Sunday, February 7, 2016

Organizing Targeted Instruction

In recent years, there has been a lot of push for educators to use a tiered approach to instruction.  What does that look like in your classroom?  How do you give each student the instruction that they need both academically and socially?

It can be extremely difficult to individualize and group instruction in a way that is effective for ALL students. Especially when you are feeling short on resources, time and staff.  But it doesn't have to be as tough as it seems.  It is all about being creative and strategic, as you create your space, organize your staff, and plan your schedule!

Let's start by creating a space.  You want the space to be small with limited distractions so students can focus on the skills you are working on. 

It is important that you organize the space in away that the students can attend to instruction and not other activity that is happening around the room. 

You also want to organize the space in away that the students know how much work they have to do.  For example, for math and literacy small groups on the floor, I have used these visual work systems that I put in clear plastic frames and then marked off each step as we completed it with a dry erase marker. 

The visual systems matched the space as I organized a fabric box system accordingly.  The students knew finished was when they completed all three fabric boxes for their subject area.   

So how do the individualized and small group spaces fit into the flow of the classroom, what are other students, and staff doing while you teach targeted small group or individualized one on one instruction?  In my situation, the other students are participating in free play that is facilitated by my staff while I pull specific students to work on the skills they need more practice with. 

The beauty is that every student gets what they need!  Some students joined me for small group at the beginning of free play and others joined me for a small group at the end of free play.  

Between each group I finish my data collection and organize the space for the next group. Data collection is a vital piece in knowing which students need what, so you can make data-based decisions and continue to provide meaningful instruction through targeted small groups or on an individual basis depending on what the students need. 

To learn more about delivering  various types of instruction in organized ways click the following links:

Social Small Group
Math Small Group
Literacy Small Group
Direct Instruction

Until next time, best wishes!


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  2. Do you have your students for morning and afternoon or just afternoon?

    1. Great question! I should have specified. I had both a morning and afternoon class. The morning class was my younger threes and fours and we had a more structured schedule that I did a whole series of blog posts on last year.

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