Have you ever tried student-led reading groups in your classroom? Have you ever felt like your students were not putting forth their best effort? Using student-led reading groups can be motivating for your students but extremely hard for you to monitor all of the groups at the same time. By holding your students accountable with these quick group check sheets, you can finally make student-led groups work in your classroom. Keep reading to find out the details and grab your freebie!
Before I started doing student-led groups in my classroom, I did the typical "guided reading" groups. I would meet with groups of students 2-3 times each week. I would lead their official reading time. The tides have changed in my classroom and I couldn't be more thrilled. Our reading groups now meet Monday-Thursday (which means my students are meeting all 4 days instead of just 2 or 3).
This is all fine and dandy, except... what about student effort and you monitoring them? That's when I decided to introduce my students to group check sheets. My students love them. As a class, we developed a group rubric to follow. My students rate themselves and then the members of their group on participation, effort, kindness, etc. We had a huge discussion now what it means to be a good listener and how to offer support if someone is confused or having a hard time figuring out a word.
Near the end of their group time, I clap my hands three times. This is the signal to the groups to find a good stopping place, mark their books and then fill out their group check sheets. They have two minutes to get them done and turned in to a little bin that sits on a shelf near our library. This is a great transition between reading groups and going back to our tables.
While my students are meeting, I move around between all four of the groups. It also gives me a chance to pull a student if I am working on an intervention with them. My students love student-led reading groups and this accountability piece made it work for me.
To help my groups stay organized, I have them put all their materials in a bin (color-coded of course). They all have a copy of the rubric to refer to. The rubric is also hanging in my classroom so they can refer to it for other activities too. They also keep post-its in their bin because I will usually give them an assignment for the week that they will keep track of on their post-its. Having all of this in their bins makes starting the reading groups each day so easy.
If you try them out, I would love to know how it goes! Leave a comment below to share your results. Want to save the post for later? Pin the image below to save and share with friends.