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A big push for our school this year is small group instruction. I feel I already do this in my classroom. Just wondering what this looks like in other teachers’ classrooms?

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Well we have been doing this for awhile. Reading block = 90 mins so 30 whole group, 50 mins for small group rotations and 10 mins for wrap up. You usually have 3 or 4 different groups if you have 30 kids. There’s is NO way you can see each group daily. Focus on the kids that are struggling with the skill. 2 groups everyday is all the time you will have . Have different activities throughout the week for the part of the class that’s not in group for the day. It works and the kids LOVE it

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Pre-Covid I usually teach a lesson for 20 minutes and then I assign practice ( sometimes in a menu format for differentiation ) and children meet with their groups to complete their level together. I usually ask children to give a thumbs down if they are lost or place a red card on their desk if they don’t know where to start. I then meet with those children to get them started and then circulate among the groups.

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I don't think group instruction is just a matter of placing kids in groups or having kids do independent practice while sitting together. I think true group interaction comes when students have to work together on testing, analyzing, debating, and solving some type of complex or multifaceted situation or problem over time that you have not already provided them the answer to in advance.

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This is how I have used it but our admin. is encouraging it for the students who need more involvement to recuperate from the “covid slide”. On a related note, I have 25-31 students in my classes. I hope the ones not with me will work well independently. 🥸

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I'm supposed to be distancing in my room. I'm surprised any district is pushing groups this year. Especially without mandatory masks. I'm worried for you and your students.

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I have 31 in two sections in a room designed for 24. My smallest section is 25. Social distancing is so last year. 😳🙄😒

See, I think our administration should have brought elementary teachers in to give us ideas to help us use a tool that y’all use so effectively. Now, not all of us HS teachers are as clueless as I but a large number of us are, at least at my school.

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Our grade level has been doing small group instruction during Language Arts and during Math. We level our students by their reading levels. Baseline assessments in the beginning of the school year will drive your small groups. We do 90 minute sessions. 30 minutes whole group. 55 minutes for rotations working on different skills while we meet with small groups. This is to reinforce or reteach and where direct or explicit instruction, takes place. You have to be clear and specific if the task in in your rotations is going to be independent or cooperative work or a little of both. This where your differentiated instruction comes into play and takes center stage. We do a 5 minute wrap up. This requires lots of planning, but it is very effective and allows you to be much more organized. I don’t complain anymore about the time planning because I know it enhances the quality of education I give my students. Well worth it.

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Yes we did get planning time. Our district allowed us to have collaboration grade level meetings once a month. We meet for 2 1/2 hours and other meetings are full days. Our district even went as far as hiring Subs to fill the collaboration meetings. It’s very well put you because us Teachers DO NOT have to do lesson plans for that time. The subs have their own curriculum that they and the district put together. So our grade level collaboration and planning time is very efficient.

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I think if we are following CDC guidelines of masking and social distancing, small groups are a lot harder Ironically, in zoom you could put them in breakout rooms.

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If they show up.

There is a push for this in our high school classes as well, especially with students who seems to really lose momentum with covid. I am comfortable with having working small groups (we do labs in my classes a lot) and I flutter between groups so I see in that context. I suspect that is not what they are encouraging but our administration team is also former high school teachers so the vision and the implementation might be a bit spotty. 😬

Is the focus on collaborative work between students, or on having teachers pull small groups of students to work on specific skills?

The focus is on pulling small groups to work on a skill or preteaching small group for future while group lesson!

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