Special Education: What To Do in 30 Minute Reading Groups

Special Education Groups: What I Do in 30 Minutes

As a special education teacher, there are literally NEVER enough minutes in the school day. I do my best to make the most of the precious minutes that I have with my students during reading groups, even if it’s only for 30 minutes!

For my reading groups, I typically have thirty minutes on my daily schedule. With transition time, I don’t always have a full thirty minutes. I split my time between spelling and reading. In the images and descriptions below, you’ll find a breakdown of the amount of time I spend each day on each area with my reading groups.
Schedule for Monday

I introduce a new phoneme or phonemes to my students. That will be a focus for the entire week. Depending on the level of my students, we have 5 or 10 spelling words. Some of my kids could probably handle larger lists, but I have found that adds to the amount of time focusing on spelling rather than reading.

For reading, I utilize my reading intervention to help my students cover a write array of reading skills in a short period of time. We also have words in our daily passages that review the new phoneme and review old phonemes.

Spelling and Reading Schedule for Tuesday
On Tuesday, we use our letter tiles to spell our spelling words. I utilize my dry erase board to help my students fill in missing letters, stretch the words together, and provide a visual to organize the sounds as they hear them.
Using Day 2 of our weekly reading book, we practice the same phoneme, review high frequency words, read together orally, and work to better understand what we are reading.
Reading Group Schedule for Wednesday
On Wednesday, we take a practice test. I usually let my students use dry erase boards or Boogie Boards. It is a fun way to help them gauge their progress with the new phoneme. It also gives me a chance to see how they are doing.
In reading, we grab our leveled readers and work through our daily routine! They love to do fluency checks on Wednesdays. It is a fun way for them to measure their own progress.
Reading Group Schedule for Thursday
We take our spelling test on Thursday. For a while, I was trying to do a spelling test on the same day as our reading and math tests. It just became too overwhelming for the kids…and ME! We were pushed for time, and I felt like I was constantly rushing them. I like that I can slow down and dedicate a fair amount of time to our spelling test.
After spelling, we switch to our reading books and continue reading. My students are able to check their fluency, review both past and current phonemes, and write a sentence that I dictate to them.
Friday Schedule: Reading and Math Test Accommodations 30-45 Minutes
Friday is NOT my favorite day of the week, guys! I feel like all I get done is test, test, test. I pull my students a little differently on Fridays. Instead of pulling ability based groups, I usually pull them based on their homeroom on Friday. I helps if teachers in the same grade level aren’t on the same reading story or math lesson. Most of the time time they are, but there are always weeks where we are thrown off.
Reading Series with Link to Reading Series on TPT
Did you notice that I referred to that leveled reader several times? Well, they’ve been a lifesaver for me. It helps me ensure that I’m doing all that I can for my students. It also saves me time when it comes to planning each week.
If you want to give it a shot, I have a free week! You can download it by clicking here.
If you’ve already gotten the free week, you might be wondering where you can get MORE! If you’d like to check them out, click here to see them on TpT. 


  1. Elizabeth
    July 11, 2020 / 6:04 am

    THis is great! It helps me to see how you do it like this. When do you work in the books and graphic organizers that you do?

  2. Kaye
    September 25, 2020 / 3:33 pm

    I love the looks of this program:) Is there any way to get just one level… like the yellow?

  3. Laura
    March 20, 2021 / 4:38 pm

    Hello. I was wondering what product in your store sells readers and are they leveled. And I liked your sight word assessments too. Wondering if I need the big bundle? I’m of course willing but those are the two things I’m looking for.

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