Professional Development

October 7, 2023

4 Teacher Loved Science of Reading Small Group Materials

Do you have favorite tools for baking? Or maybe favorite tools for a sport? I love to bake and have some that definitely make baking a lot easier. I love using my KitchenAid mixer when baking. It is so nice to not have to mix by hand or hold an electric mixer. I also love a cookie scoop that my kids gave me last Christmas. It makes the perfect size cookies! Another favorite tool is my non-stick mat for my cookie sheets. I promise they make your cookies turn out so soft and good! Just like I have some favorite tools for baking, I have some favorite tools or materials for reading small groups.  Let’s chat about some science of reading small group materials that you will be so glad you have!

There are many great tools to have and use during your reading small groups but these are some of my favorites!

1. Science of Reading Small Group Lesson Plan Template

One thing you will definitely need and want is a science of reading small group lesson plan template. In the past, I tried planning my reading small groups so many different ways- lots of different templates, on scratch paper, etc. I learned having a template already made that focused on the key areas I wanted to track and teach made a big difference in my preparation as well as during my small group. 

I have several templates HERE in my reading small groups binder for you to choose from!  You’ll want to find a template that works for you. A template helps you plan what phonics skills you are teaching, pre-plan any tricky vocabulary, and keep a record of what books you have used in your small groups.

2. Decoding Strategy Posters

Promoting kids as they are reading has always been important. What is even more important now is that we are prompting them correctly. Read HERE about why we are rethinking this.

I always had decoding strategy posters behind my small group table to remind my students of our decoding strategies. They were easily accessible for me to point out and my students had a visual if they got stuck. I have strategy posters already made for you and they are FREE!

You can get them HERE. These are science of reading aligned and will remind your students to make every sound in a word, blend the sounds together, and stick with it! We want them to attend to the text, not rely on the pictures to help them decode words.

3. Literacy Manipulatives

Just as we have manipulatives for math, we need them for literacy too! I made my own set of manipulatives to have a set for each kid ready to go. There is an alphabet arc, ABC chart, elkonin boxes, and much more included! Some things were stored in folders and in their chair pockets, while others were in Ziploc baggies and ready to go with my other science of reading small group materials.

I used an ABC chart with my beginning readers daily. We would chorally read the letter, its sound, and the picture associated with it. We used elkonin boxes for many different activities during small group- listening for sounds in words, using a dry erase marker to write the sounds in the boxes, and more!

Grab a set of manipulatives when you join my email list!

4. Decodable Passages with Comprehension Question

If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be a fan of using passages for reading small group instruction, I would have said you were crazy. If you had told me 10 years ago that I would be advocating for decodable passages, I would have said you were wacky!

But friends, they are SUCH a great tool for science of reading small groups!


They encourage kids to attend to the text. If they are well-written, they provide opportunities for good conversation as you check for comprehension.

These science of reading small group materials were so helpful to my small groups! I know they will be for yours too. Do you have any favorite tools for your science of reading small group materials? I’d love to hear about some of your favorites in the comments.

Happy Teaching,



Want to use the latest research to boost your readers during small groups? This FREE guide is packed with engaging ideas to help them grow!

Hi, I'm Amanda

I’m a K-1 teacher who is passionate about making lessons your students love and that are easy to implement for teachers.  Helping teachers like you navigate their way through their literacy block brings me great joy. I am a lifelong learner who loves staying on top of current literacy learning and practices. Here, you’ll find the tools you need to move your K-2 students forward!


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