Small-Group Instruction

Personalized Small Group Instruction

During Personalized Small Group Instruction, I work closely with a small group of students while other students are engaging in activities independently at different stations. Based on my learning objective, I group my students differently for Small Group Instruction every day. Sometimes students are grouped homogeneously, according to specific needs, and sometimes they are grouped heterogeneously. This strategy, which is enabled by my station rotation blended model, allows me to spend individual time with each student on a regular basis.

Strategy Resources (2)
Strategy Explanation
 
 
This is a typical seating/desk arrangement for the three work stations in my class: Small Group, Collaborative, and Independent. I consider the personalities and work ethic of students in the placement of student at their stations.. If there are chatty students or students who are going to end up in a conflict, I do not put them in the same group because I can not facilitate all of the students at once. It is more important to create groupings that promote a harmonious learning environment. There are times when I form groups based on pre-assessment or skill deficits. These homogeneous groups allow students to practice a skill and for the small-group instruction to be more targeted and specific to the needs of the learners. However, there are times that it is also appropriate to have heterogeneous groups to create a more balanced grouping where students are able to work cooperatively and/or collaboratively.
 
Strategy Explanation
 
 
This is a typical seating/desk arrangement for the three work stations in my class: Small Group, Collaborative, and Independent. I consider the personalities and work ethic of students in the placement of student at their stations.. If there are chatty students or students who are going to end up in a conflict, I do not put them in the same group because I can not facilitate all of the students at once. It is more important to create groupings that promote a harmonious learning environment. There are times when I form groups based on pre-assessment or skill deficits. These homogeneous groups allow students to practice a skill and for the small-group instruction to be more targeted and specific to the needs of the learners. However, there are times that it is also appropriate to have heterogeneous groups to create a more balanced grouping where students are able to work cooperatively and/or collaboratively.
Tanesha Dixon
Wheatley Education Campus
Washington, DC


 

About this strategy

Prep Time:
Long
Subject:
Social Studies
Grade:
Eighth grade
Similar Strategies
Instructional Closings
Synopsis

My colleagues and I have students write a Synopsis of their learning after every Independent Learning Zone period as well as after Live Investigations. The Synopsis acts as a reflective tool for both large and small concepts. I often tell my students to write what they actually learned or improved upon, not what they THINK I want them to write. I train my students to make a space for the Synopsis in their notebook headings. Occasionally, I will have my students read their Synopses out loud, but most often I walk around and do a quick check, as they are mostly a personal reflection for my students.

 
Blended Learning Model Overviews
Tanesha's Model Overview

I implement a station rotation model in my classroom. On a typical day, following brief whole-class direct instruction, my students will rotate through three blended learning stations: small group instruction, collaborative learning, and independent work. At each station, students work either with a teacher, a group of their peers, or individually towards content mastery. The key levers of my model are student self-pacing and small-group instruction. Through a mix of student choice and teacher facilitation, I have been able to activate my students’ learning and accelerate them towards higher academic achievement.

Number of Students: ~25 students

Number of Adults: one teacher; one paraprofessional

Length of Class Period/Learning Time: 45 minutes

Digital Content/Ed Tech Tools Used on a Regular Basis: Kahoot!; Plickers; PBWorks; Blackboard; Newsela; Edmodo; BrainPop & BrainPop Jr; Discovery Education Techbook; Padlet; Vimeo; Today’s Meet

Hardware Used on a Regular Basis: 25 ASUS T100 laplets with charging cart (1:1); Promethean Board

Key Features: station rotation; student agency

 
Instructional Closings
Closing Bell

I use the Closing Bell strategy to bring my students back together as a community at the end of each class to check for understanding, debrief the class, give "grows and glows," and/or preview what we will be doing the following day. Building in this type of closing at the end of class is especially important in a blended classroom when students are spending so much time working independently or in groups. 

 
 
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