I’ve heard all kinds of debate about whether to name leveled groups using colors, animals, etc. One year, my guided reading groups were all animals, which I didn’t think would be a problem. But I had a fellow teacher criticize my naming of groups because “6th graders are too old for animal groups.”
A friend showed me this idea that I really like. The reading groups were named after pets that the teacher had owned over the years. One of the pets was a dog named coco. The group wasn’t called “the Cocos”, but were called “Coco’s Team” or “Team Coco” so that the students were team members rather than animals. (Since the theme was pets, the teacher also chose a weekly “Top Dog Reader” to spotlight good work or improvement.)
I thought this would be a clever way to help your students get to know you while helping with the group naming situation. I’m definitely trying this in the future.
Have a great idea? Send it to me (squareheadteachers at gmail dot com) and I’ll post it so other teachers can benefit. Thanks!
I teach Grade 2/3 and I have never done this until this year. I let the kids in the guided reading group come up with their own name for the group. We have the Chompinators, Super Sharks, Thunder Cats, Moon Reachers, and the Rocket Pigs. It was fun to illustrate a label for each group. It also made my life simple during Daily 5 because all I said was post the group label and the kids knew where they were during a given round. Most importantly, my students love belonging to a group they helped create. In fact, my students can’t wait to be a part of the next group. They all think something great happens in all of them.
LOVE THIS IDEA! Any time you can get buy-in from kids is a plus! Are your groups fluid (do you rearrange the reading groups based on student progress)? If so, do you names change when groups get reorganized?