Differentiate guided reading groups with these teacher tips and ideas! Get your free guided reading workbook to help you get started below!
Differentiate guided reading groups:
Differentiation is a popular buzzword in the education world, but it’s extremely important. What is differentiation? Differentiation is when you adjust lesson plans and activities to meet the needs of each learner. It is not one size fits all, but rather a reminder that everyone is created differently and has different needs that they need to be met.
If you’re reading this and thinking that you obviously do differentiate your guided reading groups because that’s partly the point, then great! Let’s dive into how you can differentiate your groups even more.
Differentiate your warm-up
When you sit down at your guided reading table, how do you begin? I always start with a warm-up. If you’ve been reading my blog posts for a while, you know I begin every group with Pop The Balloon! Guided Reading Warm-Ups. It’s easy to meet the needs of your groups with these because they come in all different phonics skills. So, one group may be working on r-vowels, while another group is beginning to master suffixes and prefixes.
To learn more about this game and how to play, check out these different blog posts:
Think of your groups individually
When planning your groups, think about what they as a group need first. One group may need you to introduce new, tricky words and vocabulary before you begin the book. Another group may need to do a picture walk before reading. Here’s the important thing to remember: Not every group needs the same thing. A group reading chapter books very likely do not need a picture walk. They may want to preview the pages before they begin reading, but they won’t need you to do a formal picture walk.
Look Within Your Group
When thinking about your groups, try to think about your kids individually as well. It’s hard because you probably group your kids by reading level. However, it’s often that these kids in this group don’t all have the same needs. One student may struggle with fluency, while another is struggling with stretching out words. It’s impossible to write a lesson plan for each student. Seriously – don’t even try. However, you can always take notes during your lesson on each student so that you can base your next lesson around one particular student’s needs or just revisit them throughout your next lesson.
One thing I always strived to do better at was taking notes about my students during guided reading. It’s hard when you’re teaching! However, when I did take notes, I found my teaching for the next lesson to be even better because I would remember things like, “Oh Sally really struggled with stretching out CCVC words last time” or “This group really didn’t understand this story well the first time so let’s revisit it again.”
Differentiate guided reading groups help
Check out our free guided reading workbook! Inside you’ll find a lesson plan template and also some tips and tricks to help you with your groups!
Check out these blog posts: