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Collaborative Circle Blog

Kindergarten: Grouping Considerations for Students Who Complete Set 5 and Beyond

For our youngest readers, we want to intentionally plan experiences that develop their love of reading as they learn to read! We also want our kindergarten students to develop automaticity and accuracy. The reading experiences in Shared Reading, Small-Group Reading, and Individualized Daily Reading (IDR) are designed to meet these goals by providing students with a variety of opportunities to read large amounts of appropriate text.

Small-group instruction is one important part of the kindergarten reading experience and decisions around appropriate placement and grouping require concerted attention. You will need to consider both the needs of the students and the teaching opportunities and texts to determine what instruction best meets students’ needs. With that in mind, we are providing a few considerations to support your grouping, planning, and instruction.

Instructional Considerations

For students who place into Small-Group Reading Set 5 or below:

Provide the instruction as intended in those sets. Students who complete Set 5 have mastered single consonants, consonant diagraphs, short vowels, consonant blends, long vowels (final e), inflectional endings, and complex vowels.

For students who successfully complete Set 5:

  • Provide on-going phonological awareness practice by repeating the phonological awareness routines in Sets 3–5.
  • Continue to review any high-frequency words the students have not mastered from Sets 3–5.
  • Provide additional foundational skills instruction in phonological awareness and reading mixed lists routines. Click here to access the instruction.
  • Engage the students in large amounts of reading to further develop fluency and comprehension. (See below for suggestions about book selection.)

For students who place beyond Set 5 on the initial placement assessment:

  • Identify any high-frequency words from Sets 1­–5 the students do not know by reviewing the placement assessment. Teach and review these words using the card deck. If you did not use the placement assessment, you can identify unknown words by having the students read the words from a review deck made up of the words from Sets 1–5.
  • Provide additional foundational skills instruction in phonological awareness and reading mixed lists routines. Click here to access the instruction.
  • Engage the students in massive amounts of reading to further develop fluency and comprehension. (See below for suggestions about book selection.)

We do not recommend using Sets 7–12 with kindergarten students because of the sophistication of the texts and strategy work in those sets. We do recommend providing students with many opportunities to engage in deep and wide reading in age-appropriate texts.

 

Suggestions for Book Selection

Pause to reflect on the types of books students might read. Although these students may be able to decode books at higher levels, they may be unprepared to navigate the themes or have the needed background knowledge or schema to make meaning of these texts. Consider:

  • What themes are relevant to my young readers? (Friendship, Family, School)
  • What are my readers interested in learning more about? (Animals, Nature, Community Helpers)
  • What authors do my students enjoy reading? (Ezra Jack Keats, Audrey and Don Wood, Wonkyeong Lee, Robert Munsch, Lois Elhert, Kevin Henkes, Pat Hutchins, Jan Brett)

You might create small groups of students reading the same text and confer with them as a group, focusing on:

  • Story elements
  • Self-correcting
  • Self-monitoring
  • Retelling
  • Making text-to-self connections
  • Making text-to-text connections
  • The points of view of characters
  • Reading and rereading to develop fluency

For classrooms in which students reading at these higher levels is the norm, we suggest that you look at Collaborative Classroom’s SIPPS Fluency Practice Libraries for grades 1–3 for examples of the types of texts that will work best in kindergarten. Look for texts that include primarily decodable words on topics that students will be familiar with. Picture support will be especially important.