You did what we told you to....you collected data on your students....tons of it, right? Even if you do not have data coming out of your ears you will hopefully have a few data points to glean from. If not, go to this blog post about data collection to find out how to gather valuable information on your students.
For those of you that have collected data it's time to discuss WHAT to do with all of it. Form small groups! In my classroom I typically have 3-4 small groups.
I have a group of students that are above grade level expectations (these are the ones I like to push to go above and beyond....maybe giving them some challenging problems to work out or even advancing them to higher level content). These students tend to be pretty independent. You most likely only need to meet with them about 2 times per week.
My next group would be the students that are able to quickly grasp the content. You present new information and they pick it up quickly. With these students I do a "check-in" type of small group where I give them problems to work on from our current content. I observe their process and look for any clues that they may be struggling. If I find this to be the case I am able to quickly give them the support they need. You will meet with this group about 3 times per week.
A third group of students would be for those that are struggling with the current content. You will meet with these kiddos 4-5 times per week. This is the time for remediation and lots of support! I will use current content with these students and walk them through the process at a slower more deliberate rate. I sometimes find that with this group we may need to go back a bit to build on previous knowledge.
My fourth group is my basic number sense group. This is for the students that are really struggling. We spend our time together going over the basics. We often talk about if an answer is reasonable or not and why. I like to meet with these students on a daily basis if possible. A great motto to live by is "students with the highest needs require daily support!"
Grab this great small group planning guide created by our good friend Kristy Crater. It is super helpful when planning small groups and for taking notes.
Here are a few take-aways for you regarding small groups:
I hope this is helpful for you when you begin small group instruction. Let us know if we can help!
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