Reading strategy groups are one of my favorite ways to meet the needs of all my students. Plus, they have cut my planning time in half, since I’m not making plans for 4 guided reading groups each day. The only thing that takes time is finding common passages to practice the reading strategies. Here are some of my favorite reading strategy group materials.
Reading Strategy Group Materials
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As I mentioned in this post about setting up strategy groups, I often have the students bring their independent reading books to group. Many of the standards can be taught in any book. For example, asking and answering questions, characters, and story elements can be taught with any fiction book.
However, some strategies require specific types of passages to be able to apply them. Plus, sometimes you just want everyone in the same text so you can model the strategy for them and practice together.
Finding resources for strategy groups can be extremely time consuming. Here are some of my go-to reading strategy group materials.
#1 – Standards-Based Assessments
Each Friday, I give a standards-based assessment to my whole class to see who mastered the standard we learned that week and who still needs more practice.
On Mondays, I pull my strategy groups based on how the students did on the assessment. I make one group of students who scored 1 point on the assessment and another group of students who scored 2 points. We reread the passage and practice applying the strategy together.
Here are the standards-based assessments I use.
#2 – Digital ReadWorks
Digital ReadWorks is by far my favorite place to get passages for my strategy groups.
Here are all the things I love about it:
- It’s completely free!
- There are fiction and nonfiction passages.
- The passages are leveled, so you can choose a passage that is just right for your students.
- There are comprehension questions with each passage.
- The students can read on devices or you can print the passages.
I choose a Digital ReadWorks passage that clearly shows the strategy I’m teaching. We read a little bit of it together so I can model the strategy. Then, the students practice applying the strategy in the rest of the passage.
#3 – Newsela
I’ve definitely found that it’s harder to find informational passages that include standards than fiction passages. Another great source of free nonfiction passages is Newsela.
You can print the passages so you have a common text for your strategy groups.
#4 – TeacherFileBox.com
TeacherFileBox is an amazing collection of Evan-Moor products. You can access every page of their resources and print or project them. Get a free 30-day trial by clicking this link.
With TeacherFileBox, you get resources for every subject, not just reading.
#5 – Super Teacher Worksheets
Super Teacher Worksheets is another place to find passages. It isn’t free, but I’ve found it to be well worth the subscription fee. Like TeacherFileBox, you get access to thousands of amazing resources for every subject.
You can find fiction, nonfiction, and poetry passages arranged by grade level. Each passage has comprehension questions and vocabulary activities.
#6 – Guided Reading Library
The last place I access common texts for strategy groups is in the guided reading library at my school. I know not every school has one of these, but any short texts that you have multiple copies of will work.
Sometimes, you just need to break the books into smaller sections. You can use part of it during strategy groups, and the students can read more of it during their independent reading time to continue practicing the strategy.
Download your strategy group planning sheet for free at the bottom of this post.
Find out how to plan the perfect mini lesson for your reading workshop.
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What Do You Think?
What resources do you use for your strategy groups?
Let me know in the comments below.
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