Reading Groups In Kindergarten

Discussion in 'Kindergarten' started by Eliza, Jul 6, 2008.

  1. Eliza

    Eliza Companion

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    Jul 6, 2008

    I taught Kinder for many years and was never happy with my reading groups. I tried to do it while other students were working in literacy stations or centers but It always seemed like I was needed for something (tape player broke, computer froze up, students arguing, etc) I never worked with the groups as much as I felt like I needed to.

    After teaching first grade for several years and getting a good system for that grade, I would really like to be able to successfully work with small groups as I move to Kinder (I will also be looping to first with this group and really want them to be strong readers!).

    I would love to hear your ideas of ways to work with small groups while the other students are busy and productive! Is it possible with kinders? Thanks so much!:)
     
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  3. WaProvider

    WaProvider Fanatic

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    Jul 6, 2008

    I am just visiting from the Preschool board-but what about utilizing parent helpers so that the adult (after you train them) isn't needed for other tasks (ie, tape player). That way you can be in two places at once.

    It may be the difference between ECE and Kindergarten-but I have great parent support-ask you might get a great helper.
     
  4. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jul 6, 2008

    It absolutely can be done! It just takes a lot of practice. I do reading groups and the kids work in their workstations while I meet with the group. You just have to train them to be self-sufficient and yes, between groups you may have to go fix a tape player or log someone back into the computer because they're just clicking around and end up on Amazon. But it's really worth it! They have to be reading on their level.

    I usually do a choral reading with a book (pointing out things as they read) and then a quick little hands-on phonics lesson. It takes about 7 minutes then they switch and I walk very briefly once around the stations before sitting down with the next group to make sure everyone is on track. Once you get them into that routine they know not to bother you unless, of course someone is bleeding or something. I've even seen teachers sit in a hula hoop - when I'm inside the hoop you can not bother me right now.
     
  5. Eliza

    Eliza Companion

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    Jul 6, 2008

    Kinder Cowgirl-
    How many groups do you have?
    Do you meet with each group every day?
    How long do you meet with each group?
     
  6. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Jul 6, 2008

    How many groups do you have?

    It depends on the class. Last year I had some very high readers and some very low ones - the rest fell into the middle (at the beginning anyway). So with a class of 24 - I made 6 groups of 4. If I was running short on time - I'd combine two of the middle groups, but tried to keep them as small as possible.

    Do you meet with each group every day?

    I try to meet with each group every day. We have a shortened day on Weds - so I can't get them all in. I use a chart to keep track. Each meeting I fill in who I met with, what we completed and any notes for myself - like they had difficulty with this or this book/activity was too easy for them. It really helps keep track of who I still need to meet with. It also gives my administrators something to look at on paper when they want to see progress.

    How long do you meet with each group?
    It's between 7 and 10 minutes per group. It takes 45 minutes to an hour of my reading block each day. But I've seen such awesome results from it and they get to spend a good chunk of time with hands-on activities in workstations, moving around. It's good for them after sitting for the whole group lesson.

    Hope that was helpful! :)
     
  7. Eliza

    Eliza Companion

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    Jul 6, 2008

    :2up:Yes, that was very helpful! Thank you so much KinderCowgirl!!!
     
  8. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    Jul 6, 2008

    I try to have about 5-6 groups depending on class size and meet 3 times a week at a minimum. My low group I usually meet with every day to focus on simple skills and keep them longer for 3 of those days. I meet with each group for about 10-15 minutes while the other groups have language arts learning stations. The kids have 2-3 choices in their station, so they just move to one of the other activities if they need to and with until I can help them. I also have seat work that they may be asked to do if they aren't getting along with their group or are too loud. It does take me several weeks to get it set up with tons of modeling and then I start meeting with groups for just a few minutes at a time so that I can stop and monitor in between groups. One thing I do at the beginning is to send a small group to an activity while I read a book to the rest of the class. It gives them a chance to see how quiet they must be while I can still supervise and praise the quiet group. I do this for about a week with one group doing an activity each day. I have a stop sign that I hang up in groups to remind the kids not to talk to me during guided reading. One teacher in my district wears a tiara and "disturbing the princess means losing recess" :lol
     
  9. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Jul 7, 2008

    Last year, I only had 3 reading groups...high, medium, and low. They had 6 kids in each, and it did get a little hectic at times. I think I will try to have 4 or 5 this year.
    Tasha and KindgerCowgirl, when you are done with a reading group do they all go into separate workstations or do they all go to one together?
    I would love to meet with each group for only 10 minutes...but when we are observed (and at least one of our observations is always guided reading), it has to be at least 20 minutes, so I do need to have the kids practice doing what they should be for that amount of time, even though I think it is a little long for kindergarten...
     
  10. mcjklj

    mcjklj Rookie

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    Jul 7, 2008

    I got a book after someone on this site recommended it... Literacy Work Stations: Making Centers Work by Debbie Diller. It was great. It had so many ideas for different centers and how to manage them. (The book is geared towards K-2.)

    I am going to model my centers after her work station ideas, but I'm still struggling with how to get them up and running at the beginning of the year. Tasha, I like the idea of reading to the whole group while a small group goes to a center.

    Do you slowly introduce the different centers and then start letting kids go to them? When do start centers? I'm just curious how everyone starts at the beginning of the year. :)

    (In the book by Debbie Diller, she suggests getting the centers running smoothly and waiting to start guided reading groups for about six weeks (in kinder) until kids know exactly what to do.)
     
  11. princessa48

    princessa48 Companion

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    Jul 7, 2008

    Hi Eliza,
    I'm also a K/1 looping teacher, so I understand your strong desire to get them into working reading groups as soon as possible. I've always had luck with getting them working at centers while I take a group. I usually do this when I have my aide. I have to share my aide with three other teachers, so I have to be flexible on this. If you don't have an aide, maybe a parent volunteer can be involved int this. I know that at my school there is an unlimited amount of parents that would love to help out in the classroom.
     
  12. TeacherC

    TeacherC Connoisseur

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    Jul 7, 2008

    mcjklj- At the beginning of the year, I have everyone sit at their seats or on the carpet and I model how to use the center first. Then, I let one or two other people do the center with me while everyone watches. Then, if it is a center that I have enough material for everyone (like puzzles or "library"), we all practice how to get the materials out and put them away, then how we should act in the center, etc. I do this a few times before letting them do centers by themselves...it takes a long time to get it running smoothly.
     

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