How to Efficiently Plan Small Group Instruction

In this post, I offer tips to help you save time when planning for small group instruction and offer details about Leaders of Literacy, my membership program where all the planning for targeted, small group instruction has been done for you!  

Lately, I’ve been sharing a lot about small group instruction, and for good reason!  We know that small group instruction has a significant impact on student learning.

The problem?? Well, small group instruction can take A LOT of time to plan and implement.  You have to assess and group your students, search for resources to teach that address your students’ needs, prep materials, and plan lessons for 4-6 different groups! With everything else you have to plan for throughout the day, planning for small group instruction can often feel like too much.   

Because I truly believe in the power of targeted, small group instruction, I am excited to offer tips to help you save time when planning for your groups.  Then, I’ll leave you details about Leaders of Literacy my membership program where all the planning for small group instruction has been done for you!  

3 Tips for Planning Small Group Instruction

Tip 1: Keep Instructional Routines Consistent

Consistent instructional routines help you to plan quickly and efficiently.   Instead of searching for different resources to teach each of the different skills your groups need, use the same resources and swap out the skill.  

Keeping a consistent routine ensures you can easily and quickly get into a groove of teaching and your full attention can be on your students.  Additionally, your students will come to know exactly what to expect. The consistent structure allows them to practice the skills without having to learn new routines and procedures.  It allows them to put all of their mental energy towards meaningful skills practice and saves precious instructional time.  

Tip 2: Keep instruction short and concise

A common mistake teachers make when running small groups is that they over-plan and try to squeeze too much into each session.  They try to teach too much and keep students with them for too long. 

To help lessen your planning and keep instructional time short, make sure you focus on teaching just one new skill. You’ll want to include some cumulative review of previously taught skills because we know this continued practice and review is essential for mastery.

A small group session should last 10-15 minutes for students in K-2.  Any longer than that and students will begin to lose focus.  Plus, you need time to see multiple groups so you must keep it short.  

Tip 3: Follow a SoR-Aligned Phonics Scope and Sequence

Many teachers spend a lot of time trying to figure out what to teach their small groups. They have assessed and grouped their students based on a shared skill deficit but aren’t sure where to go next. To save yourself time, use an SoR-aligned phonics scope and sequence. Allow it to serve as a roadmap for your instruction so you know exactly what skills to plan for next, as well as which skills to include in your cumulative review.

If your school does not provide you with a scope and sequence, check out this post where you can download a FREE SoR-aligned scope and sequence. This scope and sequence builds from the simplest to the most complex. It will help you see where development is going and intentionally plan for and scaffold your students’ learning.  

Leaders of Literacy

If the thought of planning for small group instruction still overwhelms you and you’re just ready to have all the planning done for you, then Leaders of Literacy is a membership you’ll want to check out.   

Inside Leaders of Literacy, you’ll find a full year’s worth of small group explicit lesson plans (and the accompanying activities) for kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade.

These small group lesson plans:

✔️ Are aligned with the Science of Reading

✔️ Can be taught in about 15 minutes

✔️ Follow a systematic scope and sequence

✔️ Walk you, step-by-step through teaching each component of the lesson plan

✔️ Are not curriculum specific—instead, they’re based on high-impact routines backed by science

✔️ Have already been differentiated for you—each skill offers 3- and 5-day plans so you can offer the appropriate level of support to your students

Let’s take a closer look at what these lesson plans include….

-A weekly overview that lays out when you’ll teach each high-impact routine.

A word list for the skill you are teaching (including challenge words)

-Explicit lesson plans that tell you exactly what to say, what questions to ask, and what resources (all included) to use for each of the high-impact instructional routines.

Members share that having access to these lesson plans and resources saves them 1-2 hours a week!  That’s up to 8 hours a month – an entire workday!

✔️ K-2 systematic scope & sequences

✔️ K-2 explicit structured literacy lesson plans

✔️K-2 high-impact student activities

✔️ Aligned with the Science of Reading

….and so much more!

Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping