I was frustrated.
I knew I was frustrated, and they knew I was frustrated.
Decimals. Place value.
I gave a formative on Quizizz, and I was not pleased with the results.
I looked at the data, and gathered a small group to the kidney table.
We did an activity with decimals, and then reviewed the same questions that were on Quizizz. Most of them did well, in the back, with me.
Here's the thing. Because I was dealing with about 5 kids, I took the time to ask them why they did well at the kidney table and not on Quizizz.
"Because it's timed, Mrs.M. The time was too fast and we were competing!"
"Duh." Makes sense. Lesson learned, in small group.
Sometimes a student needs your full attention. And if it's not your full attention, at least not having to split your attention with 27 other students. Small group instruction has become a mainstay in my classroom. It's not always easy when working with 28 5th graders smack in the middle of puberty. But it can be done.
- Use data to guide your group. I use what I call " Engaging data". Plickers, Quizizz, Kahoot, Edpuzzle, there are so many to choose from. But they all help me achieve the same goal, immediate feedback that helps me form groups.
- Use ability to form groups not names or the letters of the alphabet. I don't care if they are Group A, someone in that group may not understand.
- Create your groups. Manage the size. 10 kids in a group is not small group instruction.
- Change the way you deliver instruction in the small group. What did Einstein say, "Doing the same thing over and over..." Same content, different delivery. Don't just go over the same questions they worked on.
- Don't hold the students hostage. If they get it, let them go. Give them a chance to work independently, they can always come back if they need help.
- And the most important piece, manage your classroom. If you spend more time correcting behavior than focusing on your group, small group instruction will not work.
He was the last one left. Everyone else had demonstrated understanding, and left to work independently.. We/he solved a few problems. He got it!
After his high five, he stated sincerely, "Thank you Mrs.M.", and walked back to his seat.
Yeah, small group. It works!