Teaching reading to third graders can be the best part of your day! You can have engaged students who love to read if you work at it! In this blog post, you will learn how to organize and plan your reading schedule and daily plans!
Teaching Reading to Third Graders: The Schedule
You can do this many ways, but you want to make sure you have room for your small group teaching and room for whole group lessons. I like to do about 70/30 when it comes to this!
Ex. If you have a 90-minute block, it could look like this…
- 30 minutes of small group reading
- 45 minutes of whole group reading instruction
- 15 minutes of vocabulary instruction/practice
Small Group vs. Whole Group
Why do both? You need to do both because students learn in many different ways. For the whole group section, you are teaching the skill and practicing it in many different ways. You may do a whole group reading lesson, a small group project, and some individual work. But in smaller groups, you are breaking down the skill you are working on and teaching it at that child’s level. You are practicing that skill with material that meets their individual needs, not the grade level they are in.
If you want to read more about how to run the small group part of the day, head to this post! Here we are focusing more on the whole group part!
Teaching a New Skill
I personally suggest that you teach a new reading skill every week or two until you have covered all the standards. This blog post here goes over how to break down teaching brand-new skills.
Let’s say you are working on Theme…
- Monday: Introduce the skill and practice it without reading your text (hands-on practice)
- Tuesday: Read the mentor text for the week and practice the skill explicitly with the whole class
- Wednesday: Have students practice the skill while working in groups with each other
- Thursday: Now practice with partners, you will be working with the students who are struggling with the skill
- Friday: Practice with the whole class one more time and assess if they learned the skill or not
Throughout all these days, you can be doing engaging activities that go along with the skill or standard.
By focusing on one skill for a week, your students will have time to grasp and understand the skill. Then, throughout the rest of the year, you will bring that skill into practice ALL the time.
Ways to Practice All Skills
You don’t want to teach a new skill and then forget about it. You want to practice them all the time.
- Holiday Weeks- Whenever there is a holiday, I like to do holiday activities that whole week. So, for example, if it is Valentine’s Day, then I will do activities around that theme all week long. These activities in reading will practice all those skills that we learned previously.
- Themed Weeks- Wanna have a camping week? Construction week? Mystery week? These are great ways to get your students engaged in practicing all the skills that they have learned thus far.
- Novel Studies- Once you have taught all the skills, it is time for a novel study! Novel studies are the most impactful part of teaching reading in third grade. They are engaging, highly motivating, and really help students with their reading comprehension. You can read all about how to teach novel studies here!
Daily Reading Comprehension Practice
Another tip is to have your students practice reading comprehension daily! You can do that in morning work, homework, small groups, or within class time. These passages here are short, so they don’t take long, and the topics are relevant and engaging to students! Plus, they practice each reading skill every month.
- Make sure you meet with your lowest group of students as often as possible. You can do that during small group time, or just when you assign an assignment, you can pull them up and get them started.
- If you are doing group or partner work, pair your intervention kiddos with strong readers. This way, your students can work on learning comprehension skills instead of reading the content.
- Know what you want your students to work on. If you want them to be working on reading for this particular activity, give them a break regarding comprehension. If you want them to work on comprehension, then read it to them or find a way to get it to be read to them. Don’t make them work on both simultaneously until they are ready of course.
- These enrichment menus are great for students who are always done before everyone else. They can pull them out immediately and get to work.
- Assign these students a book club. You can do this book club pack because it is self-paced and has directions in it. Then, once a week, or even every two weeks if they are only doing this in their free time, you can have students meet during the small group time.
I hope some of these tips helped! If you want more information on teaching third grade throughout the year, make sure you are on the VIP list for The Friendly Teacher here. There I send freebies, tips, and more on how to teach your third graders!