Sunday, 8 February 2015

Gorgeous Group Work... and one proud teacher!

I rely very heavily on group work to provide differentiated tasks for my Preppies.  I love small groups for practising skills and for teaching concepts with more teacher support.  At the beginning of each year I am always prepared for a few weeks of chaos management... you know the drill: kidlets wandering around, forgetting instructions, arguing, getting finished quickly and not knowing what to do next etc.  This year I've had my socks knocked off by a group of gorgeous kidlets who have taken to group work like ducks to water. :)  

Usually I would tailor group work activities so that week by week they became more independent. We focus on a new concept each week: stay with your group, do the activity as instructed, don't interrupt the teacher, ask your friends for help, move onto a 'Fast Finisher' task if you're done early.  After a few weeks we are all set for smooth sailing.  I am so proud of my Preppies this year because all of those things have happened in just a week of group work! (I'm vey lucky, I know!)

I organise my class into ability based groups.  We have group work 3 times each day, once first thing for  'Morning Groups' and then again for Literacy and Maths groups. One group works with me, one with my teacher aide and three independently.  Here's a peek at what we got up to during those times last week!

'Morning Groups' go for about 10 minutes and focus on fine motor skills.  During this time one group also changes their book box.  This week we started with lacing, using tongs with pom poms, cutting, tracing and 'Jumping Frogs' (a game I got for $1). Book boxes start next week. :)

Dr. Seuss lacing cards.

Tongs and pom pom patterns.

Literacy groups always have Guided Reading with me and last week we also had letter recognition, a Chicka Chicka Boom Boom name craft, sight word hopscotch and Letter School on iPads.

As a practice for group work this activity was amazing.  As a craft to display in the classroom... not so much! Kidlets had to cut out the leaves, glue to palm tree pieces down and arrange the letters of their name in order.

Sight word hopscotch.

For this letter recognition activity kidlets chose a card from the pile and coloured in the matching circle on their recording sheet.  The cards and worksheet are from Kindergarten Smorgasboard.

After reading our book during Guided Reading with me we played my letter recognition game, Beep, Beep!

During Maths groups we played 'Gone Buggy', made robot number lines, went fishing, worked with playdough mats and played 'Bugs & Numbers' on the iPads.

Linking up numbers 0-10 with plastic chain links. I love an activity that incorporates fine motor!

Playing 'Gone Buggy'. Kidlets have to collect 10 bugs in their jar.  Keep an eye on my store for this one!

I love playdough mats! These are from my Numbers 1-10 pack - they have picture clues so are perfect for independent work!

We went fishing for numbers 1-10 using my Gone Fishin' pack.  This was the favourite activity of the week for sure!  On Friday I was exhausted and thinking of scrapping Maths groups when I heard one precious kidlet say "I can't wait to go fishing later!".  We put the cards in a plastic boat with strips of blue cellophane. Attaching a paper clip to the mouth of the fish makes them magnetic - the rods have a magnet hot glued to a piece of rope.

Each team worked on their activity at the level that they were able to, with lots of smiles and laughs. Let's hope that next week goes as well as last! :) Do you love group work for your kidlets? I'd love to hear about how you make it work in your classroom! :)


  1. So many awesome group ideas!!! Love them all. We started with fine motor skills groups last week, and I'm introducing guided reading this week. I love when a group of kids takes so well to group work - so much easier!

    Jem's Bright Buttons

  2. Love your math group activities, well actually I liked all your activities you shared. I noticed your kids wear uniforms, is that consistent in all your schools? I am a "public" school teacher, I wish we did have uniforms, I think it would cut back on distractions. thank you, Paula

    1. Hi Paula,

      Thanks so much! All schools in Australia have uniforms, apart from the odd or two. :)

  3. Love all of your ideas! Where on earth did you get that gorgeous blue boat from?

    Mrs Poultney's Ponderings


Thanks for popping by!