[Most of this written by Teacher Kem]
In the past couple of months you may have heard your child say something about their “ group” or “group teacher.” Or perhaps in the past couple of weeks your child may have said they are changing groups…
Small Group is the time during the day were the children sit with their group (7 or 8 children) and their group teacher for snack and a group project. The group project is something that each teacher has planned for their group. A “project” can be scissor work, playing BINGO or rhyming games, working on sorting or patterning skills (early math skills). It could be open-ended drawing, writing letters, counting, or working on individual puzzles or a big group puzzle.
At small group, the teacher helps assist the children in alpha-recognition, or reminding them about a proper pencil grip. Small group-time is also an opportunity for the teacher to assess where a child may be in regards to a certain skill-set where the teacher might recognize where a child may need extra instruction, or what a child may have already mastered.
We change our groups three times during the year. This creates a positive challenge for your child as he/she learns how to be part of a new group of friends. In many instances, changing groups has helped foster new friendships and “team” mentality/behavior. When we change groups, all of the teachers' observations gets handed off to the next group teacher. By spring the children have had the opportunity to be in all three groups and the teachers have compiled all their observations to get a clear picture of your child’s growth and success in the room.
In April, you will have the opportunity to meet for a conference with Tom to discuss all of these observations as well as your child's whole development (social, physical, cognitive, emotional, language, as well as kindergarten readiness). Don't they look grown-up and studious in the photos? It's lots of fun too!