Five Must-Have Tools for Small Group Reading

Small group time is precious. Once you have the management part down (whether must do/may do or rotations/centers), you need to make sure you have what you need for your students. It might seem silly, but it can be easy to lose five minutes while one student searches for a pencil and another tries to find a highlight that works. When you only have 15-20 minutes to meet with each group, those five minutes are precious!

This is why I have my plan (usually using my mini-lesson template) and a ready set of tools for small groups, just in case. Here’s what goes in my toolkit.

Small Group Reading Tools
  1. Sticky notes: Can you ever have too many of these? These are great for stop-and-jot or readers’ reaction type moments, or even the answer to our thinking job question that day. Also great bookmarks at the last minute.
  2. Pencils: How else would we write on sticky notes? Sure, you could ask students to bring them to your table, but let’s be honest. Pencils magically disappear all the time. Easier for me to be prepared with extra pencils. Also, I personally love these striped ones. They usually stand out from my students’ regular pencils, so they’re less likely to walk off!
  3. Highlighters: Great for articles or identifying text evidence! We can’t always use them in actual books, but this highlighter tape comes out of books. Highlighters are perfect for articles or any printed resource.
  4. Reading Anchor Chart Bookmarks: Having an anchor chart across the room isn’t helpful. Having an anchor chart I can sit right in front of my students is SUPER helpful. Especially if we need to review a skill we learned in the past, or I need to give students a word list to choose from, like for character traits. 
  5. Basket: To keep everything in! I like to have it all in one place, so I use a small basket to organize my supplies. It’s also helpful if I need to move from my horseshoe table to the carpet or any other space in the room.

What’s your must-have tool for small group reading?

Reading Anchor Chart Bookmarks
These have been so helpful!
Free Minilesson Planning Template

Ready for small groups, but not sure about what to do with them? Try this FREE mini-lesson planning template to make the most of your time!

And if you’re not sure what the rest of your class should be doing while you meet with small groups, read this breakdown of classroom management strategies for small groups.

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