Growl Groups at Flat Gap Elementary

Where is Flat Gap?

The Holler recently paid a visit to Flat Gap Elementary in Johnson County, Kentucky to highlight their “Growl Group” sessions. These sessions started with the 2021-2022 school year and have been really successful at getting their students caught up to their grade level in reading.

Sabrina O’ Bryan is the Growl Group lead at Flat Gap. Sabrina is a former reading interventionist and uses many of the strategies she used in that former role and has trained her fellow teachers and school staff to handle their own Growl Groups. The entire school has pitched in to help with these groups; everybody is a teacher during these groups.

How do these “Growl Groups” work?

The bell rings at 8:30 and students are let go to head to their according to Growl Groups. Flat Gap’s principal, Christopher Pierce, told us that students are fluent in these Growl Groups, the bell rings and the students know exactly which groups to go to and they’re always excited. You can see the excitement on the student’s faces in the video, they’re learning, and they have the opportunity to excel in their group and move up to another group. These groups scale to their reading level.

There are various groups throughout the school, some are working on site words and others could be reading pages from a book, the activities in each group are determined on what day of the week it is and also the individual students reading level.

My Takeaway

Having the chance to explore Flat Gap and getting to see these Growl Groups firsthand was an amazing experience. You can tell the folks teaching the groups are excited to be helping these students grow in their literacy skills and the students are excited to put their skills to the test. If you think these growl groups are cool, we’ll be coming at you with another feature on Flat Gap highlighting their STREAM classroom.

If you haven’t watched the video below yet, please check it out. The folks in the video were nice enough to let us come in and capture their awesome work and we want to be sure that they get the recognition they deserve.


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