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5 Benefits of Small Group Math Instruction

It’s no secret that there are so many benefits of small group math instruction, but maybe you need a few reminders as to why you should be utilizing it over whole group instruction. Let’s talk through the 5 benefits of small group math instruction.

Text reads, "5 Benefits of Teaching Math in Small Groups"

The #1 Benefit of Small Group Math Instruction: Flexibility

Small groups can and should change all year. As students learn and master different skills, you can move them to a different group. Allow students to move on and keep groups fluid!

Image reads, "Reminder: Small groups can and should change all year."

Don’t try to fit kids into a box of any kind. Just because they need support or enrichment for one standard or skill, doesn’t mean they need to stay with a group or skill once they have mastered it.

Benefit #2: Manageable Chunks

Small group instruction allows you to break the tasks down into manageable chunks for students. One group might be able to move quickly through material and receive enrichment during their small group. Another group might need to focus on one small part of a certain skill or standard for longer than the rest of your class.

When you limit the time you spend in whole group instruction, you’re able to focus on breaking the task down into manageable chunks for the needs of each of your small groups.

Benefit #3: Small Group Math Instruction Reaches All Students

Most curriculums only teach to the middle group of students, but every classroom is filled with students with varying skills and abilities. When you teach in small groups, you can reach your students better because you truly know what they need.

When you spend time teaching in small groups, you’re able to hear students explain their mathematical thought processes. You’ll understand their strengths and struggles so much better!

Benefit #4: Quality Instruction

Always remember quality over quantity, especially when it comes to the time you spend in small group instruction.

Image reads, "Quality over quantity" and is repeated multiple times.

I know what you’re thinking: 15-20 minutes isn’t enough time for small group instruction! However, the quality of that time is immensely better than 15-20 minutes of whole group instruction. Plus, whole group instruction typically only meets the needs of 50% of your class!

Benefit #5: Improved Behavior

You will see improved behavior what you’re teaching in small groups for a number of reasons. First, it’s obviously a smaller group of students! It’s much easier to keep students on task and engaged when there are fewer students.

Image shows students listening closely to a teacher as one of the benefits of small group math instruction.

Second, when teaching in a whole group, there’s usually one group of students who already know the content, another group of students who are totally lost, and the third group of students who are able to keep up with what you’re teaching. That’s not ideal at all! We want every student engaged as much as possible, and small groups help achieve that!

Free Guided Math Starter Kit

Do you know the benefits of small group math instruction but aren’t sure how to get started? Or maybe you need just a little help keeping everything organized and having a plan that actually works?

You definitely need to download this FREE Guided Math Starter Kit! You can use it to outline your lesson plans, math centers, small group data, and so much more!

You can read more about Guided Math & get some planning tips over on this post! While you’re there, make sure to download the Free Small Group Workbook!

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