Veronica Jones

Dr. Mooney, Thank you for sharing all those benefits of a small group. I would say the benefits definitely outweigh the cons! As a classroom teacher, I’ve always had small groups to help me accommodate individual learners. The small groups allowed me to target certain skills with a group of children needing additional help or teaching at a higher level for those students needing enhancement of a challenge. One of the cons or problems was trying to keep the distraction down and keeping ALL students ON TASK during group time. I never wanted to give work that looked like busywork such as crossword puzzles or write the spelling words 10 times each. BORING! I tried to design small groups that had unique fun things for students to share and help each other. I would have five or six students with approximately five or six students per group. The technology was always my friend too! Students enjoyed rotating and communicating with their peers during small group center time. There were days when the schedule did not allow for centers and my students would sigh with disappointment. Another con or problem was when my students would need my attention during their work stations while I was with my small reading group. I once used a hat as a signal to disturb me during my small group until they have asked the leader of the group and two others. Another con or problem is having to constantly pan the room as you are trying to zero in on some deficits in your small reading group. I am now a resource ESL teacher and I have small group pullouts. I have a range of 4 to 8 students at a time and small groups are phenomenal! I do not have the cons of distractions and students being off task in my ESL program.

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