I hope you’re having a great weekend! I can’t believe it’s already been 2 weeks since my last post; I didn’t mean for so much to pass since my last post, but well, babies. Those poor guys get blamed for a lot. Most of it is their fault. =) I’m just coming to you tonight with a super quick post about how I make my small groups.
In my last post, I talked about how I have all students in two groups–their rotation groups, as well as their teacher table group. I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty visual. When I was in the classroom, I always had a set of name sticks that I used all the time every day. I made them at the start of every school year; I wrote the kids’ names on the big popsicle sticks, and I kept the sticks in an empty Crystal Light jar. (Seriously, if you’re throwing away the Crystal Light jars you’re making a mistake. Let’s talk.) Alright, so I’m making two sets of groups. so I go through this process twice. The first thing I do is think about students that absolutely cannot be in the same group together, for whatever reason–they talk too much, they distract each other, they’re mean to each other–whatever. I start my piles with those students, separating one into each group. After I separate out those nuggets, I go back to the sticks that are still left. I essentially then fill in students around those who had to be separated, trying as much as possible to have all ability levels in one rotation group. (I talked about why I feel that’s important in this post, but basically it helps students use other students as their main resource during SGI, rather than you.) When I’m done with this process, I’ll grab a piece of paper or draw a quick table in my notebook so I can remember who’s in which group. It will end up looking something like this:
Then, I use a combination of my name sticks and my data binder to make teacher table groups. These are obviously the groups that students will be in when they come to my table for guided reading or math SGI. These are not the same as their rotation groups, and these groups are generally more homogenous, ability level wise. I then make the same chart for their teacher table groups. I’ll share more in a future post about how I plan for all of my small groups, but one last thing–the only set of groups that I post in my room is the rotation groups. Those are the only ones on the chart.
Alright, team; I hear those babies moving around, so I’m out. Have a great weekend, and I’ll be back before the end of the month with a post on how I plan for small groups.