Using Adapted Books in Small Groups
It’s no secret that I love adapted books. I’ve talked often about how I use them in my classroom for independent work. One thing I love to do is use adapted books in small groups. It’s a familiar task that works on relevant skills, all while teaching small group expectations. Here’s how I do it.
Start With Two
Grab two students who are working on a similar skill, an adapted book that works on the skills they need and get to work! Be sure to set up small group expectations from the start. Practice taking turns, listening, raising hands or not talking over other peers, as waiting for a turn. In addition, students can extend the academic tasks the adapted book works on by doing sharing reading. You can even try a “think, pair, share” with your students. Once your students have mastered working in a pair, move on up to 3 or more!
TIP: When I prep adapted books, I always make 2-4 of the same book. This allows me the flexibility of using the materials in small groups. Pre-COVID, I’d just use the same book and share, but now that I made several, I never have students waiting for materials. It’s totally worth the extra prep to have the books on hand.
Three and Up
Consider making a small group with 3 or more students in it. For this, I love to teach at a horseshoe table in front of my promethean board. I use the Google Slide version of the adapted book and have students with a physical copy. Then as we read, we can read together, then students can move their own pieces and follow along with their own materials.
Why Adapted Books for Small Groups?
Adapted books are packed filled with skills. You can easily scale them up or down depending on your learners. In addition, students need to be taught how to learn in groups, without new demands. Using familiar materials like adapted books reduces some of the stress of learning a new skill. Plus, when students learn to work in groups, take turns, listen to peers, and contribute to a group, they are more likely to succeed in general education activities.