Small groups are always a go to in my classroom as they give my students a chance to feel more comfortable speaking up to share their thoughts and ideas and interacting with one another. Also, they give me the chance to engage more directly with each one of my students! Being prepared with must have supplies that I can adapt to various different kinds of ELA small group activities sets my students and me up for fun and successful lessons, and they make it SO much easier on me each time. Below I will list out and link my must have ELA small group supplies so you can easily be prepared for your small group lessons! *This post contains affiliate links to the items!*
Multiple kinds of dice!
Soft ones (noiseless), fun colorful ones, and dry erase are my favorite! Use them for reading comprehension – roll and tell about that part of the text; writing – roll parts of a story to write/edit/revise; fluency – roll ways to read a text such as repeated:choral: partner:certain moods; vocabulary – actions to do with a vocabulary word such as synonyms: word parts: related words… and so much more!
Dry erase options
So many options to choose from, it’s honestly hard to go wrong! If you are looking for suggestions though (which I assume you are since you are here!), National Business Furniture has a great selection of dry erase tables that I love, I always use these dry erase boards from Dollar Tree, and of course, Amazon has an endless selection of boards and dry erase pockets! Great for reading response, vocabulary games, sentence structure, and more! Here are some options of markers, as well:
All the Post-It Notes!
EVERYTHING is more fun on a post-it, and your most reluctant readers and writers will tune in more with these! The size of the note is much less intimidating for our striving writers, making it more accessible. Also, I love that you can move them within a passage/book to work on text evidence! Here are some fun colorful options:
There are endless ways to use legos in small groups! For reading, label blocks with comprehension questions. Students answer questions and work together to build their tower. For writing, label blocks with writing skills you are working on, for example: descriptive characters. As students read their story, when they describe a character well, they add a block. The tower visual helps students see where they are successful and where they need more! (And you, too!) This set from Amazon is much cheaper, and gives you a wide variety!
Let’s make it a party!
Party hats with Velcro dots and Velcro cards! Play character guessing games with traits, vocabulary definition clues, and so much more! You can make the cards by laminating colorful paper and sticking one side of the Velcro dot to the card and the other to the party hat, or you can use these self-sealing laminating pouches with colored paper or printed cards applicable to the lesson.
Let’s talk a little more about these folders, because they play a huge roll in the success of my students in a small group setting. I use this two prong folders for both reading and writing small groups. Each student in my class has a folder, with their name on the tab. I keep these in a filing crate on my small group shelf. The reading side contains what I call their “reading status.” I use this to quickly meet with each student, once a week, during DEAR time to record what they are reading, and have a quick discussion about the book. This helps me get to know them better as a reader, help them choose books, and encourage them to continue independent reading. Also on this side I keep any notes from small groups or work samples of progress monitoring for reading. The other side contains their writing. I have a generic writing notes page that I take notes on each time I meet with them in writing small groups. I keep it simple on the notes box: what they are working on, a praise, a push, and a task they need to do for next time.
My favorite thing about these folders? Because I have always taught at a full inclusion model school, I will have Intervention Specialists or tutors that push in or pull out throughout the day. This allows us all to be on the same page. Whenever they grab my students, they also grab their folder to leave their own notes and catch up on notes that I have left. I love how this works well for us! I included the pages in my folders in the freebie linked below!
PHEW! That may seem like quite the list, but I promise, once you stock up on these supplies, it will make your life so much easier and small groups so much fun for your students! And for sticking with me, here’s a nice little freebie if you subscribe to my email list!