31-2015, 12:18 PM
 
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Like eliza4one, it's simple to use. I love the idea of using it for book clubs, as well, but I just don't have enough chromebooks to facilitate both. I typically only have 7 at a time.

For reading letters, we just type in the same Google doc. I did it for a semester, all in the same doc. They typed their letter, and I answered directly below. Each time I would just scroll to the bottom and write below their last letter. It was really simple!
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Old 05-31-2015, 12:53 PM
 
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So, your kids all have email, Eliza? Is that something set up through the school? I think that would be great to do, but we don't have school emails.

We do have discovery Ed, and I have seen something in there with an email for students, but I don't know if that is something they can actually use as an email... Maybe I will check that out.

I use padlet in class. I suppose I could give student groups. Different padlet page with a question, but they could see each student answer... I will keep thinking. I like going to tech for some extension activities.
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Old 05-31-2015, 03:06 PM
 
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Yes, in our district, each student from K-12 has a school e-mail. They learn to log on in 2nd grade.

For activities such as this, I am glad. As a whole...I don't think kids really *need* an e-mail account.
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Old 05-31-2015, 03:17 PM
 
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Our class size has grown but I have 2 partners. We exchange for 90 minutes a day ONLY for Reading and Phonics. The children are split into three reading groups so for the 90 minute all 3 of us teach Reading/Phonics and our room is filled with kids at similar ability levels. The strong readers are in a slightly larger group allowing the teacher who takes all the lower readers to have a smaller class size for that 90 minutes.
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Old 05-31-2015, 05:05 PM
 
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These are great ideas! I'm moving from Kindergarten to 3rd next year (also worked in 1st). I'm looking forward to trying Googledocs for book discussions. I'm not sure how many students I will have in my room. These are all helpful suggestions to give me a jump start on my planning! Thank you!!!
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reader response
Old 06-05-2015, 06:14 PM
 
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I would love to have a copy of your questions! THanks!
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:46 AM
 
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I would also love a copy of your questions! It sounds like a comprehensive list that would really help me!

Thank you!!
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Old 06-19-2015, 06:23 AM
 
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Eliza4one

Do you think if I had four computers students could just rotate thru them. IN my classroom I've always done centers. I was thinking of making Google doc a center. I worry that students wouldn't get done though.

It's worth a try. Thanks for suggestions.
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Old 07-07-2015, 02:27 PM
 
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Sorry-just saw this!

If you give them all week (say assign a certain # a day), yes they could easily rotate through them!!

At first just have your high kids do the Google Docs, maybe. That way, you/they get the hang of it and can also figure out how long it will take! Then, slowly add more students.

Let me know how it goes. I am moving to 2nd and am not sure if I will be able to do this with 2nd graders. I hope I can at least with the high kids.
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