There is a possibility that my school will do ability grouping for all subjects this coming school year. We have five teachers at my grade level and I will be looking at doing the reading intervention piece. I love my Daily Five! How can use it to my advantage for all five groups with just 45 minute class time?






What grade level are you teaching? How big are your groups?
I do reading intervention groups, but they are small groups. I use the CAFE menu, and have a brief lesson at the start of our time. Then we move into conferring and read to self. Once in a while, we do partner reading. Each student has their own bag of books that we keep in our room. I try to include some kind of reading response a couple of times a week in their journals.
I do try to keep communication open with the other teachers, so we have coordination between what we’re teaching the kids.

Vickie Hall

I teach third grade. I’m not sure about group size at this point. I appreciate your comment and it does help me visualize what it can be like. So glad to see you included paired/partner reading because my students enjoyed it last year and I would want to make time for it. Thanks again for your reply.


For four weeks this summer, I’m teaching a reading support class for a school other than my home school. The group of 9 ranges from entering 1st grade to entering 4th, with most being 2nd and 3rd. As you can imagine, the reading needs of these kids is very wide–from pre reading to about the end of 3rd grade. The class is for just two hours a day.
The first couple of days, I struggled to find a way to give the kids what they needed. Thank goodness for the Daily 5 format! Although none of these kids came from classrooms that did Daily 5, I was able to introduce Read to Self and Work on Writing with I charts over a couple of days–I know that’s not exactly normal, but we didn’t have a lot of time.
The kids really like both choices. I am keeping them all doing reading or writing at the same time, mostly for my convenience. This allows me to read with each child individually if not every day, then every other day, to confer with them. From these conferring sessions, I am able to choose mini-lessons that that are appropriate for many in the group. I’m using a lot of my favorite mentor texts to highlight strategies.
Those same mentor texts are appropriate for writing mini-lessons, as well, and it helps that kids are familiar with the author’s style. I don’t necessarily ask them to write in the author’s style, but I do encourage them to think about their voice as authors. Their writing development is as varied as their reading abilities. Again, a challenge but I try to give attention and helpful hints to several students each day.
In my heart, I know I’m not going to make as much progress in these four short weeks as I’d like, but hopefully they’re learning to love reading and writing a bit more, and gain confidence about their learning.
My point to you, I guess, is that even if you make your focus in your time with the kids be as much 1 on 1 conferring related to individual student’s needs, you are giving them such a gift. Those 5-7 minutes individually will make more of an impact (in my opinion) that a group of even 3 or 4 for 15 or 20 minutes.

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