- There was never enough time. We tried to fit groups in all different times and were creative in our structures, but always found we could not reach as many students as we wanted to. We also struggled to fit in a small group for all children in both math and literacy (which was our goal).
- Timing is tricky. Students often did not appreciate or welcome an invitation to small group while they were in the middle of play. Further to that, many students struggled to stay focused and concentrate on a planned small group during learning centres
- Impromptu Small Groups worked well in the context of play. These small groups were not invitations, but based on something that was happening in play, something we noticed.
- Children are drawn to experiences with other children and adults when they feel as though it is their choice to join (e.g., setting up interesting materials and spending time learning alongside them as an educator).
- We now have small group learning twice a day.
- Students are in groups of 2-5 and they are all engaged in a chosen activity or experience.
- One educator supports a specific small group (of 3-5 students), other educator floats between other groups to provide support, ask questions, capture thinking.
- The learning is not centred on math and literacy, but involves opportunities for art, dramatic play, construction, social/emotional development, and communication.
- This short time can provide students with an opportunity to practice skills that will further support them in play (e.g., how to hold a pencil, how to record their name, how to take turns while playing a game).
- These are NOT must do jobs, these are NOT centres that the children all rotate through. We create small group experiences that make sense for the students socially, academically and developmentally.
|Inspired by I Spy Books: These students were provided with time during small group learning to create their own!|
|We use iPads as tools for learning or to support specific skills for children (e.g., directionality, problem solving). Kodable is a game that we will engage with during small group learning.|
|Simple Matching Games: Using cups, you can place different objects underneath to create a matching game.|
|Project Work: some students spend small group time working on problems that come up in projects (e.g., measuring a baby).|
|OSMO is another great app that supports spatial awareness and reasoning, geometry, communication, and team work.|
|Painting is an area we use for small group learning. We invite students who may not take the time or chance to paint during the day to spend that time there experimenting with the tools creatively.|
|Incorporating sensory into small groups has been important and valuable for our students. Play dough, sand and water with tools and materials that are DIFFERENT than those used during learning centres.|
|Sometimes, simple is best. Some students who are just understanding and recognizing numerals worked as a team to sort a basket of numbers using playing cards and our number line.|
Where does this fit into the Flow of the Day? Check out our Fall Blog Post:
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