“How do I help students initiate and maintain focus during small group work?” One of our fellow teachers asked this question, and you may be wondering about the answer, too! Many of us understand the value of small group work but would like some guidance on how to avoid the potential pitfalls of these lessons and activities. Listen as Caitlin and Jessica respond to this question that resonates with so many educators.
The best teaching strategies are proactive, not reactive. Listen as Caitlin and Jessica help you set up effective, productive small group work lessons from the very beginning, with strategies they have used successfully in their own classrooms.
This episode will show you how to approach small group work planning from two angles: curriculum and classroom management. After listening to this podcast, you will be able to pick the perfect activities for students to work on while also preparing yourself to manage the groups efficiently, with high expectations and clear directions.
Tune in now to hear:
- [00:40] If you’re looking for an activity to use with this podcast episode’s small group tips, you can grab this fun, free download — a lesson/activity to do in small groups. It includes a digital version, too!
- [01:40] Caitlin reads a teacher’s question: “How do I help students initiate and maintain focus during small group work?”
- [02:00] Caitlin and Jessica discuss some of the common pitfalls of small group work
- [05:00] Curriculum ideas for small group work: evidence trackers and Socratic Seminar guided questions
- [07:05] The Real Talk discussion activity
- [08:30] Classroom management ideas for improving small group work: the 15-Minute Strategy (learn more in podcast episode 139)
- [09:00] How to set reasonable but rigorous time expectations
- [11:50] The importance of giving clear directions
- [12:50] Requiring a completed product by the end of small group work time
Join Caitlin and Jessica next week as they teach you how to write the perfect essential questions for your next literature unit!
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