The adventures of a fourth grade teacher in East Central Illinois.

Reading Groups Revisited–Again

I have my students divided into four guided reading groups, which were randomly named Embassy, Papaya, Chameleon, and Sapphire. These groups meet with me at least once a week to work on specific reading strategies and discuss their understanding of the books they are reading as a group.

For most of the year, my reading groups have followed a fairly traditional paradigm. Each student was given a specific role, such as the Discussion Director, Summarizer, Connector, Illustrator, and Word Detective. These roles were rotated weekly, with the idea that each student would get the opportunity to fill each role.

After my meeting with the Literacy Across Content Areas inquiry group on Tuesday afternoon, I decided to try something different with reading groups. Instead of assigning roles, I have decided that each student is simply going to be responsible for joining in a true book discussion. Everyone has a copy of the book their group is reading and they will meet once a week to discuss the book.

My goal for this is for the students to engage one another with the text. To talk about what they have read, what they thought about what they have read, and to talk about how what they have read changed what they think about what they read! It won’t be easy, but I have full confidence in my students’ ability to read independently and then discuss books as a group. I am excited to see where things go from here with our reading groups!

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