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Strategies for Teaching Small-Group Guided Reading: Grades K-5 


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Apply Fluency

Target the characteristics of strong reader fluency

Read words in phrases, breathing appropriately for punctuation.

Check out books written in reversible verse.
Mirror Mirror | Follow Follow

Choose appropriate books

Download a list of recommended resources appropriate for your grade level.

Practice reading punctuation while adding expression with the What’s My Voice Fluency cards. Digital version only.

Target Word Work

Focus on phonics principles

Assess students’ knowledge of phonics principles by using the Word Study Inventory for Transitional Readers. Collect the data for the students in the group and deliver targeted word study instruction during small group meetings.

Practice phonics

With primary students, use a variety of word-study activities. Observe a small group in action.

Purchase magnetic letters from Resources for Reading.

Focus on phonics principles.

Practice phonics skills with the never-ending game BANG!

Resources for word study

Increase Item Knowledge

Untangle letter confusions


Adjust the level of instructional support

Create a rotation of small groups


Engage readers in book clubs

What Should I Read Next | Find similar books to those liked in the past.
Common Sense Media | Find out if a book has foul language or inappropriate content.

Manage book clubs

The Green Ribbon folktale reminds students who read ahead not to ruin the text for their peers.

Print the “Spoiler Alert” text and graphics to cut and tape onto your green ribbon sign to remind students what the ribbons represent.

Introduce book club options

Present a book commercial or show students a book trailer.



The School of Good and Evil

Animoto allows you to make a 30-second video slide show for free when you choose the LITE version.

iMovie is a free app for iPad users to make book trailers in a storyboard format.

Use the Storyboard template when planning a book trailer.

Enhance book club conversations

Teach students to retell key details from the text using the 5Ws.

A small group (i.e., fish) is encircled by the remaining students (i.e., bowl).

Fishbowl Procedure