As a teacher in a large classroom, there can be an overwhelming feeling of obligation to enable your students to gain the critical reading skills they need as they leave your classroom. While some teachers take the approach of teaching the students to read in one large body, the need to break up students into groups can be dire in some classroom settings. Whether your students are at different levels of interest, concentration, or reading abilities, creating productive reading groups among your students can be difficult. Using any number of the following methods for dividing students into reading groups or reading circles, you as a teacher will be more capable of instructing students individually while creating guided reading opportunities.
- Reading Level
One of the first and most common ways to divide students into individual reading groups is to sort them based on their current reading level. From kindergarten to high school, most education systems have measuring devices in place that help teachers to determine the current reading level of each student. By sorting students into reading circles based on their current reading abilities, you may be better able to help each student succeed as their reading skills continue to develop. In reading groups of six or less, teachers are better enabled to help the students who are really struggling while the students who need less help do not get held back due to other’s lack of current reading ability.
- Student Interest
For teachers of older students, pupils may begin to lose interest in reading if the subject is not something that appeals to them. When choosing a book for the entire class to read, it can be difficult to find a text that appeals to everyone. By creating guided reading groups within your classroom based on student interest, you may be able to help your students find a love for reading while still introducing them to texts they have never thought to read before.
- Student Book Choice
Another form of appealing to your student’s reading interests may be to allow your students to choose the book they want to read. By sorting students into their reading circles and giving them a list of texts to choose from, you help them to find a little more independence in their reading options. By working with a list of books you have available and that meets your student’s reading abilities you can give them the freedom of choice while still keeping a guiding eye over their in-class reading activities.
- Attention Span
For many students, a short attention span can make reading a very difficult task. While some in your classroom may find themselves caught up in the action and adventure of the story, other students have a difficult time following the sequence of events. By forming your groups with a mix of students who can follow the story line and others who struggle to pay attention, you will have more opportunities for teaching moments on an individual level without slowing down the rest of the students in your classroom.
As you strive to build classroom reading groups with purpose, you will be setting yourself up for more successful teaching and giving your students new learning opportunities.