I used to create cards for my small group display and I initially loved it. My partner teacher and I combined groups so that our levels worked a bit better and then we split things up. Our set up looked something like this (but with quite a few more places the students actually went to) and with three sessions. This year I have 4 rotations most days and I have 6 groups. Every morning I’d move the cards so the students knew where they’d go when. It was taking me 5 minutes each morning to look at my chart I had hanging with my small group display and rearrange everything. While 5 minutes doesn’t seem like a lot, it adds up, and it’s just one more thing I was having to do each morning. And, let’s face it, it didn’t happen many days. So then, I spent valuable instructional time doing it or explaining what the students’ rotations should be, and it just wasn’t working.
I realized that if I just made one Powerpoint with each day of the week as a new slide, it’d be done and my small group management would be much simpler. For the year. Or, you know, until our structure has to change for the fifteenth time during the year. It has been a HUGE positive change for my mornings. It’s done. It’s ready. I open the file, go to the slide, and then when we’re ready, I just change it into slideshow mode. When we’re done, I escape out (of the file- not the room). 😉
I got a ton of responses from people who create the same thing. I also got a ton of responses from people asking me to create one for them that they could buy. It took me some time to come up with a way I could create it so that it was editable to meet everyone’s needs, but still protected the clipart from Ashley Hughes. I think this is a good compromise. I’ve provided a few blank templates that people can use, but included most center options I think people need.
This image shows the options with an editable teacher station and the blank template for the group names. It also includes iPads, Independent Reading, and Listening as center options (among others). It shows that the template fits 6 groups and 5 rotations.
This arrangement shows the setup with the included group numbers, Group as the with teacher title, Computers, and Partner Reading (amongst others).
This arrangement shows the included options for colored group names, Work on Writing, Read to Self, and Tablets as included options.
I created a video to show you what’s included with this file and how you can set it up and use it in your room. It also shows you some tips I give for using Powerpoint for small group instruction management.
Based on feedback from buyers, this file now includes blank backgrounds and options for math centers as well.
Just click the image below to head to TpT to check it out.
If you’re looking for help in how to schedule your reading groups, or how often to see each group, I created these charts a long time ago when I was an instructional coach. The teachers I was working with struggled to quickly decide how to meet with each group when the group numbers didn’t match the rotation numbers so these are a nice little help. They help you visualize how often you could see each group, and how to set things up so you’re seeing your neediest students most often (daily or nearly every day)
There are charts for 4-8 groups with 3 and 4 different sessions. They’re meant to be a base in your planning to help you get a jump start, but of course they’re meant to be adjusted based on your kids’ needs and abilities.
These are free in my TpT store so click the images to head over and download it to help you plan.
I’ve also used Powerpoint to completely manage my math centers. Once it’s set up, it manages the time, the clean up, and the switching. It’s a different way of using Powerpoint and takes a bit more work. Click the image below to check it out.
What do you use to manage your literacy centers?