Do you have small group time built into your preschool day?
If no – why not? This post will give you 5 really good reasons that you should consider adding it in.
If yes – how is it going? do you love or loathe small group time?
Or… are you required to do small group, but don’t really know the benefits?
Read on my friends- small group has some BIG benefits!
#1. Differentiation : Meeting children where they are at.
Small group allows you to help each child focus on the missing skills he/she needs specifically. In comparison to whole group, where a blanket of topics are taught, whether or not every child is ready for it.
#2. Connection Building:
Creating relationships is one of the most important (if not THE most important) thing you can do in your classroom. A child who likes and trusts you will learn from you…. and small groups help build that relationship. Playing and learning together with smaller groups of children will help you get to know them better. When you know them better, you can better help them learn. The time you take with your students in a small setting will help them get to know you and love you by playing together.
#3. Attention to Task:
Every child in your class most likely has a different amount of time that they are able to focus on a task. With preschoolers, sometimes that is like a few seconds- am i right? With small group, you can plan activities to help build attention to task by starting out with small, quick tasks. Then, throughout the year you can build the activities to be longer- therefore challenging their attention span.
#4. Working with Peers:
In our small group we play lots of group games or do activities that require children to share materials. This adds a social layer to our small group that I love. Not only are children working on a specific academic skill, they are also given opportunities to work with peers and work out conflict with peers.
#5. The obvious… Practice Needed Skills
The obvious reason that we do small group is to help children with missing skills. Most of the time these are academic skills, but could also be social emotional skills as well. When we are looking for a child to master a certain skill and they aren’t there yet – small group is how we can get them there.
So… what do you think? Is small group worth the time in your preschool schedule?