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Raise your hand if you’ve ever experienced the struggle of running small groups. 🙋🏻♀️
You’ve planned and prepped for each group and you’re ready to go. You set your timer for 15 minutes, and you’re barely two minutes in when you look up and see..
👦🏻 Johnny is standing over you asking you to open the ink pad for the word work stamps.
💻 Cathy is walking over with her computer because she needs help logging in.
📚 Mary and Anita are playing rock paper scissors instead of reading independently.
🤨 Jeremy is wandering aimlessly around the classroom because he doesn’t know what he should be doing.
✏️ Then you hear the sound of the electric pencil sharpener, and that’s the last straw! You’re so busy taking care of all of these disruptions that you aren’t actually getting anything done with your small groups.
So, what’s the secret? How are you supposed to keep your class on task so that you can run effective small groups? You want to ensure that small group time isn’t wasted time, and that every student is engaged, whether they are working with you or working independently.
So many of you, myself included when I first started teaching, really need help figuring this out. That’s why I’m going to share 12 strategies that you can use to help keep the rest of your class on task when you’re working with small groups. These are simple, yet effective strategies that you can begin implementing right away!
Here are those 12 tips:
The key is to model and practice these strategies with your students as clearly as you would any other routine in your classroom. If teaching routines and expectations is something that is challenging for you, and you want a bit of help troubleshooting to figure out where things may be going wrong, be sure to scoop up a free copy of my Ultimate Classroom Management Checklist.
My last important piece of advice I want to give you is to remember that our job is to stay flexible. Don’t expect the same strategy to work all year long. Instead, I really encourage you to keep a problem solving mindset.
Always stay on the lookout for creative new ideas to use with your students. The longer you teach, the more ideas you'll be able to add to your toolbox. We can’t expect that same strategy to work all year long!
Inside this week's show, you'll learn:
I hope this information is helpful as you prepare for your first, second, or third year of teaching. Until next time, remember, just because you're a beginning elementary teacher, there's no need for you to struggle like one.
Dr. Lori Friesen | Beginning Teacher Mentor
Creator of the R.E.A.D.Y. for School Academy, Dr. Lori Friesen has mentored thousands of beginning teachers across the country through her workshops and courses. Host of the popular podcast, Beginning Teacher Talk, and creator of the innovative literacy program for 1st and 2nd grade, Dogs Help Kids Read and Succeed, Dr. Lori is dedicated to serving educators and inspiring learners. Learn more at drlorifriesen.com and at howdogshelpkids.com.
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