Small Group Instruction... for dummies?!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by teacherwithlove, Aug 31, 2013.

  1. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

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    Aug 31, 2013

    Hey guys,

    As some of you know, I am teaching 4th grade for the first time. My new P is really insistent on seeing more small group instruction and less whole group.

    My normal way of teaching consists of a 20-30 min. whole-group lesson followed by small group reteaching/reinforcing for the students who are not yet independent in that skill.

    My question is, am I doing it right? And how do you keep track of who you meet with and the data? What kind of notes do you take? I normally don't take any notes during my reteaching but I want to have the ammo to CMA in case I am ever questioned whether or not I am providing SGI. I want my instruction to be more data driven as well but I'm unsure of how to do this. I guess I need a small group instructional book for dummies! :dizzy:

    Please help me!!!
     
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  3. KinderCowgirl

    KinderCowgirl Phenom

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    Aug 31, 2013

    I know you were being facetious, but Debbie Diller does have a really good book on how to do small group instruction. Ideally you would want to meet with all your students in their groups during the week, not just the ones who are struggling.

    I do have a document where I keep track of who I met with, what skills we worked on and any notes for myself like Johnny is ready to move up to the next group, Mary is now fluent in the level E readers, etc.
     
  4. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    Aug 31, 2013

    I agree with meeting with all levels of student, not just the low, struggling learners. When I taught in guided reading groups, I made it a point to write down at least one anecdotal note about each student during each small group meeting. I kept all of my notes in a binder.

    Use running records to get data to drive your instruction. Also, use the results of standards-based common assessments that your students take independently.
     
  5. czacza

    czacza Multitudinous

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    Aug 31, 2013

    20-30 minutes seems like a long time for whole group...does this include a mini lesson and guided practice?
     
  6. pwhatley

    pwhatley Maven

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    Aug 31, 2013

    Have you read The Daily Five? It's an excellent resource!
     
  7. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

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    Aug 31, 2013

    Yes, it includes guided practice and about 5 minutes of independent practice where I walk around to monitor how my students are doing. I usually give them 2 problems or questions to do, check them, then give them the go ahead to continue. This is where I begin to catch errors and develop a small group based on those errors.
     
  8. monsieurteacher

    monsieurteacher Aficionado

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    I second what pwhatley says, and also suggest that the book about the Literacy CAFE would be great for ideas on how to confer and how to take notes and organize them. It's by the same sisters who wrote The Daily Five.
     
  9. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

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    Yes! I have used bits and pieces of it when I taught 2/3 but I haven't used it this year. I'm so overloaded in CCSS training and BTSA meetings that I haven't planned too much more than what the district requires. I really want to get started on the suggested readings for CCSS too.
     
  10. teacherwithlove

    teacherwithlove Comrade

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    Aug 31, 2013

    I appreciate everyone's responses thus far but I guess I am seeking advice for SGI in all subjects not just reading.
     
  11. iteachbx

    iteachbx Enthusiast

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    Aug 31, 2013

    I would cut down the full class time to 15-20 minutes tops. That will give you additional time to meet with small groups. Small group doesn't just have to be re-teaching to the struggling students. It could be sitting in with a higher group. It could be working with a medium group and giving them a second strategy for a math skill that maybe they aren't completely successful with.
     
  12. bella84

    bella84 Aficionado

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    You can do guided math in a manner similar to guided reading. Make skill-based groups and/or high, average, low groups and meet with them according to a schedule, just like you would for reading. Use your math assessments for data that helps you create groups and plan instruction.
     
  13. FourSquare

    FourSquare Fanatic

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    Aug 31, 2013

    I do skill based groups in Math and Literacy. They are based on RIT bands from the MAP test :)rolleyes:), as well as personal assessment data. I have an exit ticket wall with a library pocket for each student. I will give them an index card with a problem/question that they literally turn in when they exit the period. Much like you, I use this to pull groups of struggling learners. But I try to keep them mixed so that everyone is enriched.
     
  14. EMonkey

    EMonkey Connoisseur

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    Aug 31, 2013

    You might take a look at math stations by Debbie Diller. Basically it is setting up math activities and games to be rotated through by the children.
     
  15. readingrules12

    readingrules12 Aficionado

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    Sep 1, 2013

    If you are wondering where the best resource and training is for working in partners and small groups--I have found the very best to be Kagan Cooperative Learning. It really works. If your P is really interested in small groups, maybe you can see if you can get the training. We got the training for free at our school through a grant.

    One thing that is really important to know about cooperative learning is this. Take the 3 ways to teach:

    1. Students work independently
    2. Students work in groups with one set of answers for the group without any individual accountability.
    3. Students work in groups and have individual accountability such is shown in the Kagan training.

    This is what is amazing. The #3 method results in the best test scores, but #2 results in the lowest test scores! Working in groups without doing it right will actually lead to lower results not better.
     

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