Brace yourself! Here it is! Get ready...........
Research has shown that in a small group setting teachers spend the vast majority of their time focusing their attention and instruction on the students seated directly in front of them. (See?!? Sounds like earth shattering news, right?) However, it truly can make a difference! I even made you a cute visual aid with the help of some new clip art from the talented Nikki at Melonheadz.
We all know that there are levels within levels in small group instruction. So, here is what my assistant and I do. We seat the students most in need of help directly in front of us. Students who need less help than them are seated in the middle. Students who require the least amount of help are seated directly to the left and right of the teacher. Previously, I would have seated the ones most in need of help on either side of me thinking that I would have better access to them and their work. After two years of teaching almost exclusively in small groups, I can tell you that I was wrong! I am more mindful of my attention now and it most certainly is projected forward rather than to the side.
I hope that this little tip will be helpful to you! So, how do you seat your students in a small group setting?