You will find our complete small group toolkit collection here: Small Group Toolkit
We have created these resources so that you have some go-to comprehension activities and ideas ready for any of your small guided reading groups. Simply print, cut out and laminate the items you feel you might use consistently with your groups and place them close to where you meet with your groups. It is our hope that having these things printed and ready will help to cut down on some of your planning time.
Connection Cards – These cards are meant to be used as students read and think of different types of connections they would want to share during a discussion of the text. They should be encouraged to take a card and jot down some words or phrases that will help them to remember their connections. The teacher can then look at the cards to decide if they should be shared during a group discussion or a one-on-one conference.
Making Predictions Board – This poster is a place where students would be encouraged to put Post-its containing their predictions before or during stories you are reading in your small group. The predictions can be placed on the poster and then revisited throughout the reading of the story as predictions are confirmed or as they need revised.
Author’s Purpose Poster – This simple poster can be used as a teaching tool for helping your students to understand the different reasons authors might have for writing. After initial instruction on author’s purpose, this poster can be used as a springboard for group discussions or conferences.
Questioning Mat – We always want to encourage our readers to ask questions as they read. Print and laminate these question mats and have them available for students to record questions they may have. You might want to encourage them to only write one or two questions, but your more advanced groups could potentially write more.
Story Spinners – We have created two levels of spinners so you can choose the one that is best suited to the text and small group you are working with. These spinners can be used in a guided way after a story is read in its entirety or it can be modeled and expected of students in the group as you are reading with individuals in the group.
Retelling Ladder – This page is meant to be used as a teaching tool and visual reminder of the things we would want students to include in a retell of a story. We believe retells involve more detail than a simple summary, so this ladder can be used to help students remember the parts they should/might include in a retell of a story.
Share Marks – This is a set of 9 bookmarks students can choose to use as they are reading the story independently and find something funny, exciting, confusing, scary, etc. The idea is that once the group begins discussing the text, the students can turn in the books to their share marks to talk about various parts of the text. (We have left one of the bookmarks blank so that you can add a share mark that might be specific to a particular text you are using for a group.)
“My Share” Cards – Use these Share Cards as a way to spark discussions in your small groups. Choose the ones that work well with the story you are reading. Place them face down in a stack. Each student chooses a card before reading and then must be prepared to answer the question during a discussion about the text.
Story Summary Sentence Frames – Teaching students how to summarize stories can be difficult. Many students end up retelling the story and details, when we want them to be more general in their descriptions for summaries. So we want to begin our teaching of summarization by simplifying the skill as much as possible. Use these frames in your initial teaching of summarization. Model the sentence frames with several stories together to help students understand the difference between a retelling and a summary. Two different formats are provided for your modeling.
Story Details Bookmarks – This is a set of five simple bookmarks that students can use as they read to signify & mark various story elements in the text. They can simply put the bookmarks into their books in order to share during a conference or you can have them write more specifics about the story elements on the bookmarks.
I’m Stuck! – When we are working our way around our small groups to read with specific students, we want the rest of the group to be engaged in reading. Unfortunately, if students run into problems that can be difficult as they attempt to get our attention for help. We have created this chart to give students reminders of what they might do until the teacher can talk to them about their misunderstandings or problems. Read and discuss the chart with your groups so they have a clear understanding of what to do when they get “stuck” and the teacher is busy with another child. (We have also provided a blank chart so that you and your groups can develop your own norms if you wish.)
Reading Job Cards – These jobs are meant to set a purpose for student reading and also to guide the framework for a discussion after reading. Choose the cards that suit the story and students you are working with.
If you haven’t used highlighter tape like this, we highly suggest you check it out! It is great for when you want your students to highlight but they are using real books. (affiliate link)