What Does Small Group Mean To You??

Discussion in 'Preschool' started by Master Pre-K, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 3, 2018

    Hello Pre-K,

    What does Small Group look like in your classroom? I thought I was doing it right.

    Four children at a table.
    DI - Teacher-led activity based on the theme/lesson. It’s intentional teaching that focuses on a skill you want to develop, or master. It can also include s Food Experience.

    Now that NAEYC o_O is heading our way, the administrators are walking around changing everything!!!

    My director told my co-teacher that she can’t sit down during Small Group. She should put materials out, invite a few children over and walk away!

    That sounds like Free Play at the Art or Writing Area! Okay, you can introduce and explain the lesson, I get that. But will the kids know what to do?? How can you guide or assess your children like that? Thinking of our ‘active’ little ones, and I see chaos ahead. Isn’t that a mess waiting to happen?

    What are your thoughts?
     
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  3. ChildWhisperer

    ChildWhisperer Groupie

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    Apr 3, 2018

    I do it the same way you were doing it. I thought small groups were teacher-led
     
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  4. Preschool0929

    Preschool0929 Cohort

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    Apr 3, 2018

    I like to do a direct instruction small group. I feel like I can directly target skills and differentiate for students that way.

    However, when our school is being observed by naeyc, our state early childhood dept, our district preschool director, etc.. that's not what they want to see.

    So, typically I introduce an activity at Circle time or before dismissing to centers. For example, last week our math objective was targeting matching numbers to quantities. We practiced during Circle time, then I introduced an activity that required them to show the skill. I told them I was sitting it on the math table and that everyone needed to do it 1x sometime during center time. My older students have no issue being independent during this once shown how. My younger students usually need a teacher to help pull them to the table in a group and guide them through it.

    I've also done things like video myself giving instructions on an iPad and set it on the table for kids to watch before completing the activity, or making a visual poster with instructional pictures.

    Even though I disagree for a few different reasons, most of our supervising entities like to see true play based learning and teachers acting as facilitators through language/interactions and scaffolding during centers.
     
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  5. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 3, 2018

    That's it....

    We seem to be riding on a see-saw, hovering between Early Childhood and Kindergarten. The parents and directors want direct instruction and ditto sheets. The specialists and funding sources want DAP programs.

    Sigh....:confused:
     
  6. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Apr 26, 2018

    I fully believe the small groups would be more beneficial, if led by a teacher.

    Although during grade-level groups, I have at least one group work independently (without a teacher) for a few minutes. This situation is probably unique to my classroom. (due to staffing limitations and various needs/grades) Fortunately, the ratio is changing next year (from 12:1:1 to 12:1:2) and I am getting an additional teacher aide....exciting for me!! The ratio has not changed in about a decade.
     
  7. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

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    Apr 26, 2018

    Ratio is important Teacher 234. In IL Head Start/Pre-K, it’s 10-1. In CA, we had 7-1with 21 kids total. I had volunteer grandmothers in other programs. Also had floating aides too. Wish I had a 3rd person again.

    I can’t totally embrace hands-off Small Group because some 4s simply waste materials and supplies. It’s so aggravating to constantly straighten out shelves and replenish materials for kids who only dump stuff. You hand them a bottle of glue, they turn it upside down and squeeze until every drop is out!! :confused:
     
  8. Teacher234

    Teacher234 Cohort

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    Apr 26, 2018

    Oh...I understand that teacher-to-student ratios are important and necessary (especially with special education). One group has a teacher for the entire core subject. I usually have to run two small groups at the same time (checking in, instruction) *2 completely different lessons
    For crafts, I usually split my class up in two groups. (6 students go to fun rug to work on social skills or a different game with teacher aide, the other 6 students stay at assigned seats and do the craft with me; after 10 minutes or so....we switch) Note: The small groups (for ELA) are rotations.
     
  9. Hokiegrad1993

    Hokiegrad1993 Comrade

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    Apr 27, 2018

    Small groups are always teacher-led where I have been. Reading groups for us go like teacher leads a reading group while one group are at computers doing reading work while the others are doing word work and sorting out words.
     
  10. Ima Teacher

    Ima Teacher Maven

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    Apr 6, 2019

    My small groups are not completely teacher led. I’m secondary, though.
     
  11. msaly

    msaly Comrade

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    Apr 7, 2019

    My small groups are teacher led most of the time. Occasionally I will introduce the skill/activity and walk away. But my kids won't freely sit down and do it. And we aren't allowed to tell them "you have to do it". If they say no or choose not to come we can't make them. However if I am leading the group and call the kids 4 or so at time, they almost always come over because they love the one on one time with me.

    I've been observed by NAEYC and Ecers. I sat with my small groups explained the activity and let them do it. I didn't get up after explaining. I sat with them, observed them, and answered their questions. I did not get any negative feedback from the observers.
     

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