|The Small Group Lesson
My groups are as diverse as the pumpkins that grow on our family farm! Each little “pumpkin” has a different need! Therefore, the lesson design is being tweaked constantly to accomodate each one. In one group I may have two students still struggling to write their names, while two others are becoming more proficient at chanting our alphabet chart or doing a sound sort. My lessons go something like this:
Student A: Let’s work on the letters in your first name today 🙂 Can you point to the capital letter that begins your name? Good! Let’s place it in the little pocket. Do you see the letter that comes next…and so on…
Once we have arranged the letters of the child’s name, we rebuild and spell it out loud again. I leave the student(s) to work on arranging the letters to match a template I have made for them to copy as I move on to the next student(s). After they build their name, I have my A+ student to take them and work on chanting, tracing, and sounding letters on the alphabet chart (this is a technique that Jan Richardson (The Next Step in Guided Reading) uses to help students achieve letter and sound recognition). I am already seeing good results from this 20 minute activity every day.
Student B: Let’s review our alphabet chart. (I point randomly to different letters to check for comprehension of letters and sounds out of order). After the letter and sound review we move on to a sound sort. How many things on the table can you find that begin with /c/ ? (student locates two or three picture tiles correctly). This goes for about five minutes, then we practice writing Cc on our white boards with dry erase markers. Though this little group is not a true guided reading group, I still make sure the child who needs name practice has a book featuring his/her own name, and the child working on sound recognition has a book of objects and sounds. This is what they use during independent reading (read to self time). I have each child to read the little book first during our next group time. Tier II students receive instruction daily from myself, and are pulled out twice a week by our Title I teachers. I make it a point to touch base with these students each day. It’s hard, but it can be done. Rest time is a good time to pull individuals for a quick check-in to Progress Monitor, or to practice a much needed skill. We also utilize letter tiles from sites like Donna Glynn’s Scott-Foresman webpage to build words.
These are my thoughts at the end of a very busy week…we’ll see what Monday brings!