There are four key benefits to small group instruction:
- Personalize Instruction: Small group instruction allows teachers to work more closely with each student. This type of instruction provides the opportunity to evaluate students’ learning strengths, locate gaps in the development of their reading or math skills and tailor lessons focused on specific learning objectives. In addition, small group instruction allows teachers to check for understanding, reinforce skills presented in whole group instruction, and/or change the pacing of a lesson (i.e., teachers may break down concepts not easily understood or quickly pass though lessons that students clearly understand).
- Provide Feedback: Small group instruction allows a teacher to monitor student actions more closely and to provide frequent and individualized feedback at point of use to improve specific reading or math skills.
- Reteach or Preteach: Small group instruction is an opportunity for teachers to provide additional teaching and practice often needed for struggling students to master important skills or understand key concepts (e.g., phonemic awareness skill of manipulating ending sounds, or operations with whole numbers or rational numbers). Through the use of diagnostic assessments, a teacher can determine skills or concepts for which students may need more instructional support. Small group instruction also provides an opportunity for teachers to pre-teach specific vocabulary, challenging text structures, or other prerequisite knowledge to English learners or any students who may experience difficulty in upcoming lessons.
- Build Confidence Through Collaboration: Small group instruction can provide a comfortable environment and boost the confidence of students who might not otherwise participate in a lesson or activity. Small group instruction encourages teamwork as everyone in the group is working toward achieving the same goal.