Small group instruction should be structured learning time which has a purpose and intention. It is also a routine that students must get to know from the very beginning of class.
Here is an example of the elements of a successful small group instruction routine:
o Consist of 4 students
o Groups vary for different academic areas (ex: reading, math, writing)
o Students are grouped both by ability level and differing ability level (depending upon the subject)
o Each group is color coded
o Students know which group they are in (ex: blue, red, yellow, green)
· Activity Centers
o 3 independent activity centers, 1 teacher-lead activity center
o One center is independent work, two are group activities, one is completely teacher-lead
o Centers are organized and are in different parts of the room
o Groups are at centers for 10-15 minutes
o A song or chime signals when it is time to rotate to the next center
Another option for small group instruction is to pull students from specific groups to work with a para educator, specialist, or volunteer on a specific subject. These instances are planned and scheduled in advance for the smoothest transition possible.
Using small group instruction for reading, math, or writing is the most common usage. Teachers may use reading activity centers for students to participate in independent reading, comprehension, fluency activities, and more. Math activity centers may include group work, hands-on activities, and independent teacher-lead work. Writing activities can include spelling or vocabulary practice, writing prompts, or letter tracing.
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