ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Managing Small groups

Updated on September 1, 2017
In all grade levels small group instruction is becoming a standard expectation of teachers, solid procedures can help your instruction run smoothly.
In all grade levels small group instruction is becoming a standard expectation of teachers, solid procedures can help your instruction run smoothly.

What is a Small Group and how to use a procedure?

Kronowitz says: "Don't introduce all routines at once, especially on the first day. For example, movement to and from centers need not to be discussed right off". The main objective for the students will be to manage their own paperwork, by optimizing their learning time efficiently, through an effective procedure. The teacher needs to be authoritative and monitor students' work and behavior and show withitness; to ensure the routine is being followed. Students will be actively engaged in the closure of the small group activity, demonstrating organization by properly turning in their work in a particular manner (the routine). Note: Teacher should model expectations.

When conducting small group instruction, a small group should be composed of four to five students. Each student in the group should have a job such as : the Captain, Displayer, Reporter, Time keeper, Collector, and or Recorder. Teachers should predetermine before the class day which students should participate in which groups. Jobs should all be prepared and posted for students to see. The teacher should also keep a record so that each time the children revisit a group they can have a different job so that they experience handling different responsibilities.

Small group instruction can be very benefitual in today's crowded classrooms. Research suggests that children learn best when there are few students being taught. Teachers are able to give one on one instruction and group children in a way based on their strengths and weaknesses.

It is important to run your class with well thoughtout procedures. Especially for young children. You cannot expect them to always know what it is you expect them to do. Here I have a step by step simple procedure that a teacher can use in a small group.

1) Provided that you have introduced or discussed what it is your students are to practice in small group,

(early in 1st 6weeks), set a timer with the allotted amount of time, for example: 15mins. Instruct them to begin working.

2) When buzzer has gone off, students will stop working and remain seated at the small group area, until the Collector has picked up everyone's papers and materials.

Once the Collector hears the buzzer, he or she will quietly get up and walk to each student and politely ask them for their paper or material.

3) Students will quickly and gently hand work to the Collector. Who will then walk to the small group container, open it and place it and the materials, example job badges, inside and then close the lid. They are responsible for making sure that this task is done correctly. Teachers should model how this is to be done.

4) One Collector is finished, he or she will go back to their seat. All students will remain seated until further instruction.

Resource: The Teacher's Guide to Success by Ellen L. Kronowitz

General Lesson Scenario

The teacher reviews several sight words with students on the Smart board,four students who need extra practice spelling sight words are sent to small group table to do a student led assignment. The teacher distributes flashcards to the students. The students take turns quizzing each other over several words for 5 minutes. One student records how many words each of the other students get right, and another student watches the time to make sure everybody gets at least 3 minutes to practice. Once the buzzer on the smartboard goes off (that the teacher set before), the displayer will write on the whiteboard all the words they the group are now confident they can spell.The collector will pick up all the flashcards and place them in the right container. This might sound simple but to a 1st or 2nd grader this might be a hard task. Giving young students jobs helps them take ownership and and they are more focused on their lesson.

Some might say how hard should it be for a teacher to conduct procedures? How hard could it be to pull a few groups from whole group and expect them to do their specialized work while the rest of the class focuses on something else? These things can be very challenging for a teacher to manage in today's classroom when there are so many challenges. Student behavior has to be managed, differentiated instruction has to be integrated as well as routines. Teachers have to be smart about how they teach and prioritize. Also it is important that the atmosphere in the classroom feels safe. No child should feel like they are embarrassed because they are in a small group. All students should be in a small group at sometime. It is not right to pull out the behavioral problem students only or the students that are severely behind. Sometimes the groups should be mixed and other times the gifted students should be able to work at a accelerated level.

© 2012 Dominique Broomfield MEd


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Missy Mac profile image

      Missy Mac 

      6 years ago from Illinois

      Informative and great strategies for classroom management. I utilized similar skills when teaching. Students enjoy having options and not being overwhelemed. This article remindes me of a teachers need to be prepared with learning resources and reflecting on how students will benefit. Preparation helped me to plan for the unknown.

      Thank you again.

      Misty McElwee (Missy Mac)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)