No two students are the same! They all have different levels, skills and backgrounds. The trick to teaching is to have everyone of your students make a years growth to their skill set. A big part of teaching 1st grade is teaching little ones how to read. As beginning readers most students do not have books on their level that they can pick up and read at home. Most my students have access to a computer or tablet with internet. Raz Kids allows my students to access books at at their level using a device of their parents choosing. The above link is just one way I differentiate for the different levels in my class.
I personally feel that having an actual book in your hands to touch and turn pages is the most enjoyable way to read. However my students are a different generation than myself. If a digital copy of books helps them get excited about reading, I'm on board. I have had many of my students continue to use the program over the summer and into the next school year. When I remove the old class and put in the new class I have many of my former students come to me upset that they can no longer log in. I have also had positive feed back from parents about the program. Several of my former parents have asked me if/how they can purchase the program for their student to continue to use at home. I also like this because students are able to see much they have improved. They can look back at the end of the year and see they have passed off and moved up several reading levels.
In every class I've taught there has been a wide verity of learning levels among the students. Which is why small groups are a necessary part of my day. In small groups I am able to work with a group of 5 or 6 students that are on similar reading levels. I use guided reading levels from Fountas and Pinnell to instruct my students during this time. I have pre-made lessons in binders that I use along with books on their level. Once they have read the book several times with me I send the books home for them to read. When they return the book I trade it for the last book they passed off with me. This gives them books on their level to read at home and they can show their families the improvement they are making in reading. My students that are reading on a G or above also receive a writing journal to answer question about the book they read. Above you will find my guided reading action plan the second link is a slides presentation showing a guided reading set up in the class room.
I have done some sort of guided reading groups since I started teaching. I have come a long way in the activities that I do with the students. The last two years I have added a binder with section, for each group, to take notes on what I am observing both area's of improvement and successes. It is important to continually learning new ways to help the students learn the same concepts. The bigger bag of tricks you have the more students you are able to reach and continue to challenge.