Congratulations! You have completed the early weeks of instruction. You and your students have established a classroom community where students feel safe and connected, and your students are learning what it means to be vibrant members of a literacy community.
During reading instruction, students have been:
Now, it is time to prepare for small-group reading instruction! First, reflect on your students’ engagement in the “Setting the Foundation” lessons during Independent Work to determine if they can work independently enough that there will not be constant interruptions when you teach small-group lessons. If you believe they can, let’s get started! If not, don’t rush! Instead of starting small groups, revisit the “Setting the Foundation” lessons, analyze the students’ work habits, and reteach or practice those habits.
The Placement Assessment is designed to quickly and efficiently assess what your students know and to place them accurately in Small-group Sets 1–5. (It is NOT a pre- and post-test.)
Do not re-administer the Placement Assessment to students who are continuing with Being a Reader instruction; the data from the previous year are enough to place them in the program.
To correctly place students who had Being a Reader instruction during the previous school year and did not complete Sets 1-5:
After you start instruction, you may notice students who struggle after the first Mastery Test. These students may not have had strong instruction or sufficient reading practice the previous year. If you suspect that this is the case, you may wish to administer the placement assessment to confirm whether the students have mastered previously taught material.
For additional support, watch Session 2 of the “Being a Reader, Small-group Reading Instruction, Grades K-2” webinar series.
Select a set and watch a recorded discussion of Collaborative Classroom colleagues sharing their planning considerations and how they use materials for small-group reading instruction. Each discussion addresses the Introduction, the Set Overview, and Week #, and suggests things to consider when planning for a week of instruction.
The following weeks are featured in the recorded discussions:
Here’s the phonics! As you are watching the recorded discussions and planning for instruction, keep in mind that the foundational skills are taught through Sets 1–5, not in the whole-class setting. In Sets 1–5, students receive explicit, systematic instruction in phonological awareness, spelling-sounds, and high-frequency words. As they learn to read accurately and automatically, the students also learn that understanding what they are reading is paramount. Sets 1–3 address kindergarten foundational skills. Sets 4-5 address first grade foundational skills.
For more information on planning for Sets 1 and 2, read the “What is Continuous Blending and Why Is It Important?” blog post.
For additional support, watch Sessions 3 and 4 of the “Being a Reader Small-group Reading Instruction, Grades K-2” webinar series.
For additional support, watch Session 4 of the “Embarking on the Journey with Collaborative Literacy” webinar series.