How do I organize my classroom for small groups??

Well that’s a loaded question…but let’s start with some basics!

First and foremost…you MUST have your table in an area where you see the ENTIRE classroom….all the little nooks and crannies where students will be working in their centers.  This way students will know that although you are imageworking with your group, you are also being mindful of what THEY are doing!

Next, in your area around your table you MUST make and keep it organized!  When you only have 15-20 minutes for each group, the last thing you need to spend time doing is looking around, or moving around the  classroom to get your materials.  No time for that!!

Make sure you have a place to hang or place anchor charts for students to be able to refer to as they are working.

You MUST have a sign, special hat, or symbol to remind students NOT to disturb you while you are working with a imagegroup…unless they are bleeding or the building is on fire.  This will also require you to have a procedure in place for students to do when they have a problem in their center.  This may be the “Ask three before me”, or center captains who will help with computer or other issues they may come accross.  Aslo for behavior issues, have alternative seatwork for any students you have to tell to leave a center.

Last but not least, do yourself a favor and create some form of a center chart that will show where each students will go each day ahead of time.  Even if students are choosing (which does improve motivation) let them choose before starting your groups.

Have some to add?  Leave a comment below!!

J.

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