It's time for a Literacy Nugget straight from the Literacy Treasure Chest where you will find tips, strategies, products or anything that will make your literacy teaching life easier, more organized and more productive.
Today's Treasure tip is....
Supplies ESSENTIAL for your
Small Group Instruction
Every classroom has a variety of learners at different levels. Small group instruction is one approach to meet those learners' needs. Small group instruction goes quickly and the teacher must be organized and anticipate all the supplies he or she might need at the fingertips!
It doesn't matter which subject you are teaching, essential small group supplies must be at the fingertips and ready to use at a moment's notice. There is no time to waste when meeting with small groups.
First of all , small group instruction should have a dedicated area, such as a small table that can fit 1-5 students.
Around this table you could have seating that is not typical of a traditional classroom. You could use storage cubes or small stools. Get creative.
It's great to have seating that can slide underneath the table when not being used. When the group gathers, they can just pull out a seat and get ready to go, instead of dragging their chair over and disrupting all of Independent Reading (or independent work in whatever subject you are teaching at the time).
Next, get supplies ready to go.
Think about your teaching style.
Think about how your students learn.
What types of items would they need and want to enhance the instruction?
How will you contain those supplies?
This checklist will help you to reflect on this teaching space...
Bucket or Plastic Storage Container
Small group instruction supplies need to be organized and easy to find at a moment's notice.
Dry Erase Board and Markers
Students need a quick response system for ideas, discussions and questions that the teacher may have during this time.
Small Chart Tablet
Sometimes the teacher needs to sketch out thinking so students have a visual reminder. Sometimes the teacher needs to create a quick anchor chart for the small group.
Highlighter Tape (or highlighters)
Students need access to highlighter tape to mark passages, vocabulary words, word parts or any other text feature that is relevant to the lesson.
Markers, Colored Pens, Pencils
It's important to have writing utensils of all kinds available at the small group table. Sometimes color coding the work helps students to visualize and comprehend the lesson.
Sticky Notes: All sizes, colors and shapes
Sticky notes are an easy tool to use when students need to formulate a quick written response. Sticky notes can be used to flag important features or passages in the text. Sticky notes can become a note-taking device for students without feeling overwhelmed by a whole piece of notebook paper. Bonus...sticky note responses can serve as an artifact of student learning that can be quickly and informally assessed to drive the next small group lesson.
Every teacher needs a conferring system! Student progress can be quickly documented during each small group meeting. Any face-to-face time, whether in small group or individual, needs to be documented to add to the learning profile of the student. This conferring work along with other artifacts can be used to assess the student and track their progress.
Until next time...
You might also want to check out these tools for your Small Group Instruction...