How can teachers use small groups most effectively?

Try a single strategy and add time as you go. Small-group instruction is a very important part of your reading block. It's an opportunity for you to provide specific and differentiated instruction that will help each of your students grow as readers. Small-group instruction provides students with more focused teacher attention and the opportunity to ask specific questions about what they learned.

Teachers can also use small group instruction to intervene with struggling students. In addition to group size, questions about the teacher's role in small group teaching require further research. In contrast, small group instruction allows teachers to work more closely with each student on a specific learning objective, reinforce the skills learned in teaching the whole group, and verify student understanding. The biggest challenge for teachers when implementing small group teaching is figuring out how to engage other students in the classroom while working with a small group of 2 to 6 students.

The teacher is in the class to share their experience and “present” information and their points of view to the group. In fact, the clinical model in which the teacher works directly with the student for a given period of time has a long tradition in LD (Kirk, Kirk, %26 Minskoff, 1985; Lerner, 199.Having students of the same ability in the same group will allow the teacher to deliver lessons and activities that are more focused and directed to the needs of students at that level. A teacher can create an activity for students to participate in and then observe what they are doing, asking probing questions to learn how they participate in the task. Given the factors of reality identified by teachers, it is difficult to imagine how they could provide the individual instruction required by many students with LD to achieve adequate progress in reading.

And an elementary school teacher who wanted to learn how students were learning about the concept of community and collaboration gave students a choice in the activity and grouped them accordingly. The nature of a small group lends itself to a lower student-teacher ratio, allowing students to share answers more often than in large groups. Small-group instruction provides teachers with a natural opportunity to provide specific and differentiated instruction for small groups of students. In this EdWeek blog, a knowledge-gathering experiment, Ferlazzo will address reader questions about classroom management, English instruction, lesson planning, and other issues facing teachers.

Teachers can meet the needs of all students, including students with LD, through careful use of a variety of grouping practices, including whole-class instruction, small group instruction led by teachers and peers, peer tutoring, and one-on-one instruction. For example, if a group of students is struggling with multi-step word problems in mathematics, the teacher can provide support in operations and reading comprehension. Being close to students allows the teacher to immediately address misconceptions that would not have been possible in the instruction of the whole group.

Colleen Sluder
Colleen Sluder

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