Teachers spend more time planning for whole group instruction than for small group instruction. Yes, I fit into that statement. The ideas presented in this chapter will help me plan effectively.
In the past, I gave a pretest at the beginning of the year and created groups using results. The same students would stay in that group for almost half a year. Then, I would move some students around because personality clashes occurred. That was me being lazy -- "Ugh, do I really have to make another test and use more copies?"
I'm glad this component has been addressed. I don't always have to give pretests to create groups. Observations of student work, simple math conversations, and performance tasks are options I now have to form small groups.
So, how do I plan for small groups?
- Identify the big idea of the unit of study
- Decide what the criteria of success will be in mastering the standards
- Form groups based on formal and informal assessments
- Select teaching points
- Prepare differentiated lessons
- Gather and organize materials
Ok, ready to go....now what?
- Introduce lesson - this must be brief. Teachers can demonstrate how to use manipulatives, discuss vocabulary, connect concept to their own lives, or reflect on concepts already learned
- Present task
- Encourage use of multiple strategies - WOW! This was an eye-opener! Word problems appear at the end f a worksheet and students just plug in whatever procedure was used for the rest of the page. No real problem solving has occurred with this word problem. I need to release control and allow the students to choose their own strategy.
- Scaffold learning
- Mathematical discourse - reflect on what they are doing and communicate it to others.
I hope you are enjoying this book as much as I am!
Love to hear your thoughts.