Thursday, October 11, 2012

how to organize guided reading?!

My guided reading {readers workshop} rotation is down pat.  It is the most reliable thing in my classroom.

I write the kids' names on the board so their name is in the same place every day, which eliminates a lot of "Where am I going?" when it's their center time.  The shapes next to their names are my 4 groups.  {I call them by shape but use the colors to match baskets or folders that differentiate the work at each center.}  The picture cards are the open centers which I rotate each afternoon.  {Some years I have used more than 5 centers so students don't necessarily get to them all in a given week but it also means I don't have to switch out activities as often!}  Easy.  Cheesy.

However {dun dun dun}, it is now the 6th week of school and my guided reading routine has changed 4 times.  No joke.  It is no wonder we're still trying to learn procedures...they change as soon as we get them down pat.  {these are out of my control changes, FYI, not just changes in groups due to data.  enter big smile here.}

I think hope have decided that we finally have the schedule set.  Unfortunately, it leaves me with the in the world am I ever going to remember who goes where on a which day?!  Thank you, Google.  Here are some ideas I've come across in case you're also looking for a way to display your reading groups.  Even if they don't work perfectly for my wacko rotation, they're still great ideas and they may work for you!

{Lesson Plan SOS} uses student pictures on a "Now Starring" board to remember who's in each group.

{What the Teacher Wants} uses a weekly calendar to help her remember when to meet with each group.
{Mrs. VanDyke} gives each group a number and rotates them each day for the students to remember where they go when.

{Leaping Into Third} uses the SmartBoard.  Easy to change and a big display for everyone to see!

{Down Under Teacher} uses a separate poster for each group to remember where to go.

So many options!  I'd like to keep something similar where the students names don't move {unless their ability group changes} but that also includes centers, my group, the TA group and the ESL on group, on days that she is with us.  Also, my OCD won't allow for a big grid hanging at the front of the room. In the meantime, I'm using this chart in my binder and just calling them out.  {not so efficient}

Any other ideas??  How do you organize and display your groups?!


  1. hmm you do seem to have a complicated schedule! No wonder you are finding it hard to come up with a display! How do you use the grid you have at the moment? For example, there are two Teacher rotations, 2 assistant groups etc on Monday, does that mean you do 2 rotations each day? On Monday you see stars first, than circles?

    I've had a similar schedule before and I used a large piece of card and contacted it (it was too expensive to laminate!). I divided it into 6 columns with tape (one blank and 5 for each day of the week) and however many rows for the number of groups I had. In the first column I put the group names and members and in the day columns I used sticky dots to attach the activities they were doing each day (I did two, so the first card was the first activity, the card next to it was the second activity). Using the sticky dots made it easy to change around the activities when my schedule changed (which it often did at the start of the year). It was quite simple but worked for us.

    I hope you find something that works for you!

    Down Under Teacher

  2. Thank you so much for this! I am a new Kinder teacher this year and have been struggling with how I'm going to set up my groups. Googled and found this after reading many others. I will definitely be trying your ideas!


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