Tell me about your small group time

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by SamIAm, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. SamIAm

    SamIAm Companion

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    Jan 8, 2011

    Hi,
    I run a very small preschool. It's just me and 6 3-year-olds. I've never done much small group work since my group is already small, but reading some of the posts on here, I've become curious about what other teachers do.

    So tell me about your small group time:

    How many students do you have in each group?
    How long is your small group time?
    What kinds of activities do you do?
    Do you do this everyday with all the students or on a rotating basis?

    Thanks for the info. :)
     
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  3. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jan 8, 2011

    Group time can exist in many different forms. Just how you do it depends upon what you have been taught, what works, and what you want to do. I am not sure what you are asking. Are you asking how to set up small group activities as concepts each day? Or circle time? Or daily interest centers?

    I am assuming you want to know how to set up learning centers each day. I would use three areas (tables, floor, library, science center, etc.) to use daily for this. Use the same areas so that the children know what to expect.

    You need to know what concepts you want to teach. If you are teaching a unit on animals, you might have puzzles about animals on one table; a matching game of animal and animal houses on another; and small animals hidden in rice in the sensory table. I have suggested easy, child led activities; but you can present any type you want.

    During a set time each day, invite the children to visit each area. If they don't want to, don't make them.

    Ask questions, as I am not sure this is what you want.
     
  4. annetxa

    annetxa Rookie

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    Jan 9, 2011

    I also have a small group of three year olds and haven't been doing this very long. Here is the answers to the questions:


    How many students do you have in each group? If you are talking 'learning centers' I usually have just three to a group.

    How long is your small group time? My learning centers last as long as the child is interested or around 5 minutes or so.

    What kinds of activities do you do? I relate my activities to a theme with one teacher type activity. Some of the current centers or groups I currently have are based on the theme of both animals and winter this month. I have a 'corn table' that is open sometimes, legos, blocks, train table, books on tape, library, art, etc. This past Friday I taught the children about what it is like being a vet and we pretended some animals had broken their legs and I let them put tape of the broken limb. I wrote down some vocabulary words to encorporate in play.

    Do you do this everyday with all the students or on a rotating basis?
    I rotate things and try to make it fun for everyone. Since they are three and do not have a long attention span, I have been having a hard time keeping them interested very long.
     
  5. maggie123

    maggie123 Rookie

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    Jan 9, 2011

    my small group time is different than center time

    In my class center time is a free play time. They can spend as much or as little time as they want with an item.

    Small groups for us is different. I feel my group is too big to instruct all at once so I broke it down (This way they can get more individual attention) I have 3 groups- I take one, the aide takes one, and the third the kids play on their own (I put out the activity they do) We spend 15 minutes with our group, then we rotate groups until they have been to all 3 tables.

    What we do varies. Usually we do a math activity at one table, and LA at the other, but we also do art, science and other things depending on our needs.
     
  6. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    Jan 9, 2011

    Our small group time is planned as a separate time during the day.

    It usually occurs before free choice time.

    We choose a literacy focused activity, math or science focused activity and usually 2 other activities for the other 2 small groups to do independently for each WEEK. Each class usually has 4 small groups if they have 20 children.

    The teachers work with only one group per day for approximately 20 minutes. We rotate the groups each day. This means that we do the same ONE activity with a different group of kids each day. Friday is usually a review day.

    I hope this makes sense!
     
  7. amyg

    amyg Rookie

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    Jan 9, 2011

    I used to do what Annetxa does, but if you've seen my post you will see that I have lost my help during that time and am trying to get it to work with one teacher directed small group and two self directed. 3 groups switching every 15 minutes.
     
  8. Blue

    Blue Aficionado

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    Jan 9, 2011

    20 minutes seems a long time to keep a 3's attention.
     
  9. EDUK8_ME

    EDUK8_ME Cohort

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    Jan 9, 2011

    I follow the High Scope guidelines for small group time. Small group time occurs before free choice time. Then children make a plan for what they will do for free choice time I have 8 children my associate has the other 8. We stay with these groups for 3 mo. then we switch.
    .
    http://www.angelfire.com/pa/ecedirectory/small.html
     
  10. Pre-K Teacher 1

    Pre-K Teacher 1 Comrade

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    Jan 10, 2011

    Blue...we work up to the goal of spending 20 minutes at small group time! Usually after about 6-8 weeks of school, the children are attending for 20 minutes.
     
  11. beckyeduk8er

    beckyeduk8er Comrade

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    Jan 11, 2011

    My small group time is also separate then my centers time which is free choice. We do small groups first and when the small groups finish they can go to free choice.

    I have 17 students who come to school 4 days a week. We have 3 adults in our classroom during small group time. My students are in 3 groups and they see 1 teacher each day.

    My students are grouped by ability and each Friday we look at the groups to see if children are in the right group.

    Each teacher has one task they will teach that week. L might teach a counting game, R might be working on handwriting without tears, and I might have a rhyming game. Because the groups are leveled the expectations vary for each group-but the skill stays the same. In the rhyming example: 1 group is working on generating rhyming words from an example, the middle group is working on choosing rhyming words from 3 cards, and the emerging group is working on identify if the two cards rhyme.

    Small group is about 15 minutes long. The activities we choose are based on the our standards and benchmarks.
     
  12. SamIAm

    SamIAm Companion

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    Jan 11, 2011

    Thanks for all the responses!!
    I was just curious, I guess, how your small group work differed from your other large group activities. I place out activities in the centers and help the children work on them if they show interest, but I don't sit them down and work on academic concepts. I do incorporate some things into my group activities and circle time, but my program is strongly play-based so I am careful to keep things light. I am also teaching 3 year olds so obviously that makes a difference as well. I am doing this on my own, without much help, and you teachers are pretty-much all I have. I just wondered how other people did things to inform my own teaching.
     
  13. Mrs_Barrett

    Mrs_Barrett Cohort

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    Jan 13, 2011

    My small group time is run by 3 adults in the room, so there are about 6-7 students in each group. We typically do it for 15 minutes but do go longer if needed (or a student chooses to do that for centers). We typically do math, science, fine motor, literacy, cooking, and etc during small group. Most of it is open-ended and the child is doing the activity while the teacher is observing and documenting. Sometimes my students all do the same activity, while sometimes we rotate the items at each small group time (because of materials), or I group on the students level of activity (high, medium, and low).
     

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