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3 Independent Reading Activities Your Kids Can Do While You Teach in Small Groups

What do the rest of the kids do while you teach reading in small groups or one-on-one?

Today I’m sharing 3 activities your students can do independently.

Let them choose their books. 

One activity for kids to do while you teach in small groups is read! That’s right, just read. And they can read books they choose from your classroom library.

Let them pick the books they read so they’ll be willing to read the entire time you’re in small group.

If someone is choosing a book that you know is too difficult for them, let them figure that out by themselves. More often than not kids will give up on a book they can’t read.

Help kids choose books you know they’ll be able to read but also that you know they will enjoy.

While they read give them a task to work on that you taught during the whole group lesson. 

Another activity kids can do during small group teaching is read with purpose.

Give them a task to do while they are reading so they’re working on whatever skill you’re teaching that week. 

For example, if you taught them how to figure out the meaning of an unknown word, have them try it in their own books.

Practicing reading skills while reading an actual book is an authentic way for kids to get better at those skills. 

Just Read!

And finally, another activity you can assign kids while you teach small groups is to read. Yes, I said it again. Read!

To help kids get excited about reading, let them chat about the books they’re reading. Let them exchange books with each other freely throughout the week.

When you get new books in, hold a book raffle to see who gets to read it first. This is one of my favorite things to do throughout the year as we get Scholastic book orders in. 

I know that all 3 activities are the same- Read. But that’s because I truly believe that the more kids read, the better accuracy and comprehension they will have. 

Something you’ll encounter when students are independently reading is that they might struggle with decoding multisyllabic words. 

Being able to decode multisyllabic words is essential when kids are independently reading chapter books and non-fiction texts that include bigger words. 

I’ve written a couple of blog posts about helping kids decode multisyllabic words. Click HERE and HERE to read them. 


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