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
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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. 

 
Small-Group Instruction
Strategic Questioning
I use a lot of data to inform my instruction and target groups of all levels. One strategy I use in this targeting is Strategic Questioning - using various questioning techniques depending on the skill or scenario. I use Strategic Questioning to do formative assessment, develop a concept, and push students to explore the concept more deeply.
 
 
Instructional Closings
Closing Check-In

To take a quick pulse of the class I may do a fist to five (students hold up a fist if they had difficulties or were unable to get in synch with the rest of class to a five which means they felt successful and are ready to transition to the next station). This Likert scale type voting gives me the opportunity to be responsive to specific student needs and quickly ascertain which students need my immediate attention or which student’s work/submissions I should review. There are also times when I feel it is appropriate to hear from students and give them the opportunity to exercise their student voice. During this exercise I take both volunteers and non-volunteers to give me their “thrills and chills/roses and thorns/high and lows of the day”. I think it is important for students to see me receive critical feedback or praise and be able to appropriately respond. It is extremely powerful for students to make a suggestion on how our class should operate and see it implemented almost immediately.

 
 
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