I am a Title 1 teacher, and I am so used to previewing the book and introducing the vocabulary with the students, because my groups have always been based on their reading levels. However, I want to switch to strategy groups, if I can, so I wanted to know when/how I can incorporate the literary skills such as previewing the text, going over vocabulary, schema, etc. if the students are all reading different books? I am also a part-time coach and if I want to encourage the teachers to eventually move from Reading levels to strategies, I know this is a question they will have too.

Thanks you!






Do you do a pull out program, or a push in program?
Actually, I do think strategy groups are easier for classroom teachers once they buy into the idea. For teachers like you (and me) who pull out groups, again usually based on reading levels, it’s a bit more challenging. We have limited time with our kiddos. However, I’m trying my best to do just that. For example, I have a group of 4 fourth graders. 2 of them need fluency, 3 of them need word analysis, one of them needs vocabulary and 2 of them need comprehension work. (Obviously some cross-over) My first thought was–WOW! How am I going to do that??
I have them for about 40 minutes a day, so I decided to have 2 groups per day for a focused lesson. So, I may have my word analysis and vocab lessons on MWF and my comp and fluency groups on T TH. We split the time into 20 sessions, and the students not in the lesson groups are either reading good fit books or on a computer program my school uses.
I think this is working pretty well. Yes, in truth, they are all reading about the same level, but the lessons I’m giving them are focused on their specific needs. It’s not exactly the same as “true” strategy groups, but as close as I can get at this point.
I hope this helps, and I’d love to hear others’ ideas on this as well.

Andrea Birsul

I do a pull out program.
What I was doing for my groups that were divided like yours, was I had one group of students on the same skill, working on an iPad or continuing work from the day before while I took the other group and worked with them on their strategy/skill. I then call the other group over and together we discuss the book - preview it, schema, and vocabulary. Then I send the group I already modeled with to start working, with I then modeled for the second group. The second group now has less time to read, but I will switch my order so they will have more time the following day. Does this sound okay?
But my main reason for posting was my concern was as the literacy coach, what to tell the teachers if they do switch to strategy groups with different books, about previewing the book with schema, vocabulary, etc. do we just skip that totally with strategy groups?
Thank you!


The great thing about strategy groups is that they are always changing and can be put together for whatever strategies are needed. Therefore, the teachers could have a group that meets once or maybe twice a week with readers of the same book to discuss what you are thinking of-- background knowledge,vocabulary, characters, etc.
Then, those kiddos can also be part of a different group working on specific strategies for fluency, accuracy, etc using their various books. Does that make sense?
I like the organization of your groups–differentiating for our kids’ needs :).

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