Small Group Areas - Setting Up the Classroom

I'm linking this to First Grade Blue Skies linky party because I am coveting Deanna's table below.

The small group area is used to instruct children 1:1 or in, well...small groups. :) It's important to have a comfortable, functioning space so that you can deliver instruction, allow children to write comfortably and have ample room to spread out their work. Working with you in a small group or 1:1 is such a valuable experience. You want to get as much out of it as possible.

Set up your small group area so that you have a clear view of the entire room.

Your student seating should ideally be facing away from the classroom so that there is minimal distraction.

Have easy access to the supplies you need.

Have something to write on: easel, dry-erase board, etc.

Have extra pencils or a hand-sharpener available so that the children do not need to leave the area during instruction.

If you have other adults (Title 1, reading specialists, math coaches, student teachers, parent volunteers, etc), you'll want to consider having more than one area set up for small group work.

A kidney bean shaped table is ideal. If you don't have one, try requesting it from your principal, PTA, or through a grant. It will allow you to access all the children. If not, you can make due with a small table.

Let's look into some other teachers' classrooms and see what they've set-up.

I fell in love with the table skirt on Mrs. Jump's table the minute I saw it. I love how her seats can double as storage as well.

Ms. Gregory has her small group area set up so that she can access the materials she needs by reaching behind her.

This teacher created a welcoming setting to work with a small group. You'll notice in the picture below that she set it up in a manner in which she can view the classroom from her seat, and so that the students she is working with are not distracted.

Kristen from First-Grade-Teachers created this small group area using the leaves that I always look at and debate at Ikea and then put back and never buy. I like how she can reference her CAFE board easily while working with her kiddos.

How much do you love these seats? Cute. check. Stylish. check. Purposeful. check. Extra storage. check. You can find a tutorial to make these here. Bonus: They're cheap!

For more ideas and pictures to help organize and manage your classroom, please check out my book: The Clutter-Free Guide to Classroom Organization and Management by clicking here. {It is available as an instant download.}
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