Completely different in small groups..

I have been in the same grade 4 classroom numerous times this school year, subbing for a teacher. The class is smaller in size and the students are diverse in their needs. There are 3 students that when together in the classroom and with the other students, have a hard time focusing and controlling themselves. It was a hard time interacting with them and the class when they did not want to behave, listen or be respectful to their classmates.

A few weeks ago I was in for a support teacher who takes students and works with them in small groups focusing on reading. When I had these three students in small groups, they were focused, worked hard, and tried their best at the tasks ahead of them. It was like these students were totally different. Is it because they feel safer here? Is it because they can make connections with the teacher in a small group? Is the relationship different here from a classroom teacher who has many students?

I know they cannot be pulled out for all of their lessons, but maybe small group instruction works best for them? I wonder how the classroom teacher could implement this, which would help them be calmer, to focus easier, and to learn with the rest of their peers. The tension and stress in that classroom could be less than it is and it would feel like a safer environment for all the students.



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