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adc04 06-16-2015 08:37 AM

Small group help please!
My principal wants us to do 30 minutes of Tier groups a day, 40 minutes of Guided Reading groups, and 30 minutes of math groups. During Tier, the students I am not visiting with are in literacy stations and like wise, they visit math stations during small group math. I am however having a hard time finding something for them to do that is productive during my guided reading time. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. :)

texasteacher6 06-16-2015 12:07 PM

Daily 5
Have you looked into the Daily 5? It takes a little time to implement and practice but it's worthwhile in the end. The students are engaged in independent meaningful activities and they learn what to do with repeated practice. Here is a link to "the sisters" website:

They now also have the Math Daily 3 now. Works similar. Last year, I did Daily 5 for reading stations and BUILD for math (https://teachingwhatworks.wordpress....-math-centers/).

Regardless of what you choose, set expectations, practice and build stamina in the beginning otherwise you will always be stopping to correct behaviors. Put the time in at the beginning and reap the rewards:)

Good Luck!

BaileyTN 06-16-2015 12:43 PM

I meet with 4 groups a day for 15+/- minute rotations. My rotations are teacher table; desk work (word work & snack); rug (quiet reading using leveled readers); and computers (practicing skill for that week).

I do change it up some (adding in listening center; writing center; spelling/phonics practice; etc.) but I try to keep it pretty much the same so they know exactly what to do. After several weeks of training, it all runs pretty smooth. Hope that helps!

tricewaldorf 06-16-2015 03:36 PM

for management sake
I don't really like the kids moving around in the room to get to a center too much, so I have their centers in crates. I use the black milk crates from the cafeteria. But in each crate I put 2 activities that they can finish. They have an option of completing 2 but it is mandatory that they complete at least one and they input their work in their "Center folder" at the end of their work time for me to review at my leisure. While practicing the first couple of weeks of school it is important that you review random student's center folder at the end of each guided reading time whole group to show the quality of work and give further clarification of what you are looking for. Also make positive comments as to which groups were doing their independent work or projects the best, the most quiet, or the most cooperative with their peers. Examples of crates

CRATE 1. Reading/ Graphic Organizer/ Story map (includes differentiated leveled books, and various organizers for the children to create from their reading. Most times I'm using an organizer that we currently using during whole group reading or one we have used in the past ex. character, setting, problem, solution

CRATE 2. Word work/word building: focusing on spelling or high frequency words, letter cards, white boards(mock spelling tests), phonics activity(sorting,flip book,sorting cut n paste), chart paper sentence fill in the blank, etc

CRATE 3. Writing center: Writing prompts and story paper, sentence puzzles, newspapers, magazines, etc

Crate 4. Smartboard center (list of websites that can be used on smartboard with groups of 5 or less

Crate 5. Kindle time with students practicing on or taking AR tests


Crate 1. buddy game(most times this is a basic facts flash card game and game board with pieces)

Crate 2. buddy game(most times this is a basic facts flash card game and game board with pieces)

Crate 3. white boards and dry erase markers (students can test each other on basic facts or ill have problems on chart paper they have to use manipulatives to solve, or students will write in words how to solve the problem step by step

Crate 4. Smartboard center (list of websites that can be used on smartboard with groups of 5 or less

Crate 5. Kindle time with students practicing on or taking AR tests

adc04 06-16-2015 04:04 PM

Thank y'all so much for you responses. It was not however, exactly what I was looking for. I already have station(center) rotations in place for both reading and math. They end up in stations an hour+ a day. What I was kind of hoping for was an idea to do other than normal station rotations during the other 40 minutes of groups I still need to do. For me personally, it drives me crazy for them to be at stations again during this time. I was just wondering if there were other alternatives out their. Thanks so much again for any suggestions or bright ideas!!! :)

adc04 06-16-2015 04:05 PM

Thank you for your response. I already do the daily 5 in my room. My problem is that I need to meet with small groups again later in the day. Im looking for something they can do during this second round other that daily 5 again. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Dan 06-16-2015 07:25 PM

Just so I am clear, what are you doing during Daily 5 when your kids are doing all the rotations?

adc04 06-17-2015 07:27 AM

Each day they will go to one of the following - Listening station, writing, work work, read to self, or read to someone. I will then call groups to my table.
I do not have extra student computers in my room or a smart board to use for station time.

driventoteach 06-17-2015 09:28 AM

Why not do more time with Daily 5? It is so much better to do than busy work!

Dan 06-17-2015 05:21 PM

Daily 5
i would recommend re-reading The Daily Five and utilizing it for more teacher instruction. Your students can do three a day, at least, rather than one....or maybe I'm misunderstanding you. Best wishes.

My1stGrWay 06-18-2015 03:29 PM

I agree - D5 is the way to go. I do three 20-min rounds of Daily 5 per day while I meet with three reading groups. You could easily split the rounds. In my room, they must choose read to self OR read to buddy daily, and then they can choose other things like listen to reading (I borrow books on CD from the library and collected old dusty Discmen from friends to use), computer (I only have 2), write about reading in their notebooks (sometimes I mandate that they must do this about the read aloud but usually they can choose from their independent reading), or word work (this varies based on the time of year and the skill we're working on). I track their choices on a spreadsheet, previously I've had them put three icons in a pocket chart next to their name to indicate their choices when they enter in the morning. They are allowed to independently switch their book bin books whenever they want to during arrival or dismissal times (10 mins of each) so they don't get bored.

I got overwhelmed having to switch out bins of centers, make sure the activity at each center wasn't too long or to short, trying to differentiate each bin....This way, they are doing authentic work and I am not overwhelmed.

SpeedLimit62 06-20-2015 09:49 AM

How about implementing sorts? You can differentiate the sorts and then have students on a daily basis do different things with the sorts?

For example:
Day 1 -- cut and sort 3 times
Day 2 -- Speed sort and rainbow write words
Day 3 -- find sort words in books/magazines etc.
Day 4 -- Write sort word sentences and create a word search
Day 5 -- Speed sort with a partner and glue sort

After sorting.. kids can do sight word work. I'd do something with file folders where students learn to spell and read words. Look up... look, cover, read, write.

If students are done early then students can do read to self.. remember students should get 10 new books per week at their level. If they are repeatedly reading 10 new books per week and exposed to new guided reading books.. within reading 60 new books at their level they should be moving a guided reading level.

1elateacher 07-08-2015 07:59 PM

Jobs during small group
I cannon manage stations while I am having small groups. My students work quietly at their seats during small group. I usually assign a writing prompt and 1 or 2 workbook pages. After groups, students who are finished with their work can go to centers.

cal33 07-20-2015 05:40 AM

I also find that having most of them in their seats is best. I have 3 groups, one is with me, one is at their desks ( completing workbook pages) the other group are at centers. The centers are only 1 or 2 students.

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