I do reading groups almost every day. I didn't do them last week when we were working on a project, but I did have a group of kids with me during the writing time. Reading groups is something I have always done. I was trained to do groups, was told to do groups, so I do groups. I am not the group guru by any means, and probably would make people cringe when I do my groups, but it works for me!
At this point in the year, I have 5 reading groups. Too many for my liking and too many for my time frame. With all we have to do, I have about 45 minutes on a good day to do groups. I try my darndest to get all my groups in each day, but it never fails that there is a group or 2 who I don't get to. I feel horrible, but that's the way it goes!
I try to start each group by reviewing the sight words we are working on. The kids are tested on the first 200 Fry words, so we work on those all year. For some, they are already done with those, so we will move on to the 300s and 400s. For others, we are still on the first 50! Then we review the phonics skills (when needed). Then we read from our phonics library book that goes with the series. After that, if the group is high enough, we read from the Rigby books. I love these books so much! I love the stories, I love how easy they are, I just love them! We read them in class, do some comprehension and then they take them home! I do "book folders" each night with the stories we read in class. The kids take them home and read them to their parents and bring them back the next day. Some are better than others at it, but we are getting there! I have lost very few books since I have done this, so I feel it's worthwhile for the kids!
My groups are no more than 10 minutes, so it isn't the nice, long groups I see some do, but it works for me. Is it great? No, but at least I am working with my kids. I can't say that for all the first grade teachers and I know the other grades aren't working in small group! Scary thought, really!
My kids do their seatwork and then do various activities when they are done. They aren't exciting, but again, it gets the job done!
I have started doing writing groups this year. I try to do one group a day, as we only have 30 minutes a day for writing. If there's time, I will work with 2 groups, but normally I get one in. Most kids are doing well on their own, so it's a good time for me to work with the ones who need it. Mind you, I'm not working with the lowest of the lows, but the ones above that! The ones who can move on with some help and not require all my attention. I hate it, but we gotta get "more bang for our buck." That's what my former principal said anyway!
This week will be a "normal" week for reading groups again. Of course, we have our benchmark testing this week, so writing time is out on Monday and Tuesday. Something always loses out with "testing, testing, testing!" Lucky us! I am so glad I am not a kid right now...too much testing!