10 Things That Will Revolutionize Your Reading Groups


Are you looking for a way to invigorate your reading groups?  My day is made up of K-5 reading groups and I'm sharing 10 things that have revolutionized my reading groups.  These essentials keep our small group reading group on track, organized, and hassle-free.



My day is made up of K-5 reading groups and there are many supplies that are essential to our day.  They keep our small group reading group on track, organized, and hassle-free.  There is no time to waste when you only have 20-30 minutes with a group!  Tomorrow my friend Meg from Thyme to Read is going to share 10 Things You Need to Run Fabulous Reading Groups!

Here are 10 things that will revolutionize your reading groups in no particular order:

Are you looking for a way to invigorate your reading groups?  My day is made up of K-5 reading groups and I'm sharing 10 things that have revolutionized my reading groups.  These essentials keep our small group reading group on track, organized, and hassle-free.

1. Small Group Bins

I change my small group organizational system every year...but last year I finally found a system that I loved!  Each group has their own bin, and since students change periodically, I started labeling the bins by time rather than by student names. It makes life much easier.

These are on a shelf that is easily accessible to the students so they can be responsible for their own materials.  I used to have multi-colored bins, but this year I ordered bins that are all the same color!

Are you looking for a way to invigorate your reading groups?  My day is made up of K-5 reading groups and I'm sharing 10 things that have revolutionized my reading groups.  These essentials keep our small group reading group on track, organized, and hassle-free.

2. Pens

Let’s face it - everything is more fun with a pen!  Students use pencils most of the day, so using a pen during their reading group can be very motivating.  Especially when it is time to answer some comprehension questions or write in their journals.

Are you looking for a way to invigorate your reading groups?  My day is made up of K-5 reading groups and I'm sharing 10 things that have revolutionized my reading groups.  These essentials keep our small group reading group on track, organized, and hassle-free.

3. Punch Cards

It is incredible how much power a simple punch card can hold!  My students find them highly motivating and it is a great incentive for students! My students get a punch each day if they: 1 - tried their best 2 - followed directions.  Thankfully there are very few occasions when someone doesn’t get a punch!  When their punch card is full they get a prize!

There are so many more uses for punch cards and I  obsessed with them!  I love them so much that I wrote a blog post with 5 ways to incorporate them into your classroom.






Are you looking for a way to invigorate your reading groups?  My day is made up of K-5 reading groups and I'm sharing 10 things that have revolutionized my reading groups.  These essentials keep our small group reading group on track, organized, and hassle-free.

4. Date Stamp

This is so simple and yet it is a student favorite! They are fascinated by it - how does it lock?  How does it get ink?  How do you change the date?  It is a magical essential to our group!  They love to put the date on any paper they can get their hands on, and I love the time it saves!

It is also helpful when students stamp the date in their journals or on other work that we have done. Having the date on everything is a great way to show progress.  The students can see how much their writing has improved over time.  Dated work samples are also great to have at a meeting/conference about students.

Side note: you may be asking yourself - What's with the washi tape?  Students know that the tape needs to be facing them so the date will stamp in the right direction!

Are you looking for a way to invigorate your reading groups?  My day is made up of K-5 reading groups and I'm sharing 10 things that have revolutionized my reading groups.  These essentials keep our small group reading group on track, organized, and hassle-free.

5. A Good Planner

There were a few years back at the beginning of my career when I didn’t write anything down (gasp). Eventually, I started making my own planner each year.  But last year, I finally took the plunge and got an Erin Condren Teacher Planner and there is no turning back! I don’t have to redo my planner every time I get a new student or there is a schedule change!

Most importantly I write very specific notes about what to do with each group. When they are putting away their materials/punching their punch cards, I make sure to write where to start off the next day and what to focus on.




Are you looking for a way to invigorate your reading groups?  My day is made up of K-5 reading groups and I'm sharing 10 things that have revolutionized my reading groups.  These essentials keep our small group reading group on track, organized, and hassle-free.

6. Pointers

Much like pens, pointers can make everything more enjoyable!  Often in an intervention group, we have rote skills to practice every day (like letter sounds) and at times it can be pretty dry.  So we use a variety of pointers to point during our warm up, and sometimes we use them when we read a book.

Sometimes students pick their own, sometimes one group member chooses for the group, and other times I choose.  It is up to you!

Are you looking for a way to invigorate your reading groups?  My day is made up of K-5 reading groups and I'm sharing 10 things that have revolutionized my reading groups.  These essentials keep our small group reading group on track, organized, and hassle-free.

7. Digital Resources

I am always looking for ways to make practicing skills more engaging and motivating. If your classroom has even 1 Chromebook, iPad, laptop, tablet, Promethean/SmartBoard or anything in between, these are two great activities for you!  My students are always asking for them!

Interactive Games:  We use these for work with a variety of phonics skills!  On each page, students will look at the picture and tap the sound that completes the word. Their answer will either lead them to a correct or incorrect screen and then guide them to the next question.


Digital Flashcards: Another quick, easy and engaging way to work on specific phonics skills.  There are a variety of words, phrases, and sentences for specific vowel/consonant patterns. This is something that you can even share with parents and family so they can help reinforce these skills with their children at home!



Are you looking for a way to invigorate your reading groups?  My day is made up of K-5 reading groups and I'm sharing 10 things that have revolutionized my reading groups.  These essentials keep our small group reading group on track, organized, and hassle-free.

8. Cart

There are times when I take my show on the road and push into classrooms for a group.  I like to have my own materials with me, but I don’t like carting around a bulky bin with my materials!  This cart from Target is the perfect solution.

Most groups have a binder with lessons and materials which I keep on the top shelf.  The middle shelf is often group specific activities, and the bottom shelf is for whiteboard and erasers.
When I am not pushing in, I keep it right next to my small group reading table so that everything is within arm's length.

Are you looking for a way to invigorate your reading groups?  My day is made up of K-5 reading groups and I'm sharing 10 things that have revolutionized my reading groups.  These essentials keep our small group reading group on track, organized, and hassle-free.

9. Oops tape

I didn't know that "oops tape" was a thing before I became a teacher!  We need oops tape because we use pens!  Spelled a word wrong?  Oops tape!  Didn't start your sentence with a capital letter?  Oops tape!  You get the drift.

Are you looking for a way to invigorate your reading groups?  My day is made up of K-5 reading groups and I'm sharing 10 things that have revolutionized my reading groups.  These essentials keep our small group reading group on track, organized, and hassle-free.

10. Quiet light

This little gem comes in handy when it is time to progress monitor or do anything else that involves working 1:1 with a student while the rest of the group does quiet/independent work.  The rules are simple:  If the light is on, I can't talk to you, you can't talk to me, and you can't talk to each other.  It is amazing how much this visual has helped control the volume.


Thank you so much for checking out these small group reading essentials!  Let me know in the comments what is essential to your groups!

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Are you looking for a way to invigorate your reading groups?  My day is made up of K-5 reading groups and I'm sharing 10 things that have revolutionized my reading groups.  These essentials keep our small group reading group on track, organized, and hassle-free.

















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