1. Establishing Big Picture Goals and Grouping Students
2. Establishing Rules/Routines/Norms for the Group
3. Student Engagement/Teaching Techniques
4. Curriculum and Planning
5. Data Collection and Role of Support Staff
You are almost ready to roll out your small groups for the school year. You have your goals, routines, plans, and now we just need to make sure all of our adults are on the same page and we can monitor our students' progress through data collection. When reading some of the roles/responsibilities listed below, keep in mind that the "lead teacher" may be the classroom teacher or a paraprofessional you have chosen to run a group that you have planned. It could also be a clinician (SLP, OT, etc.) or a prep provider (gym, music, art teacher, etc.)
The role of the Lead Teacher is to facilitate the group:
1) Prompts students naturally (may repeat the question, give a lead in to the answer, etc.)
2) Attempts to manage challenging behaviors alone first (specific behavior plans or antecedent interventions may need to be run by support staff)
3) Completes error correction if needed
4) Directs other staff as to what is needed
The role of the Support Staff is to support the Lead Teacher:
1) Collect data on IEP goals
3) Prompt students (as needed following the direction from the lead teacher)
4) Should remain quiet and refrain from talking to the students/other staff
5) Should be sitting behind students and fading themselves further away from the table/learning area to allow students to increase independence.
Data collection can be done in many ways during small groups by the lead teacher and/or support staff:
1) Have one sheet where all your students are monitored for the same list of goals (you can use some of the classroom skills goals or social skills goals from your curricular map)
2) Have individualized data sheets for specific goals you are monitoring for each students
3) Use ABC or student specific behavior data collection forms to document any challenging behaviors
4) Have support staff grade worksheets (for completion or accuracy) and document scores in a gradebook
5) Use school wide assessments (i.e. for reading levels, spelling development, math facts) periodically to check on progress
What other roles/responsibilities do you give your support staff? What other tips do you have regarding data collection during small groups?
This wraps up our mini-series on small group instruction, make sure to check out the other 4 posts in this series if you are looking for more information on implementing small groups in your classroom.