Get answers to common questions about scheduling guided reading groups!
One of the biggest questions that teachers have about guided reading is … how many groups should I meet with each day? Should I meet with each group the same amount of times per week? How do I decide WHEN to meet with each group?
Okay, that was three questions.
Let’s tackle them one by one in this post, the eighth in my 10-part series about guided reading in K-2.
Question #1: How many groups should I meet with each day?
It depends. How many minutes do you have reserved for guided reading each day? If you have just 30 minutes, you will only be able to meet with 2 groups, maximum. If you have 45 minutes, you can meet with 2-3 groups a day. If you have a whole hour, you can meet with 3-4 groups per day.
Question #2 – How do I decide HOW OFTEN to meet with each group?
This depends on how many minutes you have reserved for guided reading (see question 1) AND how many groups you have. Obviously the fewer the number of groups, the more often you can meet with your students. That’s why I strongly recommend no more than 4-5 groups (6 at the absolute MOST).
Look at how many total guided reading sessions you can have per week. For example, if you meet with 3 groups a day, you can have 15 guided reading sessions per week.
Then follow these guidelines:
- Meet with your lowest group 4-5 times a week.
- Meet with your second lowest group 3-4 times a week.
- Meet with your middle groups 2-3 times a week.
- Meet with your highest group 1-2 times a week.
Whatever you do, do not try to meet with every group every day. That’s a recipe for burnout. Think quality over quantity.
Question #3 – How do I decide when to meet with each group?
Again, this depends. Are you going to have two lessons with each book? If so, you’ll probably want to have your lessons pretty close together. So one of your middle groups might meet with you on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, for example.
If, on the other hand, you’re planning to do just one lesson per book, it’s okay to space the lessons out over several days. Mondays and Thursdays, for example.
You’ll also want to think about your lowest group. I advise starting each day’s guided reading time with that group – this way you’re sure to meet with them. They need you the most.