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High Leverage Small Groups in Reading that Take Little Prep and Make the World of Difference

Oct 3, 2024
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Date: Thursday, October 3, 2024

Time: 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM ET

Location: Online, via Zoom

Who Should Attend: Grades 3-8 teachers and coaches

Cost: $150 per person

The consensus is clear–small group instruction in reading is essential. Having said that, we recognize that the press to lead a few small groups every day asks a lot of you. It is already a lot for a teacher to plan what a classful of kids will be doing everyday for the duration of a Unit; expecting teachers to then spend evenings, on top of an already hefty workload, planning small groups for every subset of kids is an even more considerable demand. This day is designed to help by suggesting a set of blueprint small groups that will support the most essential work that kids need to do when reading fiction. 

In order to support literal comprehension, monitoring for sense, summarizing, inferring, envisionment and using knowledge of story structure to grow theories about books–and to do this in ways that move kids up levels of text complexity–we’ll suggest high-leverage small groups that you can teach in a rinse-and-repeat way for kids on benchmark, as well as for those below benchmark. You’ll come away from the day with an armload of small groups that you can teach easily, with clear goals in mind. 

These groups can’t be one-and-done instruction, however–so you’ll also learn how to align tools, social supports, a curated set of reading materials, assessments, habits and so forth. In addition, small groups are only possible if students are reading with engagement, so expect some help building a climate of reading. Finally, many of you are understandably wondering, “Am I still teaching towards running records and bands of text difficulty, or towards trajectories of skill development, or something else?” This conference day will help you to answer this question. Any plan for small groups needs to take into account the way groups fit with the larger work kids are doing. So, plan to think more generally about the essentials of growth in reading.

Across this day, expect to:

  • Study ways to make small groups leave a lasting impact by using them to introduce and support habits, tools, social structures, and materials that outlast any specific small group.

  • Consider goals for supporting students’ comprehension, fluency and word solving.

  • Explore easy-to-prep and potent small group structures that you can use over and over, adapting them to support a range of students and skills.

  • Watch demonstrations of especially high-leverage small groups that accelerate student progress.

  • Tap the power of AI to help you adapt texts and lessons to support your full range of readers.

  • Wrestle with ways that you can use data to inform your small groups and to check on their impact on your students.

  • Learn how to effectively scaffold, and then remove those scaffolds, for students within a small group, so that they continue to work with growing independence.

  • Build a climate of reading, and support students’ progress towards becoming avid readers.