Small group time provides children with opportunities to use materials, experiment with these materials, talk about their discoveries, and solve problems they encounter. Small group times offer special social opportunities also. Children learn to be friends and to cooperate and collaborate through interaction with children and adults. Teachers serve as models of collaboration and as facilitators, not as directors. By providing various opportunities for small group work, we send the message that cooperation and relationships are valued, thus sanctioning and supporting this process.
As teachers begin to incorporate a small group time into the daily routine the questions and answers below may serve as a guideline:
What is small group time?
Small group time is a segment of the daily routine which a group (4-10) of children meets with the teacher/adult at a consistent time and place, to work with materials selected by the adult. Adults support children in pursuing their ideas and observe and listen to the ways children play and converse.
How do I plan for small group time?
Where can I get ideas for small group times?
Good sources for ideas include:
What is the teacher's role during small group time?
What are High/Scope's guidelines for small group time?
High/Scope Research Foundation
Early Childhood Education Online
Early Childhood Educators & Family Web Corner