So in 2020, your students can’t sit elbow-elbow-knee-knee anymore. Time to get creative because now more than ever, our kiddos need social interaction. So it’s vital to still have the theory of partner work or small groups, even if we’re not able to gather at the kidney table or the rug.
What Platforms Should I Use For Guided Reading?
Let’s look at some digital platforms that allow several students to work on the same assignment. Seesaw and Google Slides come to mind immediately. Both of these platforms allow you to assign activities to your whole class, individual students, or groups of kiddos. Seesaw would be my platform of choice, because your students can video tape themselves or leave audio recordings. Seesaw also has a blog feature that you can post group work.
If you’re needing step-by-step instructions on how to do this, I have a Digital Literacy Stations Membership, and the tutorial video course comes with it at no extra cost! Join the waitlist to be notified when the next membership cart opens!
Zoom For Guided Reading
Many schools are requiring daily Zoom or Google Meet calls. Scheduling this could be a hassle. I’ve used a digital planner for years, and my favorite has been the “One Stop Teacher Planner”. Using this planner in Google Slides with your Zoom or Google Meet Links can help you stay organized and keep all your links in one place.
Both Google Meet and Zoom have the ability to have just one code, so post it somewhere that your students can find it each time they’re checking into a video call with you. This will be helpful for the little ones who need as much structure. Adding hyperlinks for your video calls into everything is really helpful for your kiddos and their parents.
Zoom also has breakout groups! Here’s a tutorial on how to create and use them. Breakout groups happen when you have a large group of students on a call, but want to split them up into smaller private groups. You bring them all back when you’re ready. Use a breakout group to work with specific students, while you give other groups a task to discuss. It’s not quite your usual turn and talk, but it’s a way for your kiddos to interact.
Different Google Classrooms for each of your small groups helps keep your assignments and your Zoom links organized. If you feel like it is appropriate for your age group, create a Google Classroom for your whole class, as well as for your guided reading groups.
If you’re using Google Meet along with your Google Classroom, the link is conveniently at the top of your Classroom header. That will be there the whole time. However, I often posted the links in my messages to my parents as well. I figure that they’re just as stressed as I am, so the more places I can add links the more chances I’d have all my students participating.
Need Training On Digital Small Groups?
Don’t forget that I open the Digital Literacy Stations Membership often with training on platforms such as Seesaw, Google Classroom, or Zoom. Along with digital tutorials, a library of digital resources is included so you’ll have activities to assign to your students at your fingertips! I only allow a small group of teachers into the membership at one time to ensure that I can meet their individual needs, but once a new membership opens up, those on the waitlist will be notified immediately! Join the wait list here.
And while I’m your go-to-gal for technology, Anna DiGilio is the jedi-master of guided reading. Here, she shows you how to do an entire Guided Reading lesson virtually.
Hang in there friends. It’s all going to be okay. All this is so new and scary, but ask for help, I’m here for you!