Finally, small group instruction!

I am finally maybe an eighth of the way to figuring out small group instruction in reading for my 6th graders. First of all, let me give you a brief scenario of why it is SO hard to fit this into our day:

1. State mandated curriculum takes A LOT of time to cover

2. Some students work at a slower pace than others, so things in class take time to complete

3. Since we are required to “give” at least 10 grades per subject per 6 weeks, it seems that 1 day each week is essentially devoted to testing

4. Because of the complexity of the 6th grade curriculum, there is a need to add lots of repetition into our schedule to hopefully ensure that ALL students eventually master each thing

5. Our beloved (insert sarcasm here) required reading program is-TIME CONSUMING, DIFFICULT, OFTEN BORING, AND NEVER ENDING   which means that A LOT of our time needs to be devoted to covering it. I will leave it at that!

6. We can’t forget about our many daily interruptions-intercom announcements, student check-outs/check-ins, behavior problems, etc. One day my students and I tallied our interruptions and by the end of the day we had 18 total!!

I’m probably not even listing all the reasons why it’s hard to fit in small group instruction, but you see where I’m coming from with the 6 I listed above.

Oh, yeah-I have approximately 2 hours 15 minutes (?) with each of my 2 classes.

Obviously, I can’t implement small group instruction like the earlier grades are able to. So here’s my plan (and I have actually followed it for 3 days this week!).

I will allow a 20-30 minute time slot in our day (each class) for small group help Monday-Thursday. Each day a different area will be covered. Phonics/Vocabulary/Fluency/Comprehension. Of course, the 1st three are the building blocks to comprehension anyway! The students themselves will decide if they want help. If they do, they will sign their name on a clipboard and meet me at the table.

The other students will Read to Self. I’ll report back to you soon and give you the some statistics like number of students requesting help, etc. Today I had 7 in each class that came for help. I really thought I would have had more, but we’ll see how it goes!

In my ideal classroom world, my instruction would probably look something like this:

20%-Whole Class Instruction

20%-Small Group Instruction

60%-Individual Instruction

In reality, it has been looking like this:

90%-Whole Class Instruction

10%-Small Group Instruction (Hit and Miss)

I at least hope to reach this:

70%-Whole Class Instruction

30%-Small Group Instruction

Now that I have rambled enough about all of this, I will let your brain rest. 🙂 Will post more later!

And for you teachers out there that have messaged me about some reading resources I am working on them as quickly as I can!!! Sorry I’ve been so busy! 🙂



About shannonjoe

I teach 3rd grade. Love Jesus, teaching, reading, running, and working out.

Posted on February 2, 2012, in Small Group Instruction and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Hi Shannon!
    Good luck on small group instruction. I meet with two groups a day–but our schedule is so literacy-heavy, my students know next-to-nothing about science!
    BTW, can you go back one post, and think about my blog questions… will that, perhaps, help you?

    I guess the next step is driving to Alabama and handing you my computer…
    : )
    Finding JOY in 6th Grade

    • Kim-

      I think I have already posted about “trying” small groups this year a dozen other times. 🙂 I PROMISE I am going to respond to your comment-I read it the other day. I actually have 6 comments “pending” my response!!!!! I have been soooooooo busy-OMG!

      And hey, driving to AL sounds FUN!!!! 🙂

      When YOU have time :), can you tell me more about your small group instruction time? And just your overall literacy time?????? 🙂

  2. Hi Shannon-Dear!
    Will you send your e-mail address to joyin6th(at)gmail(dot)com?

    : )

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