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Small Group Reading Activity: Description & Reflection Amber Tolman ______________________________________________________________________________ Description: With three students (1 high,

1 average, 1 low) selected by my cooperating teacher, I hosted a small group reading activity in the hallway. The students were very excited but frightened when they read the title of our book: Spiders by Nic Bishop (Scholastic). Despite the mixed emotions of the readers in our group, we eventually started our activity. The purpose of this activity was to see where the readers are on their understanding of main idea. This would be assessed by having the host, me, take anecdotal notes on the students reading fluency and their ability to state the main idea of a certain chapter out loud. During the small group activity, each student was given a copy of the Spiders book. We began by looking at the cover of the book and making predictions about the book. Next, I told the students to each pick a different chapter to read aloud. Once the students decided on a chapter, they skimmed over it silently and then each took turns reading their chapter aloud to the group. As the students read, I took notes (similarly to running records) of their fluency. When the students finished reading, they each took turns telling the main idea of their chapter. When we were finished, we went back to the classroom. The students did not take the cover of the book lightlyone of the students almost refused to open the book. Once this matter was settled, the students were excited to pick their own chapter to read. While reading the silently, the students were focused and seemed interested about the text in the book. When reading aloud, each students fluency varied. The high student read through without a problem. The average student only stumbled twice but corrected herself immediately. The low student stumbled about four times but slowly corrected himself each time.

Each student performed on target for stating the main idea except the low student. This student seemed to not fully understand what it meant to say the main idea of a text. After assisting this student, the students returned to the classroom. Reflection (critical analysis): 1. What do you think your students learned as a result of this activity? What evidence do you have of your students learning? I believe all of the students became more confident in giving a main idea by learning what the most important topic in their chapter was. The evidence I have of my students learning are the anecdotal notes I took of each student. 2. Name at least 1 aspect of the activity that was successful. What caused it to be successful? How did you contribute to this success? A successful part of the activity was having the students silently skim their chapter of the book before reading it aloud. This was successful because the students were prepared to learn about their chapter by looking at the cover of the book for making predictions. I contributed to this success by monitoring the students as they read silently and encouraged them during this. 3. Name at least 1 aspect of the activity that was less successful. What caused it to be less successful? How did you contribute to this? A less successful part of this activity was having the students give the main idea of their chapter aloud. Mainly for the low student, it was hard for him to do thisdiscovering he didnt really know what a main idea was. Lack of preparation caused this to be less successful. I contributed to this by asking him to read his main idea aloud when I should have begun by having the group define what a main idea is.

4. What changes might make this learning activity more successful? Why might these changes help improve the activity? To make this learning activity more successful, I should have reviewed with the group what a main idea is. If I had done this, the low student, specifically, may have had a better response when asked to read his main idea aloud. For the future, I know not to assume that every student in the group has a fresh understanding of the vocabulary we are using.