HELP!! Reading Groups

Discussion in 'Fifth Grade' started by LS31582, Sep 19, 2011.

  1. LS31582

    LS31582 Rookie

    May 2, 2009
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    Sep 19, 2011

    In my class I try to run my reading groups as discussion groups, mainly because I don't know what else to do with my groups and because all my resources are chapter books. I try to meet with them, discuss what they read, and go over whatever assignment I gave them. I usually assign a chapter or 2 to read, then a short assignment, such as, list the main idea of the chapter, along with 3 supporting details. Here are some of the things I'm struggling with. One, I can't keep up with reading all the books so it is difficult to know if the kids really read what they were supposed to. Also, for the lower groups they need more prompting for their discussion. Two, I always have kids that did not do the assignment or read. I don't know what to do in that case. I still need to meet with the group to stay on track, but if many didn't do the assignment, the discussion is not good. They do not care if they miss recess for not completing the assignment and still continue not to have assignments finished on time. How do other people run 5th grade reading groups, and what do you do in them? How do you keep students on track to complete their assignments? Any help is greatly appreciated!!
  3. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

    Jul 3, 2010
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    Sep 19, 2011

    Not easy. Might want to give a mini-quiz to them. Those who get 80% or above discuss with you, while the rest finish reading and have to write summaries. I know lots won't like this idea--it is problematic, but I've used it when I've needed to. Funny how soon many end up reading their assignd books more at home ater using this once or twice.

    A key thing to remember though is make sure that the questions are fair--I am amazed at how nit picky some quizzes on some internet sites I have seen--many teachers couldn't get an A on them.

  4. wendy 31

    wendy 31 Rookie

    Jun 2, 2009
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    Sep 24, 2011

    Some questions and ideas for you

    I don't know how many students you have and how close their reading levels are to each other. Is there any way that you could put two groups in the same book and give the lower group a lot more support with the vocabulary? Maybe they could partner with someone from the upper group and do their reading assignment at the same time. The lower group could mainly work with fluency, vocabulary, retell, and comprehension, while your upper group could work with those basics plus some challenging work. You can add an extra reading and writing component such as a compare/contrast their book with a short story or poem? Write a letter to one of the characters or create journal entries as one of the characters. Or they create a game to play with the other group that comes from the reading? It could be with technology or just crafty with pen and paper.

    Have you tried literature circle jobs? Your upper groups could each have a different job while your lower groups could each have the same job. When I first started with literature circles I did it whole class so that I could do a lot of modeling. Then in reading groups, each person in the group had the same job so that I could be very specific with what I was looking for with each job. Finally, each person had a different job that rotated each week.
  5. MsMar

    MsMar Fanatic

    May 16, 2007
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    Sep 24, 2011

    I too would recommend giving lit circles a try. I did it when I taught 6th grade and it worked pretty well. Though there was the issue of some people not doing their job. I was just there as a LTS and only did one round with the lit circles so I really can't offer any specific advice other than to say it did get most kids to do the work and have meaningful discussions.

    I'm now in 5th and we use StoryTown so all my reading is from that program.
  6. tchnzfun

    tchnzfun Rookie

    Sep 12, 2008
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    Oct 4, 2011


    If you're feeling adventurous, I would recommend a complete restructuring of your reading groups. Try heterogeneous groups where students are grouped by the book that they choose to read instead of grouping them by level. Then you have students that can provide support in many ways.

    Provide students with conversation starters as well as a guide for how to respond for agreeing, disagreeing, adding an idea, etc.

    After students meet to discuss with their book club, have them journal about how it went. You could have them write a summary, or questions before they meet as well if you want to check accountability with the reading.

    Once they finish the book, they can do some kind of project or presentation about the book.

    Take it or leave it! Just some ideas...
  7. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

    Aug 8, 2005
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    Oct 5, 2011

    You've been given some good suggestions. I'll add just one:
    In the future, if possible, pre-read all of the books you are going to use with students. It makes it far easier (actually, it makes it possible) to evaluate their comprehension and allows you to participate in their discussions. My students are a few years older, but I never assign books that I haven't read myself.

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