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Managing small-group and individual work

In order to spend time working with students in small groups and/or individually, it is important to make sure the students you are not working with are engaged in learning activities. Here are some ways teachers manage these learning activities with questions to think about if you choose to implement them...

Learning activity
What it might look like
Things to consider
Literacy centers
  • Listening center
  • Making words/sentences with letter/word manipulatives
  • Poetry/song box where students reread poems/songs that were read in the whole-class setting
  • Writing center
  • What learning objectives will be addressed by the centers?
  • Where will these be located in the room?
  • What behavioral expectations will I have for the students when they are in centers?
  • What expectations will I have for the work the students do when they are in centers?
  • How will I communicate all of these expectations to the children?
  • Will the students choose centers or rotate through them?
  • How often will I change the activity in the center?
Independent reading Students independently reading books of their choice.
  • How many books will children choose to have with them?
  • How will I know whether students are reading appropriate books for their needs?
  • How will the students keep a record of what they have read?
  • How will I keep track of what the students have read and learned?
  • Where will the students be allowed to sit to read?
Literature response Students write in a response journal or write letters to their teacher/friends/family about a text they have read.
  • What expectations will I have for the students’ written responses?
  • How will I communicate these expectations to the children?
  • How will I respond to the children’s writing?
  • What feedback will the children receive on this work?
Paired reading Students read text with partners and discuss what they are thinking as they read.
  • What expectations will I have for the students when reading with a partner?
  • How will I communicate these expectations to the children?
  • How will the partners be chosen?
  • Do my students know how to work with a partner?
Seatwork Students work at desks on assignments given by the teacher.
  • Are the same assignments appropriate for all students?
  • Will students be expected to work alone or can they work with partners/groups?
  • What feedback will children receive on this work?
Add your idea(s) here:  
  • What things do you need to think about in order to implement this learning activity?