Reading Group Rotations

Wednesday, September 14, 2016
Happy Wait for it Wednesday my friends!

Reading groups are vital to a strong ELA block!  I'm a huge advocate for reading groups probably because I've spent most of my career in first grade, a bit in second and a bit in third.  I still faithfully include reading groups in my schedule in third grade.  I've met many teachers  over the years that have asked me how I fit it answer:  How can I not fit it in?  I see it as the HEART of my ELA block...without reading groups the rest of my 'body' can't function.  
So...what does it look like?  Well I use a rotation wheel that I made years ago - I even have it offered as a product in my store if you really like this idea:  Click picture to take you there.

**  I'm working on making this editable this weekend to give you more options **

Once my students have been tested and placed into homogeneous groups I color code them and set up my wheel.  
Here's how it looks:
One group meets with me - we are reading from a chapter book, responding to text, working on informational text features, focusing on third grade standards within their reading, etc.
one group is writing in their journal with a very specific task most days so they know their purpose and can get right to work. * I've noticed that before I did that - they would spend most of the 20 minutes thinking of an idea and would never get to writing. *
one group is at what I call: Grab a Spot, Read a Lot!  This is like a built in DEAR time during this rotation.  They love this!  They can sit in my cozy library - read with a stuffed buddy and read anything that they want.
one group is working on spelling ~ this is mostly done on their white boards, writing the list, circling patterns in words, etc.
Since this doesn't take long after they are done and they show it to me they can hop on one of my 6 classroom computers that are pre loaded with TONS of kid friendly software, educational games that they LOVE.  * I don't let them use these any other time of the day so it's a special time and they look forward to their time on them during reading groups. *
one group is working on skill: this is the 1 thing I do copy each day.  It is either a close reading, a phonetic or grammar skill we have been working on etc.  It's important that it's something that they can be successful with independently so that I can have uninterrupted time in my reading groups.
I spend 17 - 20 minutes with each group and use Autumn's                ( Primary Techie ) timers which are AMAZING!!!!  You can find them { here }

Here's a closer look:

Here is my rotation wheel that is the hub of my rotation time.  The kids know their color and follow what to do each time I turn it.  I turn it based on the timer system...when it's : Time's Up I ring a bell and we 'rotate'.

The kids LOVE Grab a Spot, Read A Lot!  They can sit in my library and pick a stuffed buddy to read to, it's comfy cozy!

Here is when we squeeze in practice for our spelling list each week.  After a short activity they can play educational games on my 6 computers I have in my classroom.

I include a skill of some kind here - sometimes it's a worksheet, other times it's an activity or center that reinforces a skill we've learned in class.

This is when they are with me in groups on the rug.

Here we are practicing a very specific writing assignment so it can be completed in the 20 minute time frame.  Often times I've modeled what I'm looking for before groups even begin.
I'd love to hear how you have organized your Reading Block - this wheel works great for me.  I've been using it for years and it's like a well oiled machine as they rotate.  What does your reading block look like?

No comments